Photo Credits: Subaru, Car and Driver, Green Car Reports
The Best of Both Worlds
2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV
Base MSRP: From $35,145
Tax Credit: Up to $4,500
Battery Size: 8.8 kWh
EPA Range: 17 electric miles, 480 total miles
Charging Acceptance Rate: 3.3kW
Performance: Two electric motors, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 148 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 90 mpge, 35 mpg
Price estimate: From $35,145
Warranty: 3 years / 36,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Roadside assistance: 3 years/ 36,000 miles
Corrosion warranty: 5 years / unlimited
2020 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review
It’s tough to compete with the Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid when it comes to versatility.
First of all, there are few plug-in hybrids that come standard with all-wheel drive. The Crosstrek not only has all-wheel drive, it also has off-road capability, thanks to its 8.7 inch ground clearance that enables the SUV to handle some modest exploring.
The Crosstrek PHEV gets some criticism when it comes to price. It starts at around $35,00 (before federal and state incentives), a high figure for a subcompact SUV, yet comparable with many in the plug-in hybrid vehicle class.
An oddity with Subaru is that they don’t like to call the Crosstrek a “PHEV,” instead they label it as a hybrid. Apparently, the thinking is that a “plug-in” may scare away potential buyers. One might also see this vehicle referred to as the XV, which is how the Crosstrek is known internationally.
Regardless of the name, what Subaru produced is a capable plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that offers a composed ride, decent performance, versatility with AWD and off-road chops, excellent fuel efficiency, and good overall cabin quality.
Vehicle Power and Range
The Crosstrek hybrid features two electric motors that combine with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine to produce 148 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque.
One electric engine starts the vehicle and generates power for the battery, while the other powers the Crosstrek in all-electric mode and also assists the gas engine at times. It goes approximately 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds, making it nearly a second faster than the standard Crosstrek.
Equipped with an 8.8-kWh battery pack, the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV has an electric driving range of 17 miles and can reach speeds up to 65 mph in electric mode. While less than many rivals, the range is good enough for many daily commuters.
Fuel economy is terrific in the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV, which reaches 90 MPGe in electric mode and gets an average of 35 mpg overall.
Charging up the Crosstrek PHEV takes about two and a half hours with a Level 2 charging station and five hours with a standard 120-volt home outlet (Level 1 charging station).
When exploring off-road, the Crosstrek hybrid utilizes its X-Mode driving system that allows it to go where other vehicles in its class can’t venture! The Crosstrek PHEV performs well off-roading and also in normal conditions, providing good control, braking and comfort, even on rough pavement or challenging mountain roads.
The SUV is also loaded with current technology safety features, including reverse automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and blind spot monitoring.
There’s a lot to like regarding the Crosstrek interior as well. The 8.0-inch StarLink multimedia touchscreen is fairly straightforward so that you can quickly master the controls.
A sizable list of standard features also includes leather upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, six speakers, satellite radio, and more.
On the downside, the cargo area is small and the seating can feel restricting if one happens to be in the back.
Due to the battery location under the rear seats, Cargo space is 15.9 cubic feet and expands to 43.1 cubes with the seat down.
Seating is roomy up front and all passengers enjoy good head room due to the vehicle’s hiked-up stance. The rear seating is cramped for adults, who won’t feel too comfortable on any long-distance trips.
The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV is a solid overall choice in the subcompact SUV class. It offers all-wheel drive, can travel off-road, delivers excellent fuel economy, and the interior and performance are better than average.
User Video Review: Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
Recommended Charging Stations = LCS-20
Recommended Power Level of Charging Station = 16A
Vehicle Acceptance Rate: 3.3kW
Manufacturer Details by Subaru
Subaru aims for dramatic CO2 cuts: All hybrids and EVs by mid 2030s by Green Car Reports