2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Style

While billed as a crossover, the Crosstrek Hybrid is more of a beefy, wagon-like hatchback. It’s hard to pinpoint the specific design elements that make Subaru’s design language so appealing to outdoorsy motorists. There’s a mystique about the combination of a high-riding, upfront stance, signature wheel style, and Subaru’s distinct fascia with its hexagon-shaped grille.

You get the same adventure-oriented effect in the Crosstrek Hybrid looks, which is nearly identical to the standard Crosstrek. The only distinctions are the “plug-in hybrid” badges and the extra fuel door on the rear quarter panel—the vehicle’s charging port. The Crosstrek Hybrid also features additional silver trim, model-specific 18-inch wheels, and a so-called Lagoon Blue Pearl color choice only available for the plug-in variant. The interior’s standard Navy Leather with blue stitching and trim is an attractive package.

The hybrid is the highest-spec trim in the Crosstrek lineup. It provides standard leather seats, power driver’s seat, Subaru’s high-grade instrument cluster, and an eight-inch multimedia display.

With its telltale brand persona and a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, the Crosstrek has a style that’s more rugged than any other electric vehicle below $40,000. The one except is arguably the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.

Performance

With its extra ground clearance and modestly powered drivetrain, the Crosstrek Hybrid’s performance is less about brisk acceleration and more about handling light off-road duties.

The plug-in Crosstrek has a total system output of 148 horsepower. Despite it being slightly less potent than the standard Crosstrek—and carrying an additional 500 pounds--the Crosstrek Hybrid is faster off the line. Thanks to its 118-horsepower electric motor, which provides 149 feet-pound of torque, the plug-in crossover reaches 60 miles per hour in just over 8 seconds.

The Crosstrek Hybrid is easy to maneuver on city streets and has a composed ride quality even over bumps and rough pavement. Subaru’s time-tested all-wheel-drive system is capable is augmented by a hill-descent control and a dedicated X-Mode off-road setup. This plug-in hybrid is a good candidate for drivers wanting a sure-footed vehicle in winter conditions.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

These advantages aside, the Crosstrek Hybrid’s performance should not be considered engaging. Steering feedback is minimal. The continuously variable transmission and the hybrid regenerative brake system is smooth.

But when pressed for extra oomph on the highway, the otherwise quiet Crosstrek Hybrid can show signs of struggle. Reviewers have described noise from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as an “unrefined growl” and a “pronounced drone.”

If you have energy in the EV battery, you’ll get the benefits of fluid electric drive—at least, at speeds up to about 20 miles per hour and while on urban streets and windy roads. The Crosstrek Hybrid works like most conventional hybrids that seamlessly switch between gas and electric power with the goal of maximum efficiency.

Switching to Sport mode increases throttle response, but you should expect to rely more heavily on gasoline. Above 65 miles per hour, the Subaru is strictly internal combustion.

There’s no mode or button for pure EV driving. However, drivers have the option to retain battery charge for later use and to burn some gasoline to recharge as you drive.

The Crosstrek Hybrid has a towing capacity of 1,000 pounds, which is only surpassed among affordable plug-in hybrids by the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.

Efficiency/Range

The 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid officially delivers 17 miles of all-electric driving, although many drivers and reviewers can achieve 20 miles or more with careful driving. After its 8.8 kilowatt-hour EV battery is depleted, the crossover delivers a respectable city/highway estimated efficiency of 35 miles per gallon. That’s a nice bump up from the standard model’s 25 and 29 mpg respectively for the manual and automatic versions.

A mere 17 miles of EV range might not sound like much, compared to the 48-mile Honda Clarity—or the electric range in the mid- to high-20s from the Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro, and Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. But those vehicles are not all-wheel-drive.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, also an all-wheel-drive vehicle, uses a 12-kWh battery pack to provide 22 miles of all-electric range.

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid provides a total electric-plug-gas driving range of 480 miles, thanks to its 13.2-gallon gas tank.

Charging

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

With a 240-volt, Level 2 home EV charger, you can fully refill the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid’s battery in about two hours. If you can access a Level 2 charger during the day, most daily commutes would run purely on electricity.

If you are strictly charging at home at night, there’s a strong argument for not installing a Level 2 charger at home. Instead, use trickle-charging via a household 120-volt outlet to completely refill an empty battery in about seven hours.

Passenger/Cargo Room

The Crosstrek’s five-seat platform gets high praise for comfort, excellent visibility, and a spacious cabin. With its relatively high position, it’s easy to get in and out. The front seats, while not the most supportive, offer decent comfort. The back seat’s 36.5 inches of legroom is roomier than most other vehicles in the class.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru’s interior layout is user-friendly. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets the automaker’s Starlink infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Menus in the 8.0-inch touchscreen are intuitive. There are analog controls for audio and climate.

Unfortunately, the hybrid version’s battery pack takes up valuable room., reducing the total cargo volume from 21 cubic feet in the standard Crosstrek to 16 cubes in the plug-in hybrid. With the rear seats folded down, you lose 12 cubic feet—bringing the hybrid’s capacity down to 43 cubic feet.

The Prius Prime offers 19.8 cubic feet of cargo but doesn’t have folding rear seats. Competing plug-in hybrid models, such as the Kia Niro and Mitsubishi Outlander have more space with seats up or down.

The all-new 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid comes loaded with creature comforts, such as automatic climate control, proximity key entry, push-button start, and two USB ports. We appreciate the option of a moon roof. Other add-ons include navigation and premium audio.

Safety

The 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with Subaru’s driver-assist technology, featuring forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Blind-spot warning, pedestrian alerts, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high beams are also included.

The hybrid version of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The standard model received high marks, including a Top Safety Pick+ rating from IIHS and an overall five-star rating from NHTSA.

Price

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has a starting price of $35,970 with destination fees. The hybrid is based on the top-of-the-line Limited model, which costs nearly $28,00 for the non-hybrid variant.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

A $4,500 federal tax credit compensates most of the difference in price. State incentives, such as the $1,500 plug-in hybrid rebate offered in California, could virtually eliminate the premium for the plug-in hybrid.

The single upgrade option is a $2,500 package that brings a power sunroof, a heated steering wheel, voice-activated navigation, and a Harman/Kardon eight-speaker stereo.

The Crosstrek hybrid can be ordered throughout the United States—although getting service for the plug-in battery could be tricky in some locations. Dealership inventory and full service are available in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid specifications

Availability: Now
Base MSRP: $35000
Est. tax credit: $4500
Technology: Plug-in Hybrid
Body type: SUV
Seats: 5
EPA Range: 17 miles electric + gasoline
Battery size: 9 kWh
Charging rate: 3.3 kW

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