New for 2015

The Subaru XV Crosstrek receives a few minor changes for the 2015 model year, such as a standard rearview camera and a revised steering ratio. Some shuffling is done with trim package and feature availability, but the XV Crosstrek remains largely the same.

Vehicle Overview

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is a compact crossover that combines the utility and capability of an SUV with the handling and fuel efficiency of a car. The XV Crosstrek is also available as a hybrid. In gasoline models it offers a five-speed manual, an option that is becoming more uncommon in the segment.

Summary

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four that produces 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It drives all four wheels and can be paired with a CVT or five-speed manual transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 26/34 mpg (city/highway) with the CVT and 23/31 mpg with the manual. Stepping over to the hybrid, an electric motor augments the same 2.0-liter flat-four for a combined 160 hp that is paired exclusively with the CVT and is rated by the EPA for 30/34 mpg. We noticed, too, that the hybrid only saw gains in the city, leaving us to wonder if the almost $5,000 premium was worth it over the surprisingly efficient base model.

Notable features on the 2015 XV Crosstrek include active-safety driver assist technology, symmetrical all-wheel drive, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, a standard rearview camera, Bluetooth with streaming audio support, voice-activated navigation, automatic climate control, and heated front seats/exterior mirrors/windshield wiper de-icer.

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of five possible stars) and is considered a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

What We Think

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a fine little crossover that is capable off-road but well-mannered on it. Of the two powerplants, the plain gasoline-fed four-cylinder is the more logical of the two, as the price premium of the hybrid isn’t nearly worth it for the higher curb weight and marginally improved fuel economy. The hybrid sees major gains around the city but posts identical numbers as the unassisted engine on the highway. In a Driven Review of a 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, we said “we found the throttle tip-in to be disconcertingly abrupt, resulting in a jerky launch” on CVT-equipped models. For those desiring more control, a five-speed manual is available, a rarity in this segment, but most buyers will opt for the CVT. We found the CVT to be capable outside of the jerkiness, and one editor survived an off-road product launch in an XV Crosstrek Hybrid in Iceland. The electrically assisted power steering was a bit of a letdown, however, and like many systems lacks feedback. Compared with traditional (read, less-capable off-road) crossovers, the XV is reasonably efficient but lags behind in terms of cargo capacity.

You’ll Like

  • Capable off-road
  • Comfortable on-road
  • Versatile hatchback body

You Won’t Like

  • Oversensitive CVT can lead to abrupt launches
  • Not much more efficiency with the more expensive Hybrid
  • Electrically assisted steering

Key Competitors

  • Mini Countryman
  • Nissan Juke
  • Jeep Renegade
  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4

Rating

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