In most cases, the gasoline engine recharges the 100-volt hybrid battery. By using regenerative braking, however, applying the brakes also can help recharge this battery.
When the brakes are applied, the system reverses the electric motor, which causes it to function as a generator instead of a motor. Regeneration has two benefits. It stores electricity in a battery for later use, plus the process places a “load” on the electric motor that helps slow down the wheels.
All of these driving and charging modes are illustrated clearly on the Multi-Function Display in the instrument panel, with orange representing the gasoline engine, green the electric motor, and blue dotted lines for charging.
Since the gasoline engine is shut off during some vehicle operations, an Auto Start-Stop system is fitted with an ingenious device called an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG).
Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Both the speedometer and tachometer needles go to zero. The engine restarts with the ISG when the brake pedal is released. Auto Start-Stop is completely automatic.
The first question most people will ask is, “What’s the mileage?”
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is EPA rated at 29 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.1 The city rating is 16 percent higher than the already fuel-efficient non-hybrid XV Crosstrek.
But remember, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is engineered for more than just mpg. The combined power of the gasoline engine and electric motor is 160 horsepower. Combined torque is 163 pound-feet, and it peaks at just 2,000 rpm – in other words, just past idle speeds. Although the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is approximately 275 pounds heavier than a non-hybrid model, that extra power and torque definitely can be felt.
So much engineering effort has gone into making this vehicle both efficient and fun to drive. Enhancing efficiency, for example, the tires use a special low-rolling resistance compound, and the wheels are lighter in weight and aerodynamically designed. Adding to nimble handling, the suspension has been re-tuned with changes in the springs, shock absorbers, and rear stabilizer bar. There’s even an Active Grille Shutter, which helps the engine warm up quicker and also helps cut aerodynamic drag at highway speeds.
It’s tough to compare the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid with anything else. Most other hybrid crossovers and SUVs are much more expensive, and, even then, they have lower EPA fuel economy ratings. There are several fuel-efficient hybrid cars, but their primary (and it could be argued, only) goal is high EPA numbers. They don’t have the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive capability, responsive handling, and cargo volume of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid.
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid simply provides more of what many people want in an AWD crossover vehicle – efficiency and performance, traction and control, versatility and flexibility for hobbies and outdoor adventure, and the outstanding safety engineering that’s part and parcel of every Subaru vehicle.
1 EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage may vary.
2 EyeSight is a driver-assist system which may not operate optimally under all driving conditions. The driver is always responsible for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors such as vehicle maintenance, weather and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for complete details on system operation and limitations. Please remember to turn off EyeSight when going through a carwash.
3 Ratings based on Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS’s) 40-mile-per-hour frontal crash test, 31-mile-per-hour side-impact test, 20-mile-per-hour rear-impact test, and roof strength test. For more information, contact IIHS or visit its website at iihs.org.