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in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $21,995 - $24,495
Invoice: $20,876 - $23,178
MPG: 23 City / 30 Hwy
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Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek ranks 15 out of 23 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Subaru XV Crosstrek, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek is ranked:

Superb fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive and composed handling make the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek worth a look, test drivers note, but many say its engine is underpowered.

Reviewers say that the XV Crosstrek’s four-cylinder engine doesn’t have a lot of power to spare, and as a result, acceleration can be sluggish at higher speeds or on hills. However, thanks to its standard all-wheel drive and decent ground clearance, they say that the Subaru XV Crosstrek is a nice compromise for drivers who want car-like handling and the ability to venture off-road. Reviewers say the standard shifter is easy to use and the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is responsive. Equipped with the CVT, the XV Crosstrek gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a compact SUV with all-wheel drive. Test drivers say that the 2014 XV Crosstrek has crisp steering, strong brakes and the all-wheel drive provides great traction. Overall, handling is excellent and the ride is composed, they add. Yet a handful of critics say that some rival SUVs are more fun behind the wheel.

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is based on the Subaru Impreza hatchback, and offers a similar interior that automotive critics say is functional and attractively modern, with plenty of soft-touch materials. Seats are comfy and the cabin is surprisingly spacious, reviewers say, especially in the back seat where there’s plenty of legroom. Test drivers note there’s an adequate amount of cargo space, although the 2014 XV Crosstrek has less cargo room than many rival crossovers. Standard features include a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, keyless entry and a security system. Options include a voice-activated touch-screen navigation system, satellite radio, a rearview camera and a moonroof. Test drivers praise the standard audio system for its quality sound and say that audio and climate controls are simple and straightforward. However, some say that the navigation system can be difficult to operate.

  • “More versatile than the Impreza hatchback but not as bulky or top heavy as a Forester or Outback, the XV Crosstrek is the affordable compact car that can easily go where most other small cars can't." -- AutoTrader
  • "The XV Crosstrek is essentially a butched-up version of Subaru's compact Impreza hatchback. Underneath its SUV-themed exterior, the Crosstrek retains the Impreza's well-tuned chassis, efficient engine and attractive cabin, and it is available with Subaru's first-ever gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain." -- Left Lane News
  • "It is one of the more carlike entries in the class, yet offers generous cargo and passenger room for its size. We also like the comfortable ride and tastefully finished cabin." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "For Subaru die-hards, it's a no-brainer: Pairing the proven Impreza formula with an added dose of off-roadability-and for just $22,790-should steer plenty of the brand's faithful toward the Crosstrek." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "Subaru feels it has hit the nail on the head with the XV Crosstrek, and we agree. It's not a sports car by any means, but it is a sporty, capable, and fun CUV that will definitely fill a void in Subaru's lineup." -- Motor Trend (2013)

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Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers say the Mazda CX-5 is a thrill to drive and they praise it for its roomy cabin. The CX-5 gets superb gas mileage and has a lot of available features, including a nine-speaker Bose stereo system and blind spot monitoring.

The Subaru Forester gets good fuel economy and comes standard with all-wheel drive, and it has an impressive amount of cargo space. Test drivers say the Forester offers a roomy back seat and great outward visibility from the driver’s seat.

Compare the XV Crosstrek, CX-5 and Forester »

Details: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek seats five and comes standard with all-wheel drive. A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard, and a CVT is optional. There are two available trims: Premium and Limited. The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is reviewed separately. The XV Crosstrek was an all-new model for 2013 and hasn’t changed much since then, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/19/14

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