The new Subaru Impreza XV Crosstrek is a very good car. It has utility, looks, and a bit of power to match. This car isn’t normal. But then again, Subaru’s aren’t. This Subie is no exception to the Subaru formula.
The XV stands out. How? The blacked-out 17-inch aluminum wheels look like the car just came out of an aftermarket wheel/tire shop. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance scream “Don’t follow me!” The glass is tinted a dark gray (screaming I just came out of a cheap aftermarket shop!), and the standard roof rack is a finishing touch. This car is telling you that it is a fashion statement in the automotive world, and it REALLY loves dirt! When you park it next to it’s barely older sibling, it makes its sibling look almost bland. Even though they have the same transmission (a five-speed manual or a CVT) and the same engine (a 148 horsepower, 145 lb-ft 2.0 liter Boxer four cylinder), they are wholly different cars.
The XV isn’t all looks – it’s got capability to match. Incline Start Assist is standard (for those of you who stop on hills), and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive is also standard. With Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive, the viscous-coupling locking center differential helps put the ponies in the right place. One should know that getting everything out of the car does require you driving the car like you stole it. Why? The smallish Boxer engine barely gets the job done in the heavier XV, with a 0-60 time of 8.8 seconds (six ticks faster than the lighter Impreza 2.0i Premium). Stopping from 60-0 mph takes a fair 122 feet (the 2.0i Premium does it in 120 feet). Also, a larger 15.9 gallon gas tank helps take the car up to 350 miles before a fill up). But, fuel economy drops down a bit to 23/30 city/highway.
Driving on paved areas yields a firm, yet extremely controllable ride. It’s not at all uncomfortable though. Even though the lifted independent suspension looks like the car would ride like a Jeep, bumps are soaked up surprisingly well. However, don’t be surprised when going into a corner with some zoom – controllable body roll will happen!
Plus, the Subaru Impreza XV Crosstrek is cheap – it is a mere $22, 790.