2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Drivers’ Notes Review

When we had the opportunity to try the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid on the rocky, dusty trails above Santa Monica, it had us excited to try it on our crumbling Michigan roads.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Luckily, the arrival of Subaru’s first plug-in vehicle to the office coincided with a powerful snowstorm followed by subzero temperatures, and then some serious freezing rain to cap off our week with it. Perfect Subaru weather.

The new Crosstrek Hybrid may share a nameplate with the discontinued conventional hybrid, but this one features a plug-in hybrid powertrain borrowing technology from Toyota. It features two electric motors — one to propel the vehicle, the other acting as a starter/generator. Together with its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine, this PHEV gets a combined 148 horsepower, and is actually a full second quicker from 0-60 than the ICE-only Crosstrek. With an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, it offers a modest 17 miles of all-electric driving, but an overall range of 480 miles.

As expected, the Crosstrek is solid in the snow and ice. I had no trouble navigating the messy roads when much of the rest of the world was snowed in. The infotainment is smart. It’s part of a $2,500 option that also adds the moonroof and heated steering wheel. It’s worth it. I already like the Crosstrek. If it were my money, I’d go for hybrid variant.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: A night and a morning in the Crosstrek Hybrid on Michigan roads only confirms what I decided when I drove it in California two months ago: I dig this car. It’s quiet, it’s economical, it’s capable, it’s good-looking. There are only two downsides that I see.

The Subaru’s price tag also puts it in competition with efficiency heavyweights, the Clarity PHEV and Volt. The Clarity starts at $34,320 before incentives, and it will go 48 miles on a charge while getting 42 mpg when switching to gas. The Volt starts at $34,395 before incentives and will go 53 miles on electricity with the same gasoline economy as the Honda. Both are quite refined, too.

Even so, for its well-rounded nature and styling that anyone can love, the Crosstrek is well worth consideration. Plus, it’s the only vehicle of those I mentioned to have all-wheel drive. So if that’s a necessity, you’ve found your option, and it’s a nice one.

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