After years of protesting that it didn't need to join the hybrid trend, Subaru debuted its first such vehicle last month at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.
The vehicle in question is the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, and it combines the same look as the gasoline-powered Crosstrek hatchback crossover that was introduced for the 2013 model year, and retains the brand's ubiquitous all-wheel drive.
Predicted to have a slight fuel efficiency edge over its gas-fueled sibling, the hybrid Crosstrek, with an expected 28 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway as opposed to the 25/33 rating of the original, the hybrid is also about 300 pounds heavier. Additional efficiency will come from the vehicle's regenerative braking system and a start/stop function built into the engine.
Its power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine paired with a 13.5 kilowatt nickel-metal hydride battery that sits under the rear cargo compartment. According to Subaru, the combination should net about 148 pounds-feet of torque (the gas model churns out 145) and will cause customers to sacrifice a mere 1.7 cubic feet of trunk space.
Along with the afore-mentioned all-wheel drive system, the hybrid Crosstrek has the same continuously variable transmission that comes with the gas version. Heated front seats and mirrors, a color multi-function display screen, and a backup camera are all standard features, as well, and, like the gas-powered hatchback, the Crosstrek Hybrid has 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
Subaru says that the Crosstrek Hybrid will arrive at dealerships in the fall, but pricing has not yet been disclosed.