2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek gets a head start on its mall running duties

March 22, 2012

Completing the transformation from wagon builder to SUV maker, Subaru revealed the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek today, more than a week before showing it in the metal at the New York International Auto Show. Its selling points: Fuel efficiency, and that Subaru quirkiness.

Based on the bones of the Impreza and its 2-liter four-cylinder engine, the XV Crosstrek fits much in the mold set by the Mazda CX-5, new Honda CR-V and all-new Ford Escape in what's turned into a bumper crop of midsized SUVs with fuel economy as their most important design goal. The Subaru XV vows to get best-in-class figures of 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, thanks to an optional continuously variable transmission that can be faked to shift like a regular automatic with steering wheel paddles. It's like wearing a sneaker painted to look like a dress shoe.

Aside from the standard list of tech goods, the only other remarkable thing about the XV Crosstrek is just how high Subaru raised it, giving the XV 8.7 inches of ground clearance, tall by SUV standards. The XV will as likely go off-road as it will help its owners survive a zombie attack at the mall, but it's still reassuring to know what's possible.