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Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek ranks 12 out of 19 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 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is ranked:

Despite its weak engine, critics praise the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek for its excellent fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive and agile handling.

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek accelerates poorly, thanks to its noisy base four-cylinder engine, according to test drivers. They say the optional automatic transmission makes the XV Crosstrek feel more responsive than when equipped with the standard five-speed manual. According to the EPA, the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek earns 26/34 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy estimates of almost every other affordable compact SUV. According to automotive writers, the XV Crosstrek offers stable handling through turns and a cushioned ride over rugged roads. A few also say its brakes are strong and its steering is well-weighted.

Reviewers say the 2015 XV Crosstrek's interior features premium materials and a straightforward cabin layout. They add that its seats are comfortable enough for short trips, but not long ones. The XV Crosstrek offers generous headroom and a roomy back seat, automotive journalists write. Standard features include a rearview camera, a new Starlink infotainment system with a 6.2-inch touch screen, smartphone app integration, a USB port and Bluetooth. A voice-activated navigation system, an upgraded Starlink system with a 7-inch touch screen, push-button start, satellite radio, automatic climate control and a moonroof are available. Subaru’s EyeSight system is also available, which adds adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning. Test drivers appreciate the XV Crosstrek’s logical dashboard arrangement and straightforward audio and climate controls. Many also report that the new infotainment systems are user-friendly. The XV Crosstrek has 51.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. While that’s a smaller cargo hold than most rivals have, test drivers agree that there’s more than enough overall space for large items. However, some reviewers mention that cargo space is tight when the rear seats are in use.

  • “If you haul people and things simultaneously, you might need something bigger, like the Subaru Forester or Outback. If you want more power from your compact crossover SUV, the Forester XT's turbocharged engine will deliver it.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, this likeable little hauler does a good job combining car qualities with small-SUV space and styling. It's worth a serious look." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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. ... " -- Left Lane News
  • "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 praise the Volkswagen Tiguan’s peppy turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which they say produces quick acceleration from a stop. They also like its smooth-shifting transmission and composed handling. The Tiguan’s high-quality cabin also impresses test drivers.

The Ford Escape can be equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that automotive journalists agree is plenty powerful. They also like its sporty handling and stylish cabin. Additionally, the Escape has much more cargo space than the XV Crosstrek.

Compare the XV Crosstrek, Tiguan and Escape »

Details: 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The 2015 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 continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. There are three available trims: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited. The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is reviewed separately. Aside from a new base trim and minor interior technology updates, the XV Crosstrek hasn’t changed much since its debut in 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/24/15

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