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Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Subaru XV CrosstrekSubaru rolls out an all-new model, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, that combines the same reliable Subaru styling with some not-so-reliable tech options.
-It's an all new model from Subaru, but the DNA we've seen before. Let's take out the 2013 XV Crosstrek and check the tech. So, what exactly is a Subi Crosstrek? First of all, it's a whole new model for them although it doesn't fall too far from the familiar Subaru tree. And what they sent us, as you can see, is a whole mess of orange, but we're okay with that. It's a two row. There's no third row aux or anything of this wheel base and you got a usable cargo box in the back. Notice it's also got a high ride height, ample space here for suspension travel and not terribly low profile tires. That's a formula that adds up to a vehicle that is credibly good in rough pavement or off the road not just looking like it is. Okay, first off, we have the optional navigation head unit in this car. This has got a decent-size colored LCD and they need the 6.1 inches because there's also an awful lot of junk in there. Look how busy that is. Even if you put it in the most minimal mode, you've got stuff everywhere. If I go to the nav menu, you can see how things are sliding, and moving, and going to different modes. The touch response is pretty good. It seems to me kind of a hard press and you'll find that it's a little bit cryptic in terms of how you go to various modes of navigation. It's not always the most obvious thing to get through. And everything is very small and busy. This is not easy to digest to the glance and that's one of the core sort of sources of distraction when you've got technology in the dash. This is not great in that respect by any means. Now, navigation on this guy is powered kinda like in a Ford by this little SD card right here. Pop that out, nav goes away. And you might say, "Why would you pop that out?" There is no real reason except they oddly enough give you a photo viewer also in here, which you can use in place of navigation. I'm not sure why you wanna do that except to look at cat photos. That's what I would do 'coz I'm not that crazy about the nav. Now, even if you get the base car, you get all the key audio sources. I like that so that means AM/FM satellite, bluetooth streaming, and USB which is also compatible with iPod here in the console, that's really all you need to jack this thing up and get this disappointment nav, an HD radio, pass. In every configuration, I believe, you have 6 speakers around the cabin. There isn't a big difference in terms of the sound. You can get a dealer installed subwoofer for like 500 bucks. But notice the theme here as I go through nav, an audio, lots and lots of detail and techy toys. This was designed by geeks for geeks to be used on their desk in the house. This is just too detailed and too techy and too many layers for a great automotive interface. Now, the rearview camera is also part of this package. And you see it's got no trajectory that is live. It just shows you some distance and curve line marks. You can get that with the nav unit or you can also option that in with a higher trim level. 2 ways to get there. And one more thing that annoys me about how you get some of the options here, if you wanna get this little glass moon roof, which I do, you have to also get this clutch of a navigation head unit, which I don't. You do have voice command, which does a fairly good job of simplifying this interface. Let's see how it works for navigation. -Voice command please. -First of all, where are all the prompts that show me what I can do from that screen? I can do more than just say help, but it doesn't prompt me to get there. And then notice I've got tabs here so I have to go through a mix of tabbing around to different modes to get prompts and speaking to it. That's also kind of poor interface. Navigation. -Navigation. Please say a command. -Destination. -Please say a command. -Address. -Say the house number. -Anyway, you can see at times it's pretty good at digesting what I say. At other times, it's just too many little fuzzy steps for this voice command to be as simplifying as it should be. Alright. Here in the engine bay, pretty stand Subi stuff. A 2-liter flat 4. You know, they do flat 4s partly because they sit low in the car. In this car, that kind of is the matter does it? 'coz the whole car is high and the engine doesn't seem particularly low to me either. No turbo charging or anything else. A very straightforward boxer engine. They earned their keep using this one. 147 horsepower. 145 foot pounds of torque. 0 to 60? I'm certain it will. And 25/30 mpg with the CVT. If you get the 6-speed manual, it becomes 23/30 mpg. Quite a hit. And if you get the limited car, the high trimmed, you only can get the CVT. One more thing before we go for a drive, I'm intrigued by Subaru's very precise stinginess with paint. Look at this edge where the color coat ends and the primer is revealed. They could not have been 1 micrometer closer and had this car be ready for production. What did they save? A nickel? Now, driving the Crosstrek isn't much different than driving a lot of other Subarus. The noises it makes, the-- the steering compliance, even the rider very Subi, but what this car does surprise me on is the relatively direct application of power. It's fairly straightforward in that respect and that's a lot of credit to this CVT. Continuously variable transmissions are often a disaster of slushiness. This one's actually quite positive. In fact, I wasn't sure it was a CVT or a standard automatic when we first got in this car. If feels like it kinda has gears. That's a high compliment. And the shifts here from the paddles are very quickly executed. I've driven a lot of more expensive cars than this with paddle shifted automatics that didn't get the job done as quickly so good work. Of course, there's 2-liter mill does not have overwhelming power, but it's-- it's ready, it's willing power, and that's what I always look for in a car. And most Subaru's are like this. They are really kind of Spartan and kind of austere inside, almost German. If it weren't for that kind of overly wrought-- unsuccessfully wrought head unit, this would be one of the more handsome, clean cabins on the road today. Okay, let's price our XV Crosstrek. This guy is the limited trim, the high of the 2 trims, 253 roughly delivered then there's kinda 1 option to go CNET style and that is the package that brings you that nav head unit and the glass moon roof; one-half of which I actually want, the other half I don't, so that will be your call. For 500 bucks, the dealer can install a powered subwoofer. That might be a nice addition to this system. And unfortunately, there is no option to add more paint in the door jams.