The Crosstrek Hybrid is Subaru’s first plug-in hybrid and its powertrain combines a 2.0-liter boxer engine with a couple of electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.
It has a total output of 148 horsepower and can travel for up to 17 miles (27 km) on electricity alone, given that the top speed doesn’t exceed 65 mph (104 km/h). For the first 17 miles, it can achieve 90 MPGe, and recharging the battery using a 240V outlet takes approximately 2 hours (~5 hours for 120V).
Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Sure does, but a number of compromises have been made in this hybrid. RoadShow was particularly disappointed by the packaging, as the battery, which protrudes into the cargo space, shrinks it by about 25 percent.
Next, the added weight at the back is noticeable while cornering, and when the battery is depleted and one of the electric motors starts acting as a generator to recharge it, the car feels sluggish going up hills.
Due to the prolonged cold and without daily charges, the reviewer claims to have achieved only 29.4 mpg (8 l/100 km / 35.3 mpg UK) on the highway. However, depending on a number of factors, including outside temperature, driving style, distance and how often one charges the battery, the fuel economy can improve.
There’s an even bigger eyebrow-raiser: the price. TheCrosstrek Hybrid starts at $35,000, before options and destination charges. The base, non-hybrid Crosstrek has an MSRP of $21,895 and returns up to 33 mpg (7.1 l/100 km / 39.6 mpg UK) on the highway, whereas for a well-specced model, clients will have to pay around $29,000.
So, under these conditions, is it worth spending more to get the PHEV? It depends on how much you value its “green” credentials – as for RoadShow’s verdict, you’ll find it in the following video.