2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Test Drive

?2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid?
Subaru?s First Ever Gasoline/Battery Model


Subaru of America, Inc has introduced their first-ever production hybrid vehicle in the form of the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, which is based on the successful crossover XV Crosstrek, and which retains its all-terrain prowess while also managing to improve fuel economy as well as enhancing nimble maneuvering capability. The 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 29 city MPG and 33 highway mpg, with a combined mpg of 31.[su_pullquote align=”right”]”The 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 29 city MPG and 33 highway mpg, with a combined mpg of 31.”[/su_pullquote]

The XV Crosstrek?s Subaru engineered hybrid system utilizes a 2.0-liter, horizontally-opposed BOXER engine that integrates an electric motor into a Continuously Variable Transmission that transfers power to all four wheels through Subaru?s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The hybrid system delivers a total of 160 horsepower (12 more hp than the gas model), while also generating 163 pound feet of torque (an increase of 18 lb.-ft over the gas model). XV Crosstrek Hybrid automatically adapts to driving needs, using only the electric drive motor, the gasoline engine or combining output of the two, depending on conditions and always prioritizing maximum efficiency.


Under light acceleration, the Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses the electric motor for initial vehicle acceleration and then starts the gasoline engine once underway. The electric motor can also provide motor assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and an EV mode will operate the vehicle in certain low-speed situations.[su_pullquote align=”right”]”the permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, which produces 13.4 hp from 1,500 rpm-6,000 rpm”[/su_pullquote] The 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine uses a slightly higher compression ratio (10.8:1) than in the standard gas model (10.5:1), along with reduced-friction piston rings and valve springs and a higher capacity exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) system with an EGR cooler. The main performance boost comes from the permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, which produces 13.4 hp from 1,500 rpm-6,000 rpm. Starter and alternator functions are combined into one unit.


With the transmission shift lever in Drive, but not in Manual mode, it is possible to drive the XV Crosstrek Hybrid in EV mode at speeds below 25 mph for a short distance. When accelerating, Motor Assist adds to engine power. Under certain conditions, such as steady-state driving and when driving uphill, the engine will operate alone when it is more efficient to do so. [su_pullquote]”Auto Stop-Start cuts off the engine to help reduce fuel consumption”[/su_pullquote]When the vehicle is stopped, Auto Stop-Start cuts off the engine to help reduce fuel consumption. When the brake is released, the system transitions to a creep state using the electric drive motor. If the climate control is in operation, Stop/Start may not operate, with the engine instead using the electric motor to charge the battery.


The XV Crosstrek Hybrid incorporates regeneration when the accelerator is released during driving, and when braking, with the motor then acting as a generator, using the still-turning wheels to charge the hybrid battery. For times when the vehicle is operating only in EV mode, an audible vehicle approach pedestrian warning system generates sound from a small speaker below the right headlight and directed toward the front of the car.


In terms of its exterior appearance, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is similar in its overall design and form. It will serve as the top model in the XV Crosstrek lineup, and despite its overall similarity in form, it will feature numerous exclusive features. The rear LED combination lights illuminate the surface uniformly for a high-tech look. In addition to the different wheels, other exterior enhancements readily differentiate the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid from the gasoline model, with ?HYBRID? badges appearing at the front edges of the front doors and on the tailgate. A new Plasma Green Pearl exterior color, exclusive to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, spotlights the vehicle?s environmental mission statement. Chrome exterior door handles add an upscale touch.?[su_pullquote align=”right”]”The rear LED combination lights illuminate the surface uniformly for a high-tech look.”[/su_pullquote]

An Active Grille Shutter system In front, closes the shutters to reduce wind resistance, enhancing fuel economy during continuous highway-speed driving. Closing the shutters also helps warm the engine more quickly, reducing friction.


The interior of the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is upgraded with an instrument cluster exclusive to this model, utilizing graduations of the blue color scheme and providing an added sense of depth.

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid comes in two levels of trim: a base model; and a Touring model. The base version includes all the standard equipment from the gas XV Crosstrek Premium model while adding an automatic climate control system, upgraded instrument cluster, high-grade multi-function display, body-color foldable side mirrors with integral turn signals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver stitching, chrome exterior door handles, Keyless Access & Start and more.?[su_pullquote]”?the display was designed to combine driving operation information along with entertainment content.”[/su_pullquote] The XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring model adds a touch-screen navigation system, leather-trimmed seating and a power moonroof. The high-grade color multi-function display is exclusive to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid and Is featured on both models. The 4.3-in. LCD screen, may be easily viewed from any?seat, showing the hybrid system?s energy flow according to driving conditions. Incorporating the use of switching screens, the display was designed to combine driving operation information along with entertainment content.


The navigation system in the XV Crosstrek Touring uses a 6.1-inch touch screen LCD display, integrating voice control, iTunes? tagging, SMS text messaging capability, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio? and SiriusXM NavTraffic? (4-month trial subscriptions included). Updated map data may be downloaded to a personal computer and transferred into the system via secure digital (SD) card. The navigation system also features Aha? smartphone integration featuring radio stations, newsfeeds, audiobooks and more.


My test 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid was the base version, with the exterior finished in the new Plasma Green Pearl and the interior done in Charcoal and Gray patterned cloth. The base price was set at $25,995 and the final tally came to $26,820 after adding the Destination and Delivery fee.

SUMMARY: – If you?re an environmentalist in the market for an affordable, highly capable all-wheel drive vehicle that is fun-to-drive with loads of versatility and that delivers the greatest fuel efficiency in its category (up to 33 mpg), with 8.7-inch ground clearance, you may not need to look further than the 2014 Subaru VX Crosstrek Hybrid. It is really like no other CUV in the Subaru stable, though it features the same basic design form as the gasoline model XV Crosstrek.?[su_pullquote align=”right”]”The?XV Crosstrek Hybrid?is attractive and sporty in its appearance, displaying a low shoulder line and blacked out ?B? and ?C? pillars giving it an almost coupe-like persona”[/su_pullquote]

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is attractive and sporty in its appearance, displaying a low shoulder line and blacked out ?B? and ?C? pillars giving it an almost coupe-like persona with a low 0.35 drag coefficient. It is also highly functional and fun to drive. The seating seemed a little firm at first, which was soon offset by the support that they provided. Exterior mirrors are positioned on the door, rather than the ?A? pillar, improving outward visibility, which is very good.


Ride quality is most comfortable and compliant, even over rough terrain, and the handling characteristics serve up an athletic and sporty feel with good steering response and vehicle stability. The symmetrical All-Wheel drive system performs flawlessly on either slick, wet or rough, dry surfaces.

The 2.0-liter engine delivers an energetic acceleration response along with a pleasing fuel economy (29- mpg city / 33-mpg highway) The CVT, though not my personal first transmission choice, performs smoothly in either its fully automatic mode or when utilizing the paddle shifters for the feel of a manual gearbox.[su_pullquote] “2.0-liter engine delivers an energetic acceleration response along with a pleasing fuel economy (29- mpg city / 33-mpg highway) “[/su_pullquote]

Safety features are abundant and effective – especially the incline start assist, and versatility is key word with the 60/40 split rear seat backs that fold flat for a level load surface, plentiful storage nooks and crannies, and the roof rail system with a 150 pound load limit. Towing capacity is 1,500 pounds.


In the overall scheme of things, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is sized to serve as the ideal mode of transport for individuals and families with an active lifestyle that seek adventure without compromise. Okay, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is not a vehicle suited to serious rock-crawling or traversing the legendary Rubicon Trail, but is certainly up to fording small streams and tackling snow-covered roads and muddy trails in a capable manner. Pack up your surfboard, kayak or skis and hit the road or off-road to your favorite destination or explore new possibilities in style and with a clearer ecological conscience.

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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $25,995.
Price as Tested: $26,820.
Engine Type and Size: Hybrid System: Gas Engine / integrated electric drive motor / with integrated starter/generator for auto start-stop function (with dedicated battery 12V battery) / and brake regeneration. / Gas Engine: Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, horizontally-opposed (BOXER) 4-cylinder with DAVCS, sequential multi-port fuel injection and electronic throttle control. / Electric motor: Type and size: 13.4 hp / 48 lb.-ft integrated into CVT. Hybrid battery: 13.5kW, 100.8V nickel-metal-hybrid battery (0.55kWh capacity), drive motor inverter and DC/DC converter installed under rear cargo area.
Horsepower (bhp): Total Hybrid System 160 @ 6,000 rpm / Gas Engine:148 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): Total Hybrid System 163 @ 2,000 rpm. / Gas Engine: 145 @ 4,200 rpm
Transmission: Lineartronic? CVT with integrated 13.4-hp electric motor and manual shift mode with steering wheel mounted shift paddles.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Symmetrical Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive with electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch. Stability/traction control Vehicle Dynamics Control with all-wheel, all-speed traction control (TCS) and rollover sensor.
Suspension: 4-Wheel independent – raised with special sport tuning exclusive to Hybrid model.
Front – MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar and hydraulic engine mounts.
Rear – Double wishbone, coil springs and stabilizer bar and subframe support.

Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel discs (vented front) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS with Brake Assist and Brake Override safety systems. Brake regeneration integrated into hybrid system.Tires: Yokohama Geolander G91 225/55 R17 all-season low rolling resistance mounted on 5- spoke alloy wheels.Wheelbase:103.7 inchesLength Overall:175.2 inchesWidth:78.2 inches with mirrors.Height:63.6 inches with roof rails. / Approach angle: 18.0 degrees / Departure angle: 27.7 degrees / Ramp breakover angle: 20.2 degrees / Ground clearance: 8.7” at front crossmember.Curb Weight:3,451 lbs.Fuel Capacity:13.7 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:29 mpg city / 33 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:0.350 – 60 mph: Not tested.


Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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