By on November 19, 2015

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If an “XV” drops off a rear liftgate in the woods of Colorado, Oregon or New England and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Even if you’re in a bright blue 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, apparently not. Last month, Subaru announced it’s slightly different Crosstrek — complete with new front bumper, grille and headlights — and many people didn’t notice the XV is now gone. The car gets the same Series.HyperBlue treatment as the BRZ and WRX et al., and blind-spot detection.

(Oh, and you can probably still get a screaming deal on a Hybrid Crosstrek.)

16TDI_CROac004

Despite not having the XV name anymore, the Crosstrek still sports 8.7 inches of ground clearance and enough room for a handful of Bernie Sanders posters.

The same 2-liter, 148-horsepower boxer four lives under the hood and is married to a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission.

Fact: 148 horsepower isn’t a lot.

Also fact: 148 horsepower moved 1,500 pounds of gear over 11,000 feet. 

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38 Comments on “Subaru Dropped The ‘XV’ From Its 2016 Crosstrek Because You Did Anyway...”


  • avatar
    blackEldo

    B9 Tribeca, anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Not nearly as ugly as the original B9. It makes this car look like a Ferrari by comparison.

      I hear Subaru is planning another 7 seat crossover. Maybe they will lay off the ugly for their next attempt.

      For how ugly the first one was, the facelift was so terribly bland, it made a Ford Freestyle look like a Range Rover Sport by comparison. It didnt help at all.

      “Okay guys, the first one was offensive and hated by auto jurnos and car buyers alike, so now, we need one that will offend NOBODY. I want people to see right through this thing, it needs to have the personality and sexyness of a brick wall.”

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Not sure what you mean. Subaru flogs about 7,000 Crosstreks each month in the US. Or are you just commenting on the useless B9 part of the nametag?

      At least Subara takes the time to give its vehicles an actual name, the exception proving the rule being the WRX/STI.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I was in Washington State a few years ago when the I-5 bridge collapse occured. I had no trouble figuring out that one of the victoms was purched upon a Crosstreck in the water. The just-visable wheels were a dead give away.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      What do you think when those little squiggly red lines appear under words you’ve typed in the comment box?

      I’ve got blue/green colorblindness and am wondering if several here have the red variety.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wife had a 2015 as a service loaner. I would not call it a penalty box on wheels, but build quality (gaps, seams) was pretty bad and interior plastics were cheap. The CVT transmission felt outright weird.

    We were not impressed.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Well, the Impreza is just as bad being the same body. Noisy, cheap and underpowered about sums up both the Crosstrek and Impreza. And they sell well adding up to 150,000 per year between them.

      Ever since my sister-in-law after a test drive asked the nonplussed Subaru salesman how on earth they sold any at all, and my week in a loaner Impreza, I have assumed most new owners just never road tested the alternatives. SIL bought a CX-5.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        I replaced my 2011 STI with a 2013 Impreza CVT, so I definitely noticed the performance… issues.

        But with some practice you learn to milk acceptable performance out of the under-powered engine and the CVT. It’s never going to be ‘sporty’, but it will be a reliable AWD car that looks OK and performs OK and can fit a mountain-bike in the back for not very much money. And has good resale value.

        Heck, I had a few fun track days on it, before replacing it with a BRZ in which I have a bunch more fun track days.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’ve logged about a hundred miles in a 2015 Impreza, I wouldn’t call it noisy at all. The CVT didn’t bother me, although when climbing hills with 5 adults on board it took a little coaxing to maintain speed. Slow, yep. The interior didn’t seem cheap compared my xB but…yeah, that’s setting the bar pretty low.

    • 0 avatar
      oleladycarnut

      It’s hard to imagine how the CVT transmission felt downright weird. Also, the gaps/seams and interior plastics being cheap doesn’t match the interior of my Crosstrek.

      Regardless of the snide comments thrown out on this thread, Subaru is selling these Crosstrek hand over fist up here in the PNW. It’s got all the boxes checked for an affordable, reliable and easy to handle AWD for our hills, rain and mountain passes.

    • 0 avatar
      jimble

      Maybe the CVT is better suited to the torque curve on the hybrid, because I’ve never found it weird on my Crosstrek hybrid. The engine and transmission are definitely noisy during hard acceleration, but when you own one you learn pretty quickly that they are not meant for that kind of driving and you learn to take it easy. Whether you want to or not.

      Subaru interiors seem generally simpler than a lot of the competition — not a lot of buttons or overwrought details. That’s fine by me but I can see why some people mind find them plain and cheap instead of straightforward and restrained.

  • avatar
    bertvl

    I have one (2015 XV Crosstrek), I’ve only done 13000km, and we’re still waiting for the snow here in Quebec (but the winter tires are installed) so I haven’t tested its all-weather capability, but I have high hopes.

    Is it underpowered? Well, it would certainly be nice to have more power, it is noticeable when accelerating uphill, but overall it is difficult to say it is not “fast enough” for a daily commuter. I wouldn’t swap the excellent fuel economy for more power.

    I drove a Mazda before, but I needed AWD, the CX5 was too big, too expensive and too thirsty, the CX3 was too small, and Subaru has the best AWD in the business. The CVT is excellent, surprisingly, and much better than the 5-speed manual.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “Subaru has the best AWD in the business”

      After reading hundreds of similar sentiments here I’ve started to second-guess my once adamant opinion that AWD is not necessary in flatland snow states.

      I *know* I’ve never once in 45 year of snow driving said to myself “Christ, I need 4WD!” but the steady drumbeat of owners’ comments and fear-based advertising has had its effect.

      I feel I’ve been Daleked over this… “I OBEEEYYY!”

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Second guess your second-guessing – you were ahead of the curve:

        See “Do you really need all-wheel drive? | Consumer Reports: at Youtube.

        and

        Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #79: All-Wheel-Drive: What Is It Good For? | Consumer Reports

        As always, tires are more important and AWD can actually promote dangerous overconfidence since many/most don’t understand the limitations AWD has in handling, stopping and cornering w/o proper winter tires in snow and ice.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          Whether or not you need AWD kinda depends on your particular circumstances and your ability to determine such but regardless, in slippery conditions, AWD with winter tires is more capable than RWD/FWD with winter tires.

          If I’m in enough situations that require me to be out in the nasty stuff, I want the most capable system.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “AWD with winter tires is more capable than RWD/FWD with winter tires.”

            I don’t disagree but like tracked-vehicle capability I still don’t think I need it around here long as I gots my Blizzaks.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            If you live in a hilly place that gets a decent amount of snow, once you try AWD+ snow tires, there’s no going back. I know this sounds like one of those “back in my day” stories, but I really did grow up helping to push my family’s Civic Wagon on bald-ass all seasons up a slushy hill. I was about 9-10 years old, my dad would have my brother take the wheel and then my dad and I would push it. My dad was a notorious scrooge and as long as he could finangle the state inspection every year he’d never replace tires as long as they held air. Once we were a bit more established we tried out dedicated snow tires on our MPV and that was that. Total control, much less stressful to brake down hill, let alone climbing them (which the MPV did fine even with all seasons, but braking was an issue). We put some on his Fit as well, and that thing will churn right up that same hill that we grew up loathing in the winter. So FWD with snow tires is a massive improvement, and better at braking down hill than an AWD car on all seasons. But boy AWD and snow tires is like a god-mode cheat code.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “Subaru has the best AWD in the business”

        I have owned a Subaru.
        I have owned an A8.
        I own an M35x.

        Thus far, the M is narrowly pipping the A8 for “kick @ss in snow” characteristics. The reason why it’s winning is because it will let you have more control over how much power you’re putting down in slippy conditions. Audi thinks it knows better because of zee German control issues.

        The Subaru was OK I suppose, but I really think these days the other two do it better.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Subsru “symetrical” is an entirely different beast than the FWD with electric clutch that throws the rear end around with a bang version. Both say Subaru on the body panels, but driving one doesn’t mean you know the other. Your vehicle history is pretty specific on the Audi and Infinity, but goes completely vague on the Subaru. Maybe you know you’re being misleading?

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        I will never understand why every seemingly enthusiast dominated group will sing praise to every last iota of acceleration, speed, and grip, unless some of it comes from AWD, in which case it’s “unnecessary”. Why is better not desirable in this one instance?

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      “The CVT is excellent, surprisingly, and much better than the 5-speed manual.”

      Really? I’ve driven the Imprezza with the CVT, and it was dreadful. I’d heard that the 5 speed was better, but it wasn’t a great manual.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    We have a 2012 Impreza, and it does what it was designed to do. Haul me, the wife, the dog and our luggage in any weather cheaply. Best seats of any base compact car we tested. Best steering too. Cant have your cake and eat it too. But then I dont race Civic SI’s. 36 mpg on the trips to Vermont, AWD, and nothing but oil changes for 50k. We would buy another in a heartbeat. 148 hp or not. As for AWD, come to Vermont. 4 drive wheels beats 2 drive wheels any day, thats not marketing. Unless the cars I pass every winter on the side of the road are aberrations.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Best seats of any base compact car we tested.”

      Are you very short statured? Subaru’s short seat cushions really kill it for me. The latest Outbacks finally address the cushion length issue, but now how obnoxiously shaped lumbar support. I know that everyone is different, but for larger (taller, broad shouldered) people, my ’12 Civic’s seats are fantastic. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on a new Outback, and have preemptively researched peoples’ solution to the awful lumber support. They unzip the seat and pull the actual plastic piece that forms the support and that supposedly helps a lot.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    I just had my first experience with one of these as a rental in the bay area for 3 days. It had ~8K on the odometer. It wasn’t a terrible car, it just wasn’t really memorable in a good way either. Throttle tip in was crazy aggressive for how out of breath it felt up top. The horn beep when alarmed was comically loud (like ‘holy sh$t my ears!’ if you are right in front of it). It did have a really nice cubbyhole in a good spot for cell phone navigation. Brakes were weak. Nothing to write home about dynamically. Still, I can see why they sell. If you need AWD and want decent ground clearance but don’t like the look of the Forester, Subaru still has you covered.

  • avatar
    vaportrail

    Drove the CVT and a 5 speed. I want to love the Crosstrek but it needs 200HP, at least. The look grows on me even years later.

    I ended up with one of the last WRX wagons made, as boy racer as it is (I’m 40).

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      148 is fine. It’s way more than adequate. The CVT is the way to go vs a 5-speed. I’ve brought up multiple times to some higher ups that come to conferences/training that they need to throw the turbo in the Crosstrek as an XT model, like the Forester. It’s really a no brainer…and they’d sell out…just like all other Subarus.

  • avatar
    EAF

    Not a terrible vehicle if AWD is a necessity. Just remember to top off the oil sump every 1,000 miles. Definitely have the short block replaced before the warranty expires. If you’re lucky the lineartronic will survive to 100k and climb 4″ curbs.

    POS car POS manufacturer. :-P

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I think these are really cool because they hit the niche formerly occupied by the old Civic Wagovan RT4wds and Tercel 4wds, compact cars with some very respectable rough-road ability. Yes they’re underpowered, Subaru should have considered putting the 2.5L NA motor in these as in previous Imprezas as an optional motor perhaps, or the Forester XT’s 2/0L turbo. But then again an old Tercel had 62hp. These cars sell exactly where the old Wagovans, Tercel 4wds, and Loyales used to (PNW, Colorado, I see them all over my old hometown of Ithaca NY)

    Random fun fact: both the RT4wd Wagovan and the Tercel 4wd had solid rear axles, despite being front-wheel drive based platforms. A really interesting engineering solution, one which allows for unheard of articulation for a vehicle of this class. To achieve acceptable torque manipulation and true ‘crawlability’ both cars have 6spd manual transmissions where there is a “super low” gear below 1st which you don’t use in normal street-starts, but only when navigating off road. If I found a rust-free example of either one of these vehicles I’d feel obligated to buy it on the spot.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    From what I can tell, it’s Crosstrek in Canada and the US, XV everywhere else in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Well then I’ll content myself with being happy that it has a real “name” here in the states like vehicles ought to have.

      Personally I’d much rather have an Impreza Sport Premium with manual trans than a Crosstrek of any stripe but hey I know: “Sells cause its a CUV.”

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    I love Crosstreks….sold a ton of ’em. Crosstreks, Outbacks, and Foresters…love ’em all. I especially love me some Hybrid Crosstreks with a little extra cheddar thrown in from Subaru.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    I’m 5 foot 7. The seat was worlds better than the Corolla seat.The throttle tip in is noticeable though. Our doesnt burn oil fortunately. Still, I mix the recommended 0w20 with 5w30 50/50. The manufacturers have gotten nuts with oil weight trying to gain the last 1/2 horsepower.

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