- Subaru expands model range with a compact crossover
- The usual Subaru tech hallmarks apply
- Styling is rugged and modern
A new Subaru model makes its world debut at the New York Auto Show next week: the 2013 XV Crosstrek. As the name suggests, this is a crossover sport utility vehicle.
The XV is based on the compact Impreza platform, which is built with standard all-wheel drive. In this instance, the suspension is raised to give 8.7 inches of ground clearance, so negotiating unpaved trails shouldn't present much of a problem.
Making decent progress should also be straightforward. In common with every other Subaru, the XV's engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in a "boxer" configuration - featuring pairs of horizontally opposed cylinders. It makes a respectable 148 horsepower while returning an equally respectable 25 mpg in town, 33 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined (according to Subaru).
Transmission options are a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). While a CVT can be found in cars as upmarket as the Audi A4 or Nissan Murano, driving enthusiasts are generally not fond of the technology. And in this era of 6- and even 7-speed manuals, a 5-speeder seems a bit outdated.
What doesn't seem dated is the XV's exterior styling. Its suitably rugged-yet-modern looks are augmented by judicious use of black plastic cladding and a set of handsome 17-inch alloy wheels.
Safety and practicality are high on any family's list of priorities when seeking a new car. The XV even has an airbag for the driver's knees, while maximum cargo space is 52.4 cubic feet once the 60/40 split/folding rear seats sink into the floor for a flat load space. That's far from class leading - the 2012 Honda CR-V can accommodate 70.9 cubes - but 35.4 inches of rear legroom is quite useful.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek goes on sale this fall, coming in Premium and Limited trim levels (a sporty turbocharged "WRX STI" version might be too much to ask, but we can dream). Pricing will be announced nearer the launch date.
What it means to you: Sure, yet another crossover SUV, but Subaru has an individual and interesting take on it.