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2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Planet's Review of 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek:
 What's New? 


2015 Impreza Limited interior, which will be almost exactly the same as the 2015 Crosstrek interior


Planet's Executive Summary

We expect arrival of the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek at Planet in January, 2015.  This is late for a Subaru introduction; they typically occur during the previous summer and sometimes as early as the previous spring.  Since we opened in 1998, we don't remember ever waiting until the calendar turned to see a new model. 

Subaru has released a lot of information about the 2015 Impreza which shares a large majority of components with the Crosstrek.  You can make many inferences about Crosstrek equipment and specs by looking at the 2015 Impreza which will arrive at Planet couple months ahead of the Crosstrek.  For example, we expect to see more sound insulation and upgraded interior materials appear on the Crosstrek because these improvements are scheduled on the Impreza.     

Years ago, Subaru called its high-riding, rugged Impreza model the "Outback Sport."  When introducing the all-new Impreza in 2012, Subaru took a year off from offering a beefed-up version.  For 2013, Subaru introduced the Crosstrek--an Impreza-based compact crossover with more ground clearance, moderate off-road capability, more equipment, and a tougher appearance than the Impreza. 

Subaru has been building and studying the performance of this generation Impreza since it was introduced in calendar year 2011 and the Crosstrek since it was introduced in calendar year 2012.  When making changes, they evaluate all the data they have gathered, including customer feedback, warranty claims, and crash tests looking for tweaks that will improve performance and reliability.

You won't see huge changes in the 2015 Crosstrek, but we expect you will be able to tell the difference both inside and out. 


Changes to Crosstrek: 2015 vs 2014


 Why do we think?

Back up Camera will be standard on all 2015 Crosstreks.

Previously, only "Limited" models or those with navigation offered a back up camera. 

CONFIRMED.  Visibility out of a Crosstrek is outstanding, rivaled only by the  best-in-class Subaru Forester, so you don't really need the camera.  But it's a nifty safety feature if you have a kid or a drooling dog running around your driveway, and it sure helps when parking in Boston.  The federal government has been working on rules requiring all cars to have rear vision cameras.  Subaru is getting ahead of the regulations. 

Subaru Eyesight will be offered on Crosstrek for the first time. 
Previously, Subaru offered its acclaimed driver assistance system only on Forester, Legacy, and Outback--all larger and more expensive cars.  Crosstreks with Eyesight also get "steering responsive foglights" which brighten the corner as you turn into it. 

Eyesight cameras.

CONFIRMED.  When Subaru introduces new technologies, it usually offers them on its most expensive models, but then gradually equips the whole product line. For example, Subaru offered its Vehicle Dynamics Control in 2001 only on the most expensive trim level of the Outback.  By 2009, it was standard on every Subaru. 

Fuel economy increases by one mile per gallon, both city and highway, on auto models.   
Pictured right:  2.0 Liter Boxer four cylinder with 148 horsepower. 


Continuously variable
automatic transmission:
26 city, 34 highway

Five-Speed manual
23 city, 31 highway

Hybrid with
Continuously variable
automatic transmission:
30 city, 34 highway

CONFIRMED.  Manual transmission model also went up by a mile per gallon on the highway, but remained the same for city. 

Suspension will likely be revised.  

Suspension from current model.

Subaru typically makes suspension changes during the mid-cycle refresh, potentially including spring rates, steering ratios, and sway bar thickness.  After seeing the car perform for several years in the real world, they perfect the handling.  2015 Impreza gets a steering rack with a quicker ratio so we're expecting it on the Crosstrek too.

New Colors

(Yes, that iridescent "Plasma Green" is a real color available on the hybrid).  Subaru almost always tinkers with a shade or two and often substitutes one color for another.  This keeps the car looking fresh without spending a lot of money. 


2014 Crosstrek Colors
 and Upholstery

Lately, you can rely on white and black, and some shade of blue, silver, dark grey, and red.  Subaru will usually lighten or saturate the red and blue, and usually substitute a whole new color for one of the slower selling colors. 

Subaru introduces a base "2.0i" model for the first time. 
Previously, the least expensive Crosstrek came as a "Premium" model, which included quite a bit of equipment, including such goodies as heated seats/mirrors/wipers. 

This wheel rides on a Premium (non-hybrid) model, and you'll likely see less expensive wheels or covers on the entry-level model.   

CONFIRMED.  When introduced, Subaru had no idea what kind of homerun they had created so their conservative volume estimates didn't make room for lots of variants.  Now that Crosstreks are selling like crazy, they can justify a lower priced model with a little less standard equipment. 

New center stack




CONFIMRED.  New standard 6.2 inch infotainment system incorporates the Rear Vision Camera.  It integrates AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha Infotainment, Pandora® and iHeart® Radio; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, USB port and auxiliary input jack.  Limited and Hybrid Touring models get 7 inch screen with additional capability.
Front End
The picture to the right belongs to the 2015 Impreza Sport, which looks like a low-riding Crosstrek.  Crosstrek will probably have a more rugged appearance with different fog lights and muscular bumper cover.



Subaru almost always changes headlights and taillights during the mid-cycle refresh because they really change the look of the car without requiring expensive sheet metal redevelopment.
  We expect revised front styling to include new bumper, grille, and headlights.

Keyless Access system
Previously, Hybrid model got keyless access, which is now also optional on Limited models.  And if you elect keyless access, you also get PIN access for the first time on a Crosstrek.  View our PIN access video. 


CONFIRMED.  Keyless access package lets you keep the key fob in your pocket so you can enter and start the car without fumbling for your key.  PIN access allows you to enter a code in the trunk if you want to leave your key in the car while you swim or hike. 

Oil Change Interval changes from 7,500 miles to 6,000 miles for 2015 Crosstrek.

See current maintenance page.

CONFIRMED.  Subaru announced that all 2015 models should be serviced every 6,000 miles or six months.


Price will likely rise about $200 on 2015 Crosstrek.
See Current Crosstrek Models and Pricing.

2014 model pictured. 
That's Blue behind the wheel.

Subaru almost always makes small annual price increases, usually less than the rate of inflation, which is
remarkable considering that they typically add more content too. 

Click right below for LOTS more detail about the 2015 Crosstrek.

The versatile, fun-to-drive XV Crosstrek combines bold five-door design, a highly capable chassis, best-in-class fuel economy and updated infotainment features. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, high ground clearance (8.7 inches), 17-inch alloy wheels and ample room for passengers and cargo make Subaru XV Crosstrek a high-capability crossover. The model is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicles in America, delivering 34-mpg EPA-estimated highway fuel economy.

Both the gasoline and hybrid models feature the Subaru BOXER engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard. All gasoline models are powered by a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter BOXER engine, teamed to Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive via a five-speed manual transmission or available second- generation Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid model's 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine uses a slightly higher compression ratio (10.8:1) than in the standard gas model (10.5:1), along with reduced-friction piston rings and valve springs and a higher capacity exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) system with an EGR cooler. The main performance boost comes from the permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor, which produces 13.4 hp from 1,500 rpm-6,000 rpm, for a total hybrid system output of 160 hp at 6,000 rpm. The starter and alternator functions are combined into one unit.

The drive motor also contributes 47.9 lb.-ft. of torque from 0-1,500 rpm. The result is total system torque of 163 lb.-ft. at just 2,000 rpm. The electric drive motor, which weighs 28.7 lbs. (77.2 lbs. with frame), is integrated into the Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT includes a manual mode with steering wheel paddle switches.

A 100.8V, 13.5kW nickel-metal hydride battery, with 0.55kWh capacity, is located under a revised rear floor area. The battery, placed low in the vehicle, contributes to handling agility, which has also been enhanced with quicker-ratio electric power steering and special suspension tuning.

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid automatically adapts to driving needs, using only the electric drive motor, the gasoline engine or combining output of the two, depending on conditions and always prioritizing maximum efficiency. Initial acceleration is performed in EV mode with the driving force generated by electric drive motor only. The gasoline engine will then start depending on conditions, including pressure on accelerator pedal, state of battery charge, air conditioner use and other factors.

When the vehicle is stopped, Auto Stop-Start stops the engine to help reduce fuel consumption. When the brake is released, the system transitions to a creep state using the electric drive motor. If the climate control is operating, Stop/Start may not operate and instead, the engine uses the electric motor to charge the battery.

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid employs regeneration when the accelerator is released during driving, and when braking. The motor then acts as a generator, using the still-turning wheels to charge the hybrid battery. For times when the vehicle is operating only in EV mode, an audible vehicle approach pedestrian warning system generates sound from a small speaker below the right headlight and directed toward the front of the car.

The Subaru XV Crosstrek incorporates numerous body and chassis enhancements for its expanded-capability mission. Black side- and wheel-arch cladding, rocker spoiler and roof rails provide a rugged contrast to the body color. The higher ride height, body-color roof spoiler and unique-design 17-inch wheels bolster the Subaru XV Crosstrek model's go-anywhere stance and attitude. Front and rear bumpers and the front grille are unique to the Subaru XV Crosstrek, and dark-tint privacy glass is standard.

Subaru offers the 2015 XV Crosstrek in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited models, the latter adding additional luxury amenities and infotainment technology. Among the standard features in the Premium are the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer); a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® control switches; power windows, door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; security system with engine immobilizer; outside temperature gauge, and carpeted floormats.

Both the standard five-speed manual transmission and the CVT include the Subaru Incline Start Assist feature, which can briefly hold the vehicle while the driver pulls away from a stop on a hill. Available for the XV Crosstrek Premium and standard on the Limited, the Subaru Lineartronic CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios. With either transmission choice, a standard ECO gauge helps the driver to operate the vehicle as economically as possible.

The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range. A 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters allows the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios. The transmission also allows "second gear" starts in order to limit the likelihood of wheel spin on slippery surfaces.

A 103.7-inch wheelbase yields impressive interior roominess in the Subaru XV Crosstrek, including 35.4 inches of rear seat legroom. With the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded, this versatile five-door crossover provides a flat load floor and up to 51.9 cubic feet of carrying space. Three golf bags or a large baby stroller can be easily loaded.

The cargo area is fitted with tie-down hooks and grocery bag hooks and on the 2.0i Premium and higher trim levels are outfitted as standard with a cover that can be pulled into place or removed, along with a removable waterproof cargo tray. Subaru dealers offer a number of accessories for the standard roof rails for carrying items such as bicycles and kayaks.

The sporty instrument panel and three-spoke steering wheel are augmented in all XV Crosstrek models by a multi-function display with a trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. For 2015, Welcome Lighting is standard on XV Crosstrek Limited, Hybrid and Hybrid Touring models.

A new 6.2-inch infotainment system in the XV Crosstrek 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and XV Crosstrek Hybrid models uses a 6.2-inch touch display with rear vision camera, swipe and scroll multi-function control for audio and other features. System features Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha Infotainment, Pandora® and iHeart® Radio. (4 speakers for the 2.0i; 6 speakers for Premium trims).

XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium with EyeSight and 2.0i Limited get new mid-range infotainment system with features included in the standard system plus 7-inch multi touch gesture display screen, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (subscription required), voice activated controls and dual USB ports (6 speakers). A color LCD in the gauge cluster has been added.

In addition to featuring the Lineartronic CVT as standard, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Limited adds leather-trimmed upholstery, steering wheel and shift handle; automatic climate control system; auto on/off headlights, a rear seat armrest with dual cupholders and turn signal exterior mirrors.

Available navigation infotainment system for XV Crosstrek Limited with EyeSight and XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring adds navigation, SiriusXM NavTraffic® and NavWeather® services (subscription required).

While standard on all Hybrid trims, Keyless Access with Push Button start system is an available option on XV Crosstrek Limited and now features Pin Code Access.

Subaru offers two different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive in the XV Crosstrek. With the five-speed manual transmission, the AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute torque 50:50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more torque to the opposite set.

Models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT feature the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively manages torque distribution based on acceleration, deceleration, and available traction. The Active Torque Split system automatically transfers more torque (up to 100 percent) to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur.

Inside, the Subaru XV Crosstrek fills out its safety roster with a driver's knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to determine front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection. The passenger-seat front airbag features a shell-type design with a center groove, thus exposing the passenger to less impact force upon deployment.

More Crosstrek Links:
  • Visit Planet's dedicated Crosstrek page.
  • Watch Scott's Three Favorite Things about the XV Crosstrek. 
  • Peruse a fancy dynamic Crosstrek brochure. 
  • Compare Crosstrek Hybrid with regular Crosstrek
  • Compare Crosstrek vs. Impreza
  • Compare Crosstrek vs. Forester
  • Compare Crosstrek vs. Mini Cooper
  • Compare Crosstrek vs. Plowtruck

Search our inventory for your Crosstrek:


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If you're looking for a 2015 XV Crosstrek, and you're from Boston, the North Shore, the South Shore, Cambridge, or Plymouth, you'll prefer the undealership philosophy at Planet Subaru!
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