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Known for its rugged terrain-capable cars sporting efficient four-cylinder engines, Subaru built its reputation on offering all-wheel drive and crossover-like ground clearance in an efficient package.
Cars like the Forrester already offer that to U.S. customers, but the brand just unveiled another off-road clearance-oriented car at the New York Auto Show.
Based on the Impreza platform, which was traditionally used to build the recently-emancipated WRX and hotter WRX STi rally cars, the XV Crosstrek offers customers who want an Outback Sport.
With an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the XV Crosstrek actually rivals many larger crossovers in off-road capability. The same 2.0-liter Boxer engine that sites in the Impreza also powers the XV Crosstrek with 148 horsepower through the standard all-wheel drive system.
Again the same as its Impreza cousin, the newest Subie translates power between the engine and wheels with a CVT that won’t be thrilling any driving enthusiasts, but offers 33 mpg on the highway.
Official pricing isn’t announced yet, but the car goes on sale later this Fall, so the details can’t be too far off. If nothing else, we’re assuming the starting price won’t be too far from the Outback Sport, which sold for a base $20,720.
GALLERY: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
With a 2.0-liter, 148-hp Boxer engine, though not the same as the company’s hotly anticipated BRZ coupe, and the underpinnings of an Impreza, the XV Crosstrek is set to arrive in the U.S. market this fall — just in time for soccer moms to make a trade in and attend their kid’s games in something new.
Despite running on the Impreza platform, the XV Crosstrek is built on a significantly modified chassis that the company says increases the car’s capability, presumably in Suby-suited conditions like winter driving.
As is common practice for the company, the car comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive and is paired with either a five-speed manual or optional CVT automatic. Manual drivers will probably appreciate that Subaru is also including hill start assistance with its manual trasmission models so the car won’t back-roll while sitting on an incline.
As we’ve previously reported, the company announced plans to run its WRX and more potent WRX STi on a different platform for the 2013 model year, allowing further separation between the family oriented Impreza and sport-spirited rally racers. While that’s good news for people interested in buying a new WRX, it also means people shouldn’t expect any of that testosterone in the altered Impreza platform which the XV Crosstrek is built on.
Still, it comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels which bridge the 8.7-inch ground clearance gap between the underbody and road, which is more than most crossovers and some SUVs.
Finally, the car comes in two trim lines: premium and limited. The latter offers a host of more luxurious features including an improved infotainment system. Other features in the premium package include power windows and door locks, which suggests that these features might not be standard on the entry-level model. That seems strange given how common those features are in today’s market.
Pricing has yet to be announced on the XV Crosstrek, but we’ll be reporting live from the New York Auto Show to bring you the latest coverage.