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2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Performance Review


Performance: 6.9

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has mediocre overall performance, with mostly adequate engine power and so-so handling. It gets great fuel economy for a plug-in hybrid SUV, and it has decent off-road chops.

  • "Certainly in city situations, and often on the open highway, the Crosstrek Hybrid presents itself well. In urban use -- certainly the subcompact's specialty -- getting around town is easy, and the Subaru's size gets it extra parking points every time." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The plug-in powertrain doesn't hinder any of the Crosstrek's off-road ability, as this electrified version retains the standard model's generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance. … Instant electric torque is remarkably satisfying off-road. Over larger obstacles that call for heavier throttle, the 2.0-liter, flat-four-cylinder gasoline engine will kick in, but it never needs to rev high to deliver torque because the electric motors have that covered all the way from 0 rpm. As a result, the PHEV system makes the Crosstrek Hybrid feel more confident off-road than its conventional counterpart." -- CNET
  • Low-end torque makes it feel peppy off the line — and poking the SI-Drive button into its sportier setting makes it feel even sharper — but you realize it's not a quick car when you accelerate to highway speeds, which isn't unusual for PHEVs packing that extra battery weight. It seems sluggish climbing to 60 miles per hour, but at 9.3 seconds but actually a second quicker from 0-60 than the standard Crosstrek. For most of the time we drove it, regardless of speed, we didn't notice a lack of power unless we were doing a high-speed passing maneuver or accelerating uphill." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid features a 2.0-liter flat-four engine and two electric motors that produce a total of 148 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets a combined 90 MPGe city/highway and has an all-electric range of 17 miles. It charges in about 5 hours from a standard 120-volt household outlet and in about 2 hours from a 240-volt outlet.

The Crosstrek Hybrid feels fairly peppy off the line and generally performs OK at highway speeds. However, you may notice some sluggishness when trying to pass other cars or maintain speed on uphill stretches.

  • Out of the parking lot the Crosstrek Hybrid didn’t feel like what you’d call a rocket. Subaru says it’ll get to 60 in 9.3 seconds, which in today’s market is the equivalent of same-day service. Indeed, the Hybrid weighs 569 pounds more than the non-hybrid Crosstrek. So it weighs more and has less power to move itself around. … Back on the pavement, the flat four was just a little harsh in terms of NVH. It's just not as smooth and quiet as competitive engines from Toyota and Honda, for instance, though it generally feels like it has better low-end torque." -- Autoweek
  • With 148 horsepower of total system output and the instant 149 pound-feet of torque from just the electric motor, its acceleration is nothing to write home about. To the Crosstrek Hybrid's credit, though, it's about a second quicker to 60 miles per hour than its gasoline-only counterpart, which takes about 10 seconds to get to 60." -- CNET
  • Not that anyone would campaign 9.3 seconds to 60 as quick, it is however notable that the new Crosstrek Hybrid weighs around 500 pounds more than the non-hybrid and still beats it across the finish line. In fact, Subaru worked overtime to try to get the Crosstrek Hybrid's mass down a level that would be more manageable for the moderately powered hybrid's propulsion system. … Moving onto the highway mixes up the bag a bit, and while although the little SUV doesn't fly up the freeway onramp, it does move itself up to cruising speed with grace, if not grandeur. And anybody who expects their subcompact crossover SUV to be a rocket is missing the point." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive. Critics disagree about this SUV's handling, with some thinking that it feels sporty but others noting that the steering lacks feedback. Ride quality is mostly smooth, and the hybrid regenerative brakes function smoothly, which isn't always the case with hybrids. This Subaru is also a fairly decent off-roader.

  • "On pavement, it's a calm, comfortable, predictable ride." -- Autoblog
  • "Out and about on the various types of roads, the steering even feels a little sporty at times." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Elevated speeds uncover a lack of directness in the steering. I often have to dial in some mid-curve corrections to track an accurate line. It's also unfortunate that the steering lacks even a whisper of feedback. In tighter sections of road, however, where my inputs are more deliberate, the steering's lack of precision and feel is less of an issue as the Crosstrek Hybrid's slightly stiffer chassis starts to take center stage. … the Crosstrek Hybrid exhibits minimal body roll while offering the type of ride that keeps bumpiness at bay. If you're traveling over a rutted section of tarmac, you know it's there, but it never seems to upset the Crosstrek or your spine. … Under braking, it's mostly the regen -- not the brake pads -- slowing you down. Some hybrids exhibit touchiness with their regenerative braking, but the plug-in Crosstrek has next-to-seamless stopping feel regardless of pedal pressure." -- CNET
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2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

MSRP: $34,995

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