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TopSpeed - 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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Subaru has always made good use of this market and has a nice following of customers. Lately, though, it seems like Subaru is really attempting to gain an edge in new markets. First, it releases the BRZ, the Japanese automaker’s first true sports car since the SVX thankfully vanished in 1997, and now it is prepared to unveil the 2013 XV Crosstek, a compact crossover SUV, at the 2012 New York Auto Show starting April 4th.

Subaru is not shy in releasing some details about this long overdue SUV, as it has released images and basic specifications prior to its debut. The 2013 XV Crosstrek, which also falls in the crossover market, will bear styling similar to the 2013 Ford Escape, 2012 Honda CR-V, and the 2012 Hyundai Tucson – all of which will be direct competitors with the XV Crosstrek.

Driving Forces
Staying true to its crossover classification, the XV Crosstrek is based on the existing Subaru Impreza platform, meaning this SUV is only bearing a new body and the drivetrain is time-tested. Like its Impreza donor, this 2013 Subaru crossover SUV will bear a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter H-4 engine. It’ll also share the Impreza’s all-wheel-drive system and transmission options, a five-speed manual or Lineratronic CVT. Boasting a Subaru-estimated 25 mpg city rating and a 33 mpg highway rating puts it over the anticipated highway mpg of the 2013 Escape, yet 3 mpg lower than its city mpg.

Off of the Beaten Path
Well, it’s a Subaru, so off-road performance is just implied, but we’ll get into it anyways. Boasting 8.7 inches of ground clearance gives the XV Crosstrek plenty of room to get over that rough terrain. This is a full 1.8 inches more than the 2012 Chevy Equinox, 1.5 inches more than the 2012 Chevy Traverse, and even 0.3 inches more than the 2012 Ford Escape. Combining ground clearance and its all-wheel-drive system, the XV Crosstrek is one crossover SUV that can handle it all.

Keeping it Safe
Airbags are aplenty in the 2013 XV Crosstrek. Here we go, it has a driver’s knee airbag, front side pelvis and torso airbags, curtain airbags, along with the federally required driver’s and passenger’s front airbags. A cool thing on the passenger’s front airbag is that has a groove in the center to help avoid facial injury during an accident.

This crossover SUV also features Subaru’ stability and traction control system, which is dubbed Vehicle Dynamics Control. Also standard on the 2013 XV Crosstrek is four-wheel antilock brakes. For our power blocking readers out there, you can forget about it in this crossover, as Subaru fitted it with a system that cuts engine power if you press the gas and brake at the same time. Of course, who plans on power blocking a crossover SUV?

It’s What’s Inside That Counts
The 2013 Crosstrek has no problem with rear passenger, as it has 35.4 inches of rear legroom. The rear seat is a 60/40 split, so you can fold down one side of the rear seat and still accommodate a passenger. In addition, the rear seats fold all the way to the floor, creating 52.4 cubic-feet of flat cargo room. In the rear cargo hull, you have a cargo cover to keep your valuables out of sight. If you go splashing around in the water somewhere, no worries, just toss your wet cloths and gear into the removable waterproof tray in the rear of the Crosstrek. Lastly, there are loads of tie-down hook in its cargo area, so you can secure larger loads.

Gadgets and Gizmos
The 2013 XV Crosstrek will come in only two trim levels: Premium, which is the base model, and Limited. Let’s start with the standard stuff. The Crosstrek’s steering wheel, which includes audio and Bluetooth controls, tilts and telescopes to provide a perfect position. As expected of any 2013 car, it features standard power door locks, windows, and mirrors. It also comes standard with a multi-function display that displays your fuel economy, a security system with immobilizer, outdoor temperature gauge, and floor mats – an often forgotten feature.

Moving onto the Limited model, which comes standard with the Lineartronic CVT, it also tosses in leather trim on the upholstery, steering wheel and shifter. In addition, it has automatic climate control and automatic headlights. Lastly, the Limited model also has a rearview camera with a 4.3-inch display.

The “All-Weather Package” is standard on the Limited model, but optional on Premium models. This package includes heated seats and mirrors, along with a windshield de-icer.

Options, Options
With the long list of standard features, you can guess that the optional feature list would be rather short. This list includes an optional moonroof and an optional navigation system. This navi system takes the place of the standard radio and features a 6.1-inch LCD screen, which acts as the rearview camera’s screen. You can boss around the navigation system, as it features voice control. It also features iPod tagging, hands-free text messaging, SiriusXM radio, and an SD card slot for updating the maps.

Last but not least, let’s have a look at the XV Crosstrek’s standard stereo format. It features six speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. It can also control your iPod, accept a USB device and the ultra-low-tech 3.5 mm auxiliary jack – another often overlooked feature that Subaru remembered.

Pricing has yet to be released, but with the compact SUV/crossover SUV segment becoming more congested every year, the XV needs to come in at a fair price $22,000 to $26,000 to be competitive. There will be much more info to provide as the New York Auto Show draws in closer and we will add more details as they are released. One thing Subaru has to ask itself is can the XV Crosstrek and the existing Forester coexist on the same showroom floor in the 2013 model year? Strange move, Subaru.
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