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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Claimed to be "Most Fuel-Efficient AWD Crossover in America"

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Claimed to be "Most Fuel-Efficient AWD Crossover in America"

By Jeff Youngs, April 04, 2013
Subaru says that its new 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid, the first production hybrid model ever offered by the automaker, is the "most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover in America."

Though Subaru supplies no fuel-economy estimates to support its claim, the assertion may be a credible one. A quick check of EPA data shows that the current holder of that title is the 2013 Lexus RX 450h, with a combined-driving rating of 29 mpg. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, without a hybrid powertrain, is rated to get 28 mpg in combined driving.

The new 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is equipped with a Subaru-engineered hybrid powertrain. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is paired with a 13.4-horsepower electric assist motor that is integrated into the crossover's continuously variable transmission (CVT) and draws electricity from a 13.5-kW nickel-metal hydride battery located under the cargo floor. Standard regenerative brakes recharge the battery during normal driving. A "full" hybrid, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid can operate at low speeds on electricity alone, Subaru says, thanks to its EV driving mode.

An Active Torque Split all-wheel-drive system is standard, as well as automatic stop/start technology that shuts off the gasoline engine while the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is idling in traffic or at an intersection in order to conserve fuel. Active grille shutters and special aluminum wheel designs improve aerodynamics to extract extra fuel economy, and the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid is equipped with "Hybrid" badges on the outside and a Cool Blue interior color theme accented with silver trim. New Plasma Green Pearl paint is exclusive to this model, one of several colors offered.

Subaru re-engineered the XV Crosstrek Hybrid's chassis to handle the extra weight of the hybrid powertrain components, improving the vehicle's handling, ride quality, and steering response in the process, the company says. Additional sound-deadening materials and thicker floor sections are unique to this version of the XV Crosstrek, and the hybrid model includes a revised climate control system with a humidity sensor, keyless push-button start, new gauges with blue-gradation graphics, and a hybrid power-flow graphic for the color Multi-function Display. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid weighs 300 pounds more than a standard model.

In addition to the extra weight, passenger space is reduced 0.7 cubic feet, and cargo volume with the rear seats folded is reduced from 51.9 cubic feet to 50.2 cubic feet. Otherwise, the hybrid powertrain seems to have little impact on this crossover SUV's capabilities.

The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid goes on sale during the fourth quarter of 2013. Official fuel-economy estimates, horsepower and torque ratings, and prices will be available closer to the crossover's arrival on dealership lots.

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