What is it? The XV Crosstrek will be Subaru’s first full-hybrid. It shares the basic XV Crosstrek’s 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. In between is a 13.4-hp electric motor that powers the car at low speeds and provides assistance during acceleration. A nickel-metal hydride battery pack sits under the floor of the cargo area. Subaru says the suspension has been revised and the steering quickened to accommodate the weight of the hybrid system. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid also gets the standard hybrid complement of energy diagrams and blue gauges inside to discourage lead-foot driving.
What is new or notable: Subaru says the engine has been modified .to reduce friction. (Not confirmed, but it may mean a switch to synthetic motor oil.) Subaru has also added more sound deadening to the Hybrid, which should address one of our chief complaints about other Imprezas and XV Crosstreks.
CR’s take: As the first affordable hybrid with standard all-wheel-drive, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid could be just the ticket to drive to the trailhead without compromising your environmental cred.
When will it be available? Fall 2013.