2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.6

Test drivers note that the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has sufficient power in the city and on the highway. Its handling feels stable, critics report, though they say the extra weight of its hybrid components makes it less nimble than the non-hybrid model. The 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn't offer better highway fuel economy than the non-hybrid Crosstrek, though its city fuel economy is better.

  • "Scrabbling to the river's far bank, the XV Crosstrek Hybrids in our group transformed from mere vehicles to beloved sherpas willing to do whatever was asked of them. … For what's essentially a Subaru hatchback with a lift kit and a so-so hybrid system, that inherent strength and capability should not be understated." -- Left Lane News (2014)
  • "The Subaru performs well and is no doubt more comfortable than the old Toyota or Landie." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make 160 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission, which functions like an automatic, is standard.

According to the EPA, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid gets 30/34 mpg city/highway. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets better city fuel economy than its rivals, apart from the all-new 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (34/31). However, the Crosstrek Hybrid's highway fuel economy is no better than that of the non-hybrid Crosstrek (26/34).

Auto writers say the Crosstrek Hybrid has enough power for passing slower vehicles on the highway and driving around the city. Some reviewers add that its electric motor makes the vehicle feel more responsive than the non-hybrid Crosstrek. However, others note that the Crosstrek Hybrid's extra weight cancels out any power advantage, and they complain that the Crosstrek Hybrid's fuel economy isn't much better than the non-hybrid Crosstrek's.

  • "As for the Edmunds 'C'-rated Crosstrek Hybrid, it gets 12 more horsepower and 18 more pound-feet of torque, so you might expect it to be the better driver. Unfortunately, it weighs almost 300 pounds more than the regular Crosstrek, effectively negating that extra output. You won't benefit much at the pump either, as the pricier Crosstrek Hybrid provides a mere 2 mpg advantage over the regular Crosstrek with the CVT." -- Edmunds
  • "[W]e never hesitated to pass slower traffic when we wanted, and our urban driving in Reykjavik was without incident or even any wish for more power." -- Autoblog (2014)
  • "True, the hybrid system only adds 12 horsepower (to 160) and 18 lb-ft. of torque (to 163 lb-ft.), but the torque curve is now far more accessible, giving the car a more sprightly feel. Sure, you'll need to work your way into the throttle pedal to move with real authority, but the Crosstrek Hybrid is noticeably peppier." -- Left Lane News (2014)

Handling and Braking

The non-hybrid Crosstrek earns praise for its stable handling, and reviewers say the Crosstrek Hybrid's handling is similar, though they note that it is slightly less agile due to its extra weight. Some reviewers also say the Crosstrek Hybrid is let down by its regenerative brakes, though others think they feel dependable.

  • "Since power goes to all four wheels, there's a stability to the Crosstrek rivaling the Swiss currency. Admittedly, the engine never taxes it, but the chassis has a talent that can deal with canyon roads and dirt tracks. It's controlled, composed and fairly comfortable." -- AutoTrader (non-hybrid Crosstrek)
  • While we wouldn't call it sporty, the [non-hybrid] Crosstrek can be pretty fun on dry pavement, too, thanks to a nicely tuned suspension. … The Crosstrek Hybrid is … broadly similar on pavement, but the awkward-feeling regenerative brakes are intrusive, and handling is a little less entertaining because the extra weight dulls handling in quick transitions." -- Edmunds
  • "The Crosstrek's regenerative braking system is controlled by an unusually consistent-feeling pedal. If you didn't know this was a hybrid when you hopped in, the brakes certainly wouldn't give it away." -- Car and Driver (2014)

Off-Roading

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is unusual for the class. Test drivers say the Crosstrek Hybrid performs well on uneven dirt roads and snowy pavement thanks to its high ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.

  • "The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek SUV's additional ground clearance allows it to venture over rock-strewn trails and snow-covered back roads, places no Ford Focus or VW Golf dare set foot." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Dynamically, the Crosstrek feels confident and composed on slippery roads, where its standard all-wheel drive and stability control systems make its reactions very predictable. The Crosstrek's extra ground clearance also helps it glide along snowy streets and dirt trails. … The Crosstrek Hybrid is just as capable off-road as the standard model." -- Edmunds
  • "Ground clearance is 8.7 inches, which is pretty good and comes into its own when mud and ruts replace paved roads." -- AutoTrader

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