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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review
Reviewed by Automotive on
The market wasn’t exactly looking for another small crossover vehicle, but Subaru felt it necessary to throw their hat in the ring. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a brand new model for Subaru, although much of it will look, sound, and feel somewhat familiar to Subaru’s other models. The XV Crosstrek is essentially an Impreza hatchback that has a bit more cargo space, off-road capabilities, and some styling differences. Subaru is making an effort to separate the model from the Impreza line, but that might not be possible until a full body redesign takes place.
New For 2013
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is an entirely new member of the Subaru family.
The exterior of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek bears a number of similarities to the Subaru Impreza, especially in the body work. The XV Crosstrek rides higher off the ground, and the body itself is taller, further emphasized by the noticeable protective lower-body cladding. The fenders differ slightly from the Impreza, but the rest of the sheet metal is pretty much the same. A roof rack added to the top of the XV Crosstrek helps give it a taller, more masculine image. A number of accessories can be added to the exterior, including a sport mesh grille, a roof spoiler, a front hood protector, a splash guard kit and a rear bumper cover, all to give the XV Crosstrek more usability while making it look a bit more utilitarian.
Interior & Cargo
Driver and passengers will find plenty of space inside of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, with sufficient head and leg room up front, although the legroom in the rear seat is a bit on the tight side. Cargo volume with the rear seat in place is decent, with a little over 22 cubic feet available. With the rear seat folded down, the total cargo volume goes up to an impressive 51.9 cubic feet. The interior is much like a stretched-out version of the Impreza’s, with a washable floor. It is clean, efficient, and offers simple controls laid out quite ergonomically. Much of the surfaces are covered in soft-touch materials, avoiding the glut of hard plastics often found in off-road vehicles.
Plenty of features are available in the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek to make the seats and cabin comfortable. A six-way manually-adjustable heated driver’s seat and a four-way manually-adjustable heated passenger seat are standard, both covered in cloth. The Limited model gets standard leather upholstery, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle. A manually-adjustable climate control system is standard, with an automatic climate control system standard on the higher-end 2.0i Limited model. Power door locks and windows are standard. A six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth audio streaming is standard, while a 4.3-inch, LCD display and HD radio can be added on. A power tilt and sliding moon roof and a voice-activated GPS navigation system are available, as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror and all-weather interior mats.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes standard with seven airbags, including a driver knee airbag and side curtain airbags attached to rollover sensors. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard and are complimented by brake assist. A tire pressure monitoring system, stability control, and traction control system are all standard accident avoidance systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the XV Crosstrek a rating of ""good"" in front, side, and rear-impact tests, and in roof-crush tests. Due to these excellent ratings, the XV Crosstrek earned the Top Safety Pick award.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek features the company’s famed boxer engine, which is also found in the Impreza. It puts out a solid 148 horsepower (hp) and 145 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to make the XV Crosstrek barely capable, but not particularly impressive. It is not very quick off the line, nor does it have much in the way of reserve power for acceleration or steep hills. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a continuously variable transmission available as an option. The five-speed mitigates the lackluster engine a bit when trying to accelerate, and also brings power to bear more quickly when needed in traffic, but it still doesn’t allow for an impressive launch.
While it’s not particularly powerful, the 2013 XV Crosstrek handles extremely well. Solid ground clearance, combined with a standard all-wheel-drive system that has been proven over the years in other Subaru models, ensure that the XV Crosstrek sticks to the road in adverse weather and road conditions. In fact, it may well be one of the best vehicles for handling snowy urban roads. The steering is tight, reactive, and provides plenty of road condition feedback to the driver. The brakes bring the crossover to a stop quite promptly, right around the average for this vehicle style.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Subaru XV-Crosstrek
- Nissan Juke
- Jeep Compass
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport