EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

April 13, 2014

New Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid saves fuel

Subaru is out this year with a hybrid version of its popular XV Crosstrek. The new XV Crosstrek Hybrid excels in slow, close, stop-and-go traffic, where it saves gasoline because its gas-and-electric combination drive system can shut off the gas motor whenever the car temporarily stops – at in intersection, for instance. The engine restarts automatically when the auto begins moving again, although at low speeds and for short distances, the Crosstrek Hybrid can travel on full electric power, burning no gasoline whatsoever.

The conventionally powered, gasoline-only XV Crosstrek is a new vehicle itself. Subaru introduced the neatly styled, ruggedly capable, all-wheel-drive wagon in autumn 2012 as a 2013 model. Eighteen months later, the crossover utility vehicle is one of the top selling haulers sold by Subaru.

At Singer Subaru in Plaistow, N.H., the Crosstrek now accounts for about 20 percent of the dealership’s new-model sales, out of the eight models available from Subaru. “And its popularity is still climbing,” noted Eddie Dye, general sales manager at Singer.

Dye explained that the Crosstrek arrived last year for people who sought the compact, efficient and versatile spirit of the Subaru Impreza, combined with the added security and visibility available in a high-riding crossover utility vehicle.

The Impreza is a compact, all-wheel-drive passenger car from Subaru, available in both sedan and wagon body styles. The Crosstrek basically places the Impreza’s wagon-style body on a hardened, elevated chassis that provides close to nine inches of ground clearance. Voila, the XV Crosstrek becomes a crossover that weds zesty, youthful style with the high-riding characteristics of a sport-utility vehicle.

“People say the Crosstrek is like the Impreza on steroids,” noted Dye.

Of course, everything has a cost. For the rough-terrain additions underneath the Crosstrek, one unavoidable price is fuel economy. The Impreza is noted for fuel efficiency, earning a government rating of 27 miles per gallon in city driving, and 36 mpg on the highway, for a combined, city/highway rating of 30 mpg. Subaru promotes the Impreza of the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class.

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