The jacked-up Impreza is ready to roll into dealers

When crossovers and SUVs got their second wind on the market, automakers jumped on the opportunity to open the gates and flood each and every segment of the market with as many models as possible. But, some automakers have taken an interesting approach where they take a car body and throw it on a jacked-up chassis and suspension – a quick way to create new models without spending heaps of cash on research and design. The new Subaru XV is one of these models and, like the 2016 Subaru XV Concept, it sports the body of the 2017 Subaru Impreza five-door with a raised suspension; just enough to make it appealing to the masses who, predominantly, love these high-riding people-haulers a lot more than they probably should. The big news, however, is that the new XV is built upon Subie’s revamped Global platform that brings extra rigidity and strength to the table. There’s also a revamped suspension system, revised interior, and 80-percent of the parts used in that 2.0-liter Boxer engine have been revamped to deliver more power and better fuel economy in an overall lighter package.

As was the case with the first XV model that hit the market in 2013, the XV is essentially an Impreza with jacked up suspension, but this time around, Subaru has gone the distance to make the XV safer, stronger, more powerful, and nicer inside and out. When it comes to strength and safety, we’re not exactly talking small numbers either – the new XV, according to Subaru, offers an increase in torsional rigidity of 70 percent and a decrease in body roll of 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. But, before we get too far into that, let’s a stroll down the page talk more about the “all-new” Subaru XV.

Update 6/15/2017: Subaru has announced a full pricing schedule for the XV Crosstrek. Check out the Prices section below to learn all about it.


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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So, at first glance, it literally looks like Subaru took the standard five-door Impreza, threw beefier suspension under the body, and called it a day. But, that’s not exactly the case as there are some subtle differences that set the model apart outside of the raised suspension. First of all, the XV is designed to be more off-road friendly, so there’s extra cladding along the bottom of the front and rear fascias, around the wheel wells, and along the side skirts. The fog lights in the front fascia also get different inserts and lack the chrome accents found on the XV’s lower-sitting brethren.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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The XV is designed to be more off-road friendly, so there’s extra cladding along the bottom of the front and rear fascias, around the wheel wells, and along the side skirts.

Around back, you’ll find the same taillights and rear hatch as the standard Impreza, but the rear fascia is slightly different, featuring cladding only on the corners and a different design in the center of the lower fascia. The rear corner reflectors are also larger on the XV, a feature that should make it easier for others to see you at night if you’re roaming the countryside. All told, the new XV rides 220 mm off the ground (8.66 inches,) but new suspension mounts that are more rigid drop body roll by 50 percent while offering better energy absorption and less twisting of the chassis. The XV gets its own unique wheels in Subaru’s lineup, and there are now two new colors on offer that include “Cool Grey Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange,” both or which are said to contrast against the matte black cladding well.

Exterior Measurements Figures in inches
Length 175.6 inches
Width 70 inches
Wheelbase 105.1 inches
Track Front/Rear 60.6 inches / 60.8 inches
Weight 3,200 lbs (est)
Height 65.9 inches (est)
Ground Clearance 9.5 inches (est)


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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The interior of the new Subaru XV brings a lot of change into play. First off, let’s talk about the dash. The dual screens are still there, but the upper screen doesn’t have as large of an overhang while the infotainment screen below has been updated to an eight-inch unit. The screen now sits higher in the center stack, and the central HVAC vents have been positioned to the sides of the screen instead of above. The instrument cluster doesn’t have the appearance that it protrudes out of the dash as much thanks to the redesign of the top pad on the dash. The instrument cluster still rocks dual analog gauges, but in the middle sits a 4.5-inch TFT display that displays digital speed readings and other information for the driver.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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Thanks to the design of the rear-most portion of the dash pad, the door trim, and dash blend together nicely in a wrap-around fashion at top, while the trim inserts around the door handle and above the above the glove box also create a link between the two.

Thanks to the design of the rear-most portion of the dash pad, the door trim, and dash blend together nicely in a wrap-around fashion at top, while the trim inserts around the door handle and above the above the glove box also create a link between the two. The door trim panels are all new, with the armrest curving upward toward the door handle sharply to provide easier access to the window controls, while there are larger speakers in the lower portion of the trim and a deeper storage pocket. In an opposite fashion, the center console is now flatter and wider than before, but thanks to the addition of an electronic parking brake the center armrest now sits farther forward and should provide better comfort for front passengers.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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Finally, the front seats get an all-new stitching pattern and layout, with added side support for the cushion and backrest. Rear seat passengers get a similar view as far as the door panels and trim go. The rear seatbacks feature a 60/40 split to allow for expandable cargo room. Subaru hasn’t elaborated on just how much cargo room, passenger volume, or space there is, but we should learn more about that closer to its official launch.

Interior Dimensions Measurements
Headroom Front/Rear 39.8 inches / 37.2 inches
Legroom Front/Rear 43.1 inches / 36.5 inches
Shoulder Room Front/Rear 56.7 inches / 55.6 inches
Passenger Volume 100.9 cu-ft
Cargo Volume 20.8 cu-ft
Maximum Cargo Volume 55.3 cu-ft


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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At this point, very little is known about the new XV’s drivetrain, but Subaru has said that the 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-banger has been revised.

At this point, very little is known about the new XV’s drivetrain, but Subaru has said that the 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-banger has been revised. In fact, 80 percent of the parts have been revised to help make the engine lighter while delivering better power and efficiency. As to how much power and efficiency – well, all that work to revise 80 percent of the parts accounts for a power increase of just four horsepower. That’s right; the new XV Crostrek will come with 152 horsepower as opposed to the 148 horsepower found in the current model.

Shifting duties are handled by a six-speed manual or a CVT that has a seven-speed manual mode. The entry-level 2.0i Base and the Premium trim levels get the six-speed manual as standard equipment, but can be optioned with the CVT if you’re willing to pay. If you go with the Limited trim, you’ll get the CVT as standard equipment. On this model, you can’t option the six-speed, unfortunately, but you do get padlle shifters and that simulation of having seven gears. Expect the 1,500-pound towing capacity to carry over, while fuel economy for CVT models may increase from 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway to 28 and 35, respectively. Expect models equipped with the six-speed manual to offer somewhere around 24 mpg in the city and 32 mph on the highway.

As one would expect, the XV comes standard with Subaru’s awesome Symmetrical all-wheel drive system. But, the system has been updated to include something called “X-Mode” that is said to offer increased drivability and optimized control of the engine. The system will also apply the brakes as needed to help control tire slip on slippery surfaces and when traveling downhill.


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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Subaru has always been committed to safety, and the new XV is no exception. First off, the new XV’s center of gravity is 5 mm lower than before, which helps with maneuverability in iffy situations while the frame structure and high-tensile steel plates offer a significant increase in energy absorption to the tune of about 40 percent. On top of this, however, there are a number of other driver assistance features that include pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, high-beam assist, steering-responsive headlights, blind spot protection, lane change assistance, and reverse assistance. Of course, most of this is included in the EyeSight Driver assist package, so you won’t likely get most of the features on the entry-level model, and most may only be optional on the mid-trim models. Event the range-topping model of the current XV Crosstrek offers the EyeSight package as an option, so that isn’t likely to change – just something to think about.


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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The XV Crosstrek starts out at $21,795 for the entry-level 2.0i trim level with a six-speed manual while optioning a CVT will set you back $22,795. That’s an increase of just $100 over last year’s model. The 2.0i Premium with a six-speed manual comes in at $22,595 while the CVT model will set you back $23,595. Finally, the 2.0i Limited, which only comes with a CVT is priced at $26,295, which accounts for an increase of $1,100 over the outgoing model. Options include a moonroof with blind spot detection for $1,400, EyeSight with blind spot detection for $1,395, and Eyesight with a moonroof and blind spot detection for $2,395. If you want reverse automatic brake and high-beam assist, you’ll have to pony up $2,095, and if you want all of the goodies, you’ll need to cut a check for $3,445.

Model/Trim Transmission Applicable Option Code MSRP MSRP + destination and delivery
2.0i 6MT ‘01 $21,795 $22,710
2.0i CVT ‘01 $22,795 $23,710
2.0i Premium 6MT 11 $22,595 $23,510
2.0i Premium CVT 11, 12, 13, 14 $23,595 $24,510
2.0i Limited CVT 21, 22, 23 $26,295 $27,210


CODE 12 Moonroof + Blind Spot Detection/ Rear Cross Traffic Alert $1,400
CODE 13 EyeSight® + Blind Spot Detection/ Rear Cross Traffic Alert $1,395
CODE 14 Eyesight® + Moonroof + Blind Spot Detection/ Rear Cross Traffic $2,395
CODE 21 Standard Model 2.0i Limited N/A
CODE 22 EyeSight® with Reverse Automatic Brake + High Beam Assist + Moonroof $2,095
CODE 23 EyeSight® with Reverse Automatic Brake + High Beam Assist + Navigation System + Harman Kardon® Amplifier and Speakers $3,445


There are more than enough compact crossovers on the market, so we could list give you enough reading material in this section for days. However, I’ve decided to pick out a couple of decent contenders that will make good alternatives to the Impreza-based XV.

Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Honda CR-V High Resolution Exterior
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The Honda CR-V entered its fifth generation for the 2017 model year, so it will be sporting a fresh design when the new XV hits the market. As far as dimensions go, the CR-V is quite similar to the expected dimensions of the XV, starting out with a 102.8-inch wheelbase, to go with an overall length of 169.1 inches, height of 63.2 inches, and a width of 69.8 inches. Under the hood, you’ll find that the entry-level LX gets a 2.4-liter with 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque on tap, while other trim levels get a 1.5-liter turbo mill that pumps out 190 ponies and 179 pound-feet – both of which mate to a CVT transmission. All can be optioned with all-wheel drive, but it comes at a $1,300 premium. But, Subaru’s have always been known to have exceptional value, so it should come as no surprise that you’ll have to pay more for the CR-V, with prices starting out at $24,045 ($25,345 with AWD) and increasing to as much as $32,395 ($33,695 with AWD) for the range-topping Touring trim.

Read more about the Honda CR-V here.

Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Mazda CX-5
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The CX-5 is another one of those crossovers based entirely on a hatchback car, albeit it with raised suspension. It has actually performed pretty poorly for Mazda thus far, but for 2017 Mazda is ushering in a new generation. That model, however, isn’t on sale as of the time of this writing, so official details at this point are rather thin. It should compete well, though, as it will be offered with the choice of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet or a larger 2.5-liter with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It’s possible that the engines could see a mild increase in output, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It can be had with a manual or automatic transmission, and all models should be offered with the option of all-wheel drive. Pricing is expected to start out around $22,500 for the entry-level model and could increase to as much as $29,300 for the range-topping model.

Find out more about the Mazda CX-5 here.


2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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So, we’ve seen what the new XV looks like, but Subaru has yet to release full specs for the interior, exterior, or drivetrain. Needless to say, there’s still more to come prior to its official introduction to the market later this year. Regardless of the specs, it should be a huge improvement over the current model, and that’s good news all the way around. There could be a minor pricing increase, but chances are you’ll still be able to get into an XV for the same price or less than most of the competition – that’s the biggest selling point of the XV thus far, so I wouldn’t expect that to change. You’ll have to check back with us in the future for full specs, but in the meantime, let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.

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    • It’s just a jacked up Impreza

Update History

Updated 04/03/2017: Subaru announced that the 2018 Crosstrek will be making its North American debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Subaru of America, Inc. announced today that the all-new 2018 Subaru Crosstrek will debut at the New York International Auto Show. The all-new Crosstrek is built on the new Subaru Global Platform and offers enhanced performance, safety, capability and comfort. The fun-to-drive Crosstrek combines a bold new design with a new highly capable chassis for versatility in both off-road and city driving.

The more spacious 2018 Crosstrek is the second vehicle built with the brand’s new design language of “Dynamic x Solid.” Multimedia features include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Near Field Communication to simplify Bluetooth pairing. Active Torque Vectoring Active, first introduced on the WRX and WRX STI, is now standard on all trim levels. The system helps reduce understeer and keeps the vehicle on the driver’s intended cornering path. The new Crosstrek will be available in base, Premium, and Limited trim levels when it arrives at Subaru retailers this summer.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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Sporty Yet Rugged Styling
The Crosstrek’s new exterior design incorporates the brand’s signature hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights onto a more sculptural body, its rugged stance is accentuated by prominent wheel arches and flowing lines. Black side- and wheel-arch cladding, lower rocker panels and roof rails provide a sharp contrast to the body color. The dramatic new look carries into the cabin, with an outward-flow design that follows the front of the car. The 2018 Crosstrek rides on a 104.9-in. wheelbase, up 1.2-in. over the last generation Crosstrek. Just 0.6-in. longer than the outgoing model and 0.9- in. wider, the Crosstrek retains its nimble size but adds an even roomier cabin. With 60/40 split flat-folding seat seats and wider rear gate opening, the 2018 Crosstrek has a larger cargo area for greater utility. The Crosstrek delivers excellent all-around visibility, high ground clearance (8.7-in.), 17-in. alloy wheels and class-leading interior volume is a nimble compact SUV package.

Ready for the Next Generation SUV
The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the SUBARU BOXER engine; Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD); and EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, represent the brand’s core technologies and constitutes the foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Crosstrek’s new platform integrates new framework with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness to a degree not seen before in the small SUV class. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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All trim levels with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) now come standard with driver-selectable X-Mode to provide better wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.

A lower center of gravity and revised suspension systems contribute to the biggest-ever leap in Subaru’s performance evolution. The double-wishbone independent rear suspension mounts its rear stabilizer bar directly to the body, which significantly improves body stiffness and stability compared to the outgoing model. Greater hazard-avoidance capability is another benefit of the Subaru Global Platform’s inherent handling agility. In addition, the resolute straight-line stability that makes the 2018 Crosstrek more relaxing to drive is also an important constituent of the autonomous driving capability this platform can support in future Subaru vehicles.

New Direct Injection for Higher Performance and Efficiency
A revised version of the FB 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance (now 152-hp vs. 148 before) and drivability. The 2.0i base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and are available with the Lineartronic CVT. The Limited trim come standard with the CVT featuring a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Exterior
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Advancement in Vehicle Safety
Subaru designed the 2018 Crosstrek to provide even higher levels of safety than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK for six years running (when equipped with available EyeSight). The new platform underpinning the 2018 Crosstrek improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over present models.

The EyeSight system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning. Blind Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. All 2018 Crosstrek models include, as standard equipment, front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.

The 2018 Crosstrek offers additional driver-assist technologies, including Reverse Automatic Braking and the display of steering lines for the standard rear vision camera. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing. A new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect pressure drops at individual wheels is available.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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Three Trim Levels
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek will be offered in three trim levels: 2.0i base, Premium and Limited. The 2.0i base starts with an extensive roster of standard features that includes a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer; 17-inch machine finish alloy wheels; standard integrated roof rails; carpeted floor mats; and privacy glass. The 2.0i base and Premium come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission or available CVT equipped with X-Mode with hill-descent control.

The Premium trim adds leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, shark fin antenna, SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security features, the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors as well as automatic headlights. Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems. The Premium’s interior is available in either black or new high-contrast gray cloth interior with orange double stitching.

The top of the line Limited trim looks more upscale with LED headlights, distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 18-inch machine finished alloy wheels. The Limited Crosstrek also has Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them. Exterior chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors add a touch of elegance. The Limited also comes standard with the CVT equipped with X-Mode with hill-descent control.

The Limited’s interior features black or new high-contrast gray leather with orange double stitching on the seats, door armrests and instrument panel. Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start and 8-inch color display. A 6-way power driver’s seat, which is the first ever in a Crosstrek, is also standard equipment for the Limited. The exclusive instrument panel features white gauge cluster illumination, and new harman/kardon premium audio is available in the Crosstrek for the first time. Models equipped with EyeSight also include High Beam Assist. Lastly, the available navigation system now features maps provided by TomTom.

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek High Resolution Interior
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SUBARU STARLINK In-Vehicle Technology
SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia systems offer the latest in digital music playing, Bluetooth wireless capability, iPod control, smartphone integration and more. The display screen acts as the display for the standard rear vision camera, and the top-level system includes navigation.

SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services comes with the Safety Plus package that offers SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report, and Diagnostic Alerts. This package can be upgraded to the Safety Plus & Security Plus package that adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

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