We drove a $38,000 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid to see if it's worth the money. Here's the verdict.

Benjamin Zhang/Business InsiderOur 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid test car.
  • The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the more popular compact crossovers on the market today.
  • Based on the compact Impreza hatchback, the Crosstrek is a tweener that straddles the compact crossover and subcompact crossover segments of the market.
  • The Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with a 152 horsepower, 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine. While the Hybrid trim gets a detuned version of 2.0-litre engine mated to a pair of electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a total system output of 148 horsepower.
  • We were impressed by our Crosstrek Hybrid test car’s fuel economy, standard safety features, and more perky acceleration. However, the Hybrid was held back by its steep price tag and limited cargo space.
  • The base 2019 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i starts at $US22,895 while the 2.0i Premium trim adds $US1,000 to the price tag. The more luxurious 2.0i Limited trim starts at $US27,195 while the top-of-the-line Hybrid starts at $US34,995. Including options and fees, our Crosstrek Hybrid came with an as-tested price of $US38,470.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the more popular compact crossovers on the market today. Based on the compact Impreza hatchback, the Crosstrek is a tweener that straddles the compact and subcompact segments of the market.

At 175.8 inches in total length, the Crosstrek is 6.7 inches longer than the subcompact Honda HR-V but 5.7 inches shorter than the compact Subaru Forester SUV.

Read more:

We drove a $US32,000 Subaru Forester that rivals the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Here are its coolest features.

Since its debut in 2013, the little Subie has developed into somewhat of a cult favourite for those in the market for a no-nonsense, fuel efficient, all-wheel-drive crossover.

With a starting price of just under $US22,000, the Crosstrek is an entry-point into Subaru’s lineup of crossover SUVs that now includes the Forester, the Outback wagon, and seven-passenger Ascent.

In 2018, Subaru rolled out a new second-generation variant of the Crosstrek. A year later, the Japanese automaker followed up with a plug-in version of the Crosstrek for the 2019 model year- the first plug-in hybrid in Subaru history.

Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid clad in a brilliant Lagoon Blue Pearl paint job.

The base 2019 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i starts at $US22,895 while the 2.0i Premium trim adds $US1,000 to the price tag. The more luxurious 2.0i Limited trim starts at $US27,195 while the top-of-the-line Hybrid starts at $US34,995.

Including options and fees, our Crosstrek Hybrid came with an as-tested price of $US38,470.

Here’s a closer look at the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid:


The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is all-new for 2019. With a starting price of $US34,995, the Hybrid trim occupies the top of the Crosstrek range.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Aesthetically, the hybrid Crosstrek is more or less identical to its conventional siblings. Only the presence of a charging port, blue headlight projector rings, silver body accents, and a few hybrid decals set it apart.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Here’s the charging port located on the left rear quarter panel.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In fact, all Crosstreks can trace its lineage back to the Subaru Impreza hatchback.

Subaru

In effect, the Crosstrek is a beefier version of the Impreza hatchback.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In many ways, the Crosstrek is to the Impreza what the Subaru Outback is to the Legacy wagon.

Subaru

The Crosstrek’s styling is punctuated by increased ride height, a pronounced front overhang, and aggressive body cladding.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The rear of the Crosstrek features short overhangs, a roof spoiler, and lower body cladding.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Crosstrek also delivers a stout 8.7 inches of ground clearance, same as the larger Forester SUV.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Crosstrek Hybrid also comes with these funky 18-inches wheels.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Crosstrek’s interior is virtually identical to the Impreza hatchback on which it is based. In fact, it will instantly feel familiar to anyone who’s been in a Subaru.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Since the Hybrid occupies the highest echelon of the Crosstrek lineup, our test came with contrasting blue and grey leather along with blue accent panels.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Much like the other Subaru’s we’ve tested recently, the material quality is impressive. The leathers and plastics used may not have been the softest or the most refined, but they all gave you feeling that it was built to survive the rigors of life.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

In front of the driver is a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for everything from the audio system to the drive mode selector. The buttons are clearly labelled and thoughtfully placed.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Crosstrek Hybrid features a simple but useful gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch digital information screen flanked by a pair of analogue gauges.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Crosstrek, like the Forester and Ascent, features not one, but two infotainment screen.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Our tester came with an eight-inch touchscreen running Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system. Lower trim levels come standard with a 6.5-inch unit. Starlink has become one of our favourite mass market infotainment systems. Its simple, no-nonsense design and high feature content really impressed us.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The system features a built-in navigation system, a slew of media sources, satellite radio, as well as Pandora and Aha app integration.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Starlink also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s also home to the Crosstrek’s rear view camera.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The secondary display, which is controlled using the “Info” button on the left side of the steering wheel, is just as useful. It offers readouts of the vehicles trip computer, radio,…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… secondary gauges, …

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… navigation,…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

…weather information,…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… hybrid drive system status, and…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… the status of the Crosstrek’s various advanced safety systems.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Speaking of safety systems, all Crosstreks come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suites of driver’s assistance technology that includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. The system, which uses a pair of cameras located on either side of the rear-view mirror, worked really well and is a major selling point for Subaru.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Our test car also came with blind spot detection with lane change assist along with rear cross traffic alert.


The second row is where the Crosstrek’s compact hatchback roots really become evident. With 37.4 inches of headroom and 36.7 inches of legroom, it’s significantly less roomy than taller crossover SUVs.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

With that said, the rear cabin will fit two full-size adults and the seats are fairly comfortable.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

An optional moonroof helps bring added light into the cabin, but we do wish the Crosstrek could be had with the Forester’s panoramic glass roof.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Open up the rear liftgate and…

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

… you’ll find an unimpressive 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That’s down from the 20.8 cubic feet found on other Crosstreks due to the presence of the lithium-ion battery pack. Fold down the rear seats, and the Hybrid’s cargo capacity increases to 43.1 cubic feet.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

That space is further reduced by the charging cable.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

There is a small storage nook in under the main cargo floor.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Most Crosstreks are powered by a 152 horsepower, 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets a detuned version of the engine with 137 horsepower that mated with two electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The total system output of the hybrid is 148 horsepower.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The hybrid drive system features two electric motors. One is used as a starter motor and as a generator to recharge batteries. The other helps powers the car itself while providing charge for the battery pack during regenerative braking.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

All Crosstrek Hybrids are equipped with a continuously variable transmission sending power to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Non-hybrid Crosstreks can be had with a six-speed manual transmission.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The 8.8 kWh battery pack can be fully charged in two hours using a 240V plug or five hours using a 120V plug. According to Subaru, the Hybrid can drive 17 miles using only electricity and up to 480 miles in hybrid mode.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

So how does it drive?

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s also not painfully slow.

One of the great complaints people have about the of Subaru Crosstrek has long been its tepid acceleration. With just 152 horsepower under the hood, the Crosstrek is decidedly underpowered.

The addition of the hybrid drive system dramatically improves the Crosstrek’s performance in spite of the 500-pound weight penalty. Even though the Hybrid has less horsepower at 148 ponies, the added torque from the electric motor allows it to enthusiastically bolt off the line.

With that said, the Crosstrek Hybrid is still not far from quick. Rather it’s just no longer infuriatingly languid.

According to Motor Trend, the Crosstrek Hybrid clocked in with a respectable 0-60 MPH run of 8.3 seconds, a marked improvement over the 9.8-second run posted by the non-hybrid variant.

Apart from the acceleration, the Crosstrek proved to be confident and capable in most driving conditions.

The Hybrid also returned sold fuel economy at 42MPG in mixed city and highway driving.


The verdict.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Subaru Crosstrek is a really likable and capable little crossover. With the addition of the hybrid drive system, the Crosstrek is now more efficient and significantly more peppy to drive.

As always, we came away impressed by Subaru’s build quality and its standard EyeSight suite of drivers assistance features. However, the hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack reduces Crosstrek’s cargo capacity by 5 cubic feet.

Further, with a starting price of around $US35,000 and an as-tested price of more than $US38,000, you’re really paying a premium for the hybrid drive system.

At the end of the day, if you’re really into the Subaru Crosstrek and you really like the fuel economy and you’re willing to part with nearly $US40,000 to get it, then, by all means, go for the Crosstrek Hybrid.

If the price is too steep, go with the regular Crosstrek and live with the mediocre acceleration. Or better yet, get a Subaru Forester which offers more utility at a similar price point.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.