http://www.chron.com/cars/article/XV-Crosstrek-delivers-coolness-utility-3896812.phpSubaru's XV Crosstrek rolls into the 2013 model year looking like a poised, well-toned athlete wearing flashy running shoes.
The all-new AWD compact crossover utility test vehicle - base priced at $24,495 in top-line Limited form - is cloaked in bold paint and rides on eye-grabbing gear-tooth-look 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/55R-17 tires.
Its body is enhanced with black wheel arches, rocker panels and roof rails, and it wears a grille that's distinctive from others in the lineup.
Along with its edgy attitude and good looks, the XV Crosstrek features a roomy cabin and excellent fuel efficiency for a utility vehicle in its class.
Powering the 3,197-pound XV Crosstrek is a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine delivering 148 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 145 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm.
Teaming with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the crossover launches crisply and provides respectable power up to highway speeds. Steering wheel paddle shifters allow manual shifting via six pre-set ratios.
The XV Crosstrek's surefootedness is enhanced with an Active Torque Split AWD system, which sends power to the wheels with the best grip.
Fuel efficiency is a Subaru bragging point, with the XV Crosstrek getting an estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. It has an ECO gauge that allows the driver to monitor how economically the vehicle is being driven. Regular unleaded gasoline is recommended to fill the 15.9-gallon tank.
While the XV Crosstrek looks like a bad-boy street machine, AWD traction and 8.7 inches of ground clearance make the vehicle capable of venturing onto backwoods trails.
Inside the five-passenger Limited model, life is civilized with supportive heated buckets upholstered in ivory leather on the tester.
Rear seats have 60/40-split seatbacks that fold flat to expand cargo-carrying capacity from 22.3 cubic feet with seatbacks up to 51.9 cubic feet with seatbacks down.
The Limited model's standard six-speaker audio system features: 4.3-inch LCD display; Bluetooth hands-free phone connective and audio streaming; Radio Data Broadcast System; iPod control capability; USB port; iTunes tagging; and rear-vision camera.
A $2,000 Navigation and Moonroof Package is the tester's only option, bringing the total price tag - including $795 destination charge - to $27,290.
The XV Crosstrek is a good choice for those needing practical passenger- and cargo-hauling utility, but wanting a vehicle with extra attitude - one that looks cooler than the average SUV.