2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in: Heartbreak in Colorado, Rejoicing in Vermont

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2019 subaru crosstrek plug in heartbreak in colorado rejoicing in vermont

Specialty green models don’t normally end up in lots across the country, at least not initially, and the upcoming Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid is no different.

The resurrected green variant of the wildly popular Crosstrek, which bit the dust following slow sales in 2016, appears late this year as a 2019 model, only this time with real all-electric range and a corresponding plug. It’s a model born of the automaker’s partnership with Toyota, and the Crosstrek PHEV borrows powertrain components from the plug-in Prius Prime. (Whether it’s a direct carryover remains to be seen.)

As your author noted on Twitter the other day, this model seems tailor made to become the darling of hip, achingly progressive enclaves everywhere. While that could one day be the case, four-fifths of U.S. states won’t see the model upon its roll-out.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette (via Torque News), only California and the nine other states that signed on to its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate stand to get the Crosstrek PHEV. Interested would-be buyers in the majestic, Subaru-friendly state of Colorado are reportedly dismayed to learn their local dealer won’t stock them.

Will Toor, transportation program director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project — an organization devoted to improving energy efficiency in a six-state region — isn’t pleased.

“Despite the fact that Colorado has some of the strongest consumer demand for electric vehicles, most car manufacturers don’t sell all their electric models here,” Toor said. “States that have adopted zero emission standard get up to three times as many models. The new plug-in hybrid Subaru Crosstrek is a great example.”

No ZEV law, no Crosstrek plug-in. That’s what Subaru meant when it described the model’s “limited availability.” It’s still better than BEVs like the Honda Clarity and Hyundai Ioniq, which, for now, only reside in California (or in the case of the Clarity EV, California and Oregon.)

Buyers in many other states, however, will get their wish. They include California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Surely, demand will be fierce in Portland and Burlington. You’re out of luck if you live north of the border, though Subaru Canada claims its parent corp. is considering introducing it outside of the U.S., Autotrader reports.

A full list of specs and pricing will arrive closer to the lifted hatchback’s on-sale date.

[Image: Subaru]

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2 of 6 comments
  • Night driver Night driver on May 22, 2018

    @derekson - the first compliance PHEV was the Prius Plug-in, which sold from 2012 to 2015. The current Prius PHEV, the Prime, is sold in all 50 states and Canada.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on May 22, 2018

    Sheesh, just buy an Outlander PHEV, and get more cargo room for the hemp wares.

  • MaintenanceCosts I saw my first IS500 out in the wild today (a dark-grey-on-black example) and it struck me that it was much more AMG-like than this product. (Great-looking and -sounding car.)
  • ToolGuy https://youtu.be/Jd0io1zktqI
  • Art Vandelay Props for trying something different. EVs should work well in this sort of race. The similar series running ICE run short distances like that
  • ToolGuy Well they wet the track down using sea water - from the South Pacific Ocean. Oceans may have a large amount of water, but it isn't infinite, is it? No, it isn't. So if this sport really takes off, what will happen when the ocean is drained? (And once you put the water on the dirt, how does it ever get back to the ocean?)
  • Bobbysirhan Some friends of mine were dazzled by a CUE demo that circulated on YouTube before this car reached the market. I was bewildered why anyone wanted a car as durable and dependable as their cellphones, but to each their own. One of them did actually show up with an XTS V-sport when the car first came out. He showed people CUE in my driveway, but I don't recall him offering demonstration rides to the assembled imported luxury car drivers. In the months that followed, I never saw or heard about the Cadillac again. He went back to driving his Yukon Denali until I moved away a year or two later.