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.
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.