by Zach McDonald |

We’ve known for some time that Subaru’s first hybrid offering was headed to market for 2014—the only question was which existing model it would be built around. The carmaker did an admirable job keeping that secret until last week, when it unveiled the XV Crosstrek Hybrid at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.


The car is a more efficient, more powerful version of Subaru’s popular XV Crosstrek, which debuted last year and is a crossover based upon the Impreza sedan platform. The non-hybrid XV already boasts impressive efficiency on its own—25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway—and while Subaru has yet to announce official numbers for the hybrid, it’s said to net a mild improvement of about 10 percent in overall fuel economy.

So why bother with building a mild hybrid version of the XV Crosstrek? The answer lies in the crossover’s blend of improved performance and fuel economy. Rather than thinking about the Crosstrek Hybrid as a strictly green upgrade over the standard XV, think of it as replacing a 2.5-liter performance version of the car. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s 13.4-horsepower electric motor improves acceleration and torque without necessitating a larger engine, and even provides sufficient power to drive the car on its own at speeds up to 25 mph.

The car fares significantly better in the city than its non-hybrid brethren, making it far more suited for use as an every day grocery hauler in addition to a weekend getaway finder. Oh, and it just so happens that the XV Hybrid will be the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover on the market when it comes out later this year, besting the Lexus 450h by about 2 mpg in overall fuel economy.

Pricing for the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid hasn’t yet been announced, but Subaru plans to begin making deliveries of the car in the fourth quarter of 2013.