First Drive: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid [w/video]

Filed under: Hybrid, Hatchback, Subaru, First Drives, Off-Road

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

The butler announcing arriving guests to the hybrid party has just called Subaru’s name, at long last. The XV Crosstrek wasn’t even supposed to come to the US, but the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid endows it with a suit tailored for our regulatory dress code, adding all that weighty battery goodness to the Impreza-turned-compact-crossover.

Subaru didn’t want to say why it sent the XV Crosstrek to the hybrid party first, but the original car itself was an opportunistic play for the European market that has worked out surprisingly well over there and over here. In areas represented by the American flag it’s doing about 4,000 sales per month and on pace to hit 50,000 units for all of 2013; that’s just another happy chapter in Subaru’s generally awesome year that sees it outpacing Volkswagen through the end of October, 347,890 units to 342,962.

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the opportunistic play for the 25 percent of Subaru buyers that will be looking for a hybrid as their next vehicle, so sayeth Subaru, and for those outside the fold who are determined to include the word “hybrid” in their purchase but also want some extra ride height, space and all-wheel drive.

After heading to Iceland to give it a workout, what we can tell you is that it certainly is a hybrid and it is also, certainly, a Subaru. What we can’t tell you yet – and we’ll explain why not below – is that it makes perfect sense beyond the dictates of market research and the oft-used alibi, ‘the government made us do it’ (our words, not Subaru’s).

What we also know is that if someone tells you there’s only a 10-percent chance of snow on your hinterland, trans-volcanic drive route, pack a parka and a lunch.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Nov 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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