In a market of small and medium crossovers the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is very unique in that it has a boxer hybrid engine. Hybrids were first introduced with the Toyota Prius. Nobody made a hybrid with a boxer engine before.
The Subaru designers are looking to its one-of-a-kind nature, All-wheel-drive characteristics, and decent fuel economy to attract crossover buyers looking for something different. It seems to meet those goals, but has concerns.
This hybrid is based on the gas-powered XV Crosstrek which inherits its design from the Impreza. The hybrid model has a 2.0L FB-series Boxer engine and a 13.4 horsepower integrated electric motor behind the transmission. The battery is a 100-volt 13.5-kW nickel metal hydride under the rear floor. Its configuration means it can run on only electric power at 15-20 mph.
Maximum power output is 148 horsepower at 145 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid model weighs only 287 pounds more than the regular model.
When we look at the gas mileage, the hybrid leaves a lot to be desired. The regular gas model gets 23/30 mpg city/highway with manual and 25/33 mpg with CVT. The hybrid is improved at 28/34 mpg. Most of the gains are at low-speed. Though the gas mileage can’t be touted as the lowest for crossovers, it is in fact it could be called the most fuel-efficient, lowest-emission AWD hybrid in America.
The vehicle feels the same as a gas-powered model. The hybrid can get an extra 13 hp from the electric motor, which helps acceleration.
The base price for the standard model is $22,745, so the hybrid model is expected to be substantially more though not known at the moment.