The author had an opportunity for a short test-drive of this new model, and came away impressed. Here are his thoughts:
“You have to train your right foot to be a bit more sensitive than usual, but once you do, you’ll find yourself maximizing EV Mode by easing away from stops, and avoiding the usual creep-ahead driving at red lights.
“On the other hand, step into the throttle at any speed, and Motor Assist is readily apparent. While I have not seen official acceleration times, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid feels strong, especially off the line. Highway passing is also rewarding.
“Perhaps most impressive is the regenerative braking system. The Multi-Function Display clearly indicates when this is happening, but it’s totally seamless. I didn’t feel the usual transition from regenerative braking to conventional braking that you do in some hybrid vehicles.
“Overall, I think the XV Crosstrek is a case of having your cake and eating it too – all the good things of an XV Crosstrek with higher efficiency and more power.”
Three Batteries for Three Tasks
The XV Crosstrek uses three batteries: two traditional 12-volt batteries under the hood and a large 100-volt nickel metal hydride battery under the rear cargo floor. Each one has an assigned task.
- The 12-volt battery on the driver’s side of the engine compartment has the same duties as in a non-hybrid vehicle – it’s used for the engine’s starter and for all conventional vehicle operations.
- The restart battery is the “extra” battery on the passenger’s side of the engine compartment. It is used exclusively for Auto Start-Stop operation.
- The large high-voltage battery provides the electrical energy for the motor to drive the wheels.
In case you’re concerned about the longevity of the high-voltage battery, be assured that it and other emissions-related components have either a 10-year/150,000-mile or an eight-year/80,000-mile limited warranty, depending on whether your state follows California/PZEV emissions standards or “federal specifications” for emissions.1
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|XV Crosstrek 2.0L AWD
|XV Crosstrek Hybrid AWD
Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid VERSUs Major AWD Crossovers2 – EPA Combined Fuel Economy
The chart lists the highest EPA-rated fuel economy versions of the major All-Wheel Drive crossover-utility vehicles available today. Not only is the XV Crosstrek Hybrid the fuel economy champ in this group, but the non-hybrid Crosstrek ties for second.
1 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid models achieving a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) rating by the California Air Resources Board are available in all 50 states. Only those registered in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will be eligible for the 15-year/150,000-mile emissions warranty. Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington vehicles are not covered under PZEV emissions control warranty. See your warranty maintenance booklet for additional information.
2 Comparisons based on manufacturer’s website data and the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov ratings as of October 2013.