Subaru has long been known for manufacturing quirky vehicles that seem to create their own class—and has had relative success doing so. For the 2013 model year, the Japanese automaker continued this trend with the unveiling of a new compact crossover it dubbed the XV Crosstrek.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes in a pair of trim levels: 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited. Both feature the same 2-liter boxer-style four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The base transmission is a five-speed manual, but you can opt for a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, which is standard on the 2.0i Limited trim.
Like all recent Subaru models, the XV Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive. This driveline delivers 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with the manual transmission, and the CVT bumps it to 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
The XV Crosstrek may be slightly underpowered, but it certainly makes up for that in utility and functionality. Its interior is neatly set up with seemingly nothing out of place or too cluttered. Its soft-touch interior equipment adds in a slight touch of luxury, as it strays from the hard plastics we all too often see in lower-priced vehicles. Additionally, the XV Crosstrek features an impressive 22.3 cubic feet of cargo space with all of the seats in place, and 51.9 cubic-feet when you drop its rear seats down.
A lack of optional engines puts the XV Crosstrek behind competitors like the Mini Countryman, which has three engines ranging up to a 211-horsepower unit. Another flaw is the fact that CVTs are still imperfect and the XV Crosstrek’s optional CVT tends to be a tad on the sluggish side. Despite these flaws, however, the XV Crosstrek still has a fighting chance in the ever-expanding compact crossover realm, and the Subaru name definitely gives it some extra clout.