2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek: Flash drive review

By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Although the Subaru Crosstrek is based on the Impreza sedan platform, it's more similar to the Subaru Forester SUV. The Crosstrek is very much a utilitarian vehicle. The plastics are hard and there is a noticeable lack of soft surfaces almost anywhere in the cabin. The Crosstrek's engine has just enough power to keep the driver satisfied, but it did require me to downshift the manual transmission to keep my speed up on some of the steeper hills in the Seattle area. The drivetrain is a happy balance of fuel-efficient frugality and all-weather versatility, which would be great if this small crossover was more useful. But the Crosstrek has such a small cargo area that it cannot really fill the role of hauler. Unless you fold down the rear seats there is only enough space for a few grocery bags. So the Crosstrek isn't a true workhorse — but it is also not a comfortable family car. For me it falls between two stools. — Paul Hagger

The new Subaru Crosstrek makes a great replacement for the old Impreza Outback Sport. It's based on the current Impreza, but with its higher ground clearance, larger fender flares and unique wheels it looks like a different car. Like the Impreza, the Crosstrek offers surprising rear-seat legroom and a good amount of cargo space, especially for a small crossover. The engine has decent power, but it doesn't feel very smooth and is rather noisy. This is especially true at high rpms where it sounds like it's working very hard. But handling is great and the Crosstrek feels stable, most impressively in the wet. With prices starting around $22,000 and fuel economy in the high-20s, the Crosstrek is a good choice in the crowded crossover segment. — Perry Stern

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BB03 - 9/19/2014 9:15:43 PM