Toyota Prius v vs. Ford C-Max Hybrid vs. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Toyota Prius v vs. Ford C-Max Hybrid vs. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Suggestion No. 3 – 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring

Rounding out this three-car comparison is the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, specifically the top of the line Touring model. So equipped it stickers for $30,120, including mandatory hush money… we mean destination and delivery fees.

With a navigation system, heated seats, power windows and locks, a sunroof and more this Subie meets all of Kelli’s buying criteria, and then some. Interestingly it’s the brand’s first gasoline/electric vehicle.

Ahead of the cabin is mounted a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and an AC synchronous electric motor. Combined this drivetrain setup delivers a respectable 160 hp and is matched to a continuously variable transmission, just like the Ford and Toyota.

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Engine

Despite their similarities things really differ when it comes to fuel economy. Unlike its competitors this Subaru isn’t all that thrifty. The best it can muster on the consumption front is 29 miles per gallon city and 33 highway; its combined score is just 31 mpg. Depending on a handful of variables it’ll do up to 25 miles an hour on electric power alone. Regenerative braking and automatic start-stop help bolster efficiency, but still we’d hope for more.

However, like all Subarus with the exception of their BRZ coupe the XV Crosstrek Hybrid holds one powerful trump card: all-wheel drive. For inclement weather, multiple seasons and mild off-roading this vehicle will absolutely shame the Prius v and C-Max. In fact, right near the top of its press release the company boldly proclaims that this machine’s got a whopping 8.7 inches of ground clearance. To find this information about the Toyota and Ford requires combing through their spec sheets (if you curious they’ve got 5.7 and 5.5 inches, respectively); clearly it’s not an important stat for these road-going, fair-weather hybrids.

As for cargo volume the Subaru Hybrid provides 21.5 cubic feet of space with the second-row seats in their upright position; lower the backrest and that number grows to 50.2 cubes. Up or down it’s the least commodious of this bunch.

Without question the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the most capable vehicle in this trio thanks to its generous ground clearance and all-wheel drive, the only problem is you pay for it every time you stop at a gas station. Fuel economy, arguably Kelli’s most important parameter, is a letdown.

  • MistyGreen

    Sounds to me like she’d rather go for a regular Prius or even prius c, not the v. I’d recommend the Jetta Hybrid before the prius v. I know the Civic Hybrid doesn’t really make a good business case for itself, but it’s a lot cheaper than these and may be all the car she needs.

  • Just wondering

    I have a 2013 C-Max and love it. I continue to be amazed that Ford rarely ever mentions the C-Max in any kind of advertising. Why is Ford not putting the C-Max in front of the public to better sell the car?

  • Shiratori1

    The c-max is a scam. It doesn’t get anywhere near the mpg that is advertised in the real world (which has been proven by multiple magazines on multiple occasions).

  • I went through a similar decision process earlier this year and decided on the Subaru. The seating position is a little higher, without handling like a truck, and the AWD is great to have in the snow. I see the hybrid motor as a bonus bit of power, because with gas at two bucks a gallon, it’s not going to it for itself. The car is nice and torquey on hills and the brakes are the best of any car I’ve ever driven. Highway and city range have been about equal for me, but the stop-start engine saves a bit of fuel and emissions. Despite not being a particularly fuel efficient car, it’s way better in that respect than the 2005 Accord it replaced. Don’t let the numbers alone decide this for you, try the cars yourself.