We drove a $38,000 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid to see if it's worth the money. Here's the verdict.

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 2019Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the more popular compact crossovers on the market today.
  • Based on the compact Impreza hatchback, the Crosstrek is a tweener that straddles the compact crossover and subcompact crossover segments of the market.
  • The Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with a 152 horsepower, 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine. While the Hybrid trim gets a detuned version of 2.0-liter engine mated to a pair of electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a total system output of 148 horsepower.
  • We were impressed by our Crosstrek Hybrid test car's fuel economy, standard safety features, and more perky acceleration. However, the Hybrid was held back by its steep price tag and limited cargo space.
  • The base 2019 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i starts at $22,895 while the 2.0i Premium trim adds $1,000 to the price tag. The more luxurious 2.0i Limited trim starts at $27,195 while the top-of-the-line Hybrid starts at $34,995. Including options and fees, our Crosstrek Hybrid came with an as-tested price of $38,470.
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The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the more popular compact crossovers on the market today. Based on the compact Impreza hatchback, the Crosstrek is a tweener that straddles the compact and subcompact segments of the market.

At 175.8 inches in total length, the Crosstrek is 6.7 inches longer than the subcompact Honda HR-V but 5.7 inches shorter than the compact Subaru Forester SUV.

Read more: We drove a $32,000 Subaru Forester that rivals the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Here are its coolest features.

Since its debut in 2013, the little Subie has developed into somewhat of a cult favorite for those in the market for a no-nonsense, fuel efficient, all-wheel-drive crossover.

With a starting price of just under $22,000, the Crosstrek is an entry-point into Subaru's lineup of crossover SUVs that now includes the Forester, the Outback wagon, and seven-passenger Ascent.

In 2018, Subaru rolled out a new second-generation variant of the Crosstrek. A year later, the Japanese automaker followed up with a plug-in version of the Crosstrek for the 2019 model year- the first plug-in hybrid in Subaru history.

Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid clad in a brilliant Lagoon Blue Pearl paint job.

The base 2019 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i starts at $22,895 while the 2.0i Premium trim adds $1,000 to the price tag. The more luxurious 2.0i Limited trim starts at $27,195 while the top-of-the-line Hybrid starts at $34,995.

Including options and fees, our Crosstrek Hybrid came with an as-tested price of $38,470.

Here's a closer look at the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid:

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The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is all-new for 2019. With a starting price of $34,995, the Hybrid trim occupies the top of the Crosstrek range.

The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is all-new for 2019. With a starting price of $34,995, the Hybrid trim occupies the top of the Crosstrek range.

Aesthetically, the hybrid Crosstrek is more or less identical to its conventional siblings. Only the presence of a charging port, blue headlight projector rings, silver body accents, and a few hybrid decals set it apart.

Aesthetically, the hybrid Crosstrek is more or less identical to its conventional siblings. Only the presence of a charging port, blue headlight projector rings, silver body accents, and a few hybrid decals set it apart.

Here's the charging port located on the left rear quarter panel.

Here's the charging port located on the left rear quarter panel.

In fact, all Crosstreks can trace its lineage back to the Subaru Impreza hatchback.

In fact, all Crosstreks can trace its lineage back to the Subaru Impreza hatchback.

In effect, the Crosstrek is a beefier version of the Impreza hatchback.

In effect, the Crosstrek is a beefier version of the Impreza hatchback.

In many ways, the Crosstrek is to the Impreza what the Subaru Outback is to the Legacy wagon.

In many ways, the Crosstrek is to the Impreza what the Subaru Outback is to the Legacy wagon.

The Crosstrek's styling is punctuated by increased ride height, a pronounced front overhang, and aggressive body cladding.

The Crosstrek's styling is punctuated by increased ride height, a pronounced front overhang, and aggressive body cladding.

The rear of the Crosstrek features short overhangs, a roof spoiler, and lower body cladding.

The rear of the Crosstrek features short overhangs, a roof spoiler, and lower body cladding.

The Crosstrek also delivers a stout 8.7 inches of ground clearance, same as the larger Forester SUV.

The Crosstrek also delivers a stout 8.7 inches of ground clearance, same as the larger Forester SUV.

The Crosstrek Hybrid also comes with these funky 18-inches wheels.

The Crosstrek Hybrid also comes with these funky 18-inches wheels.

The Crosstrek's interior is virtually identical to the Impreza hatchback on which it is based. In fact, it will instantly feel familiar to anyone who's been in a Subaru.

The Crosstrek's interior is virtually identical to the Impreza hatchback on which it is based. In fact, it will instantly feel familiar to anyone who's been in a Subaru.

Since the Hybrid occupies the highest echelon of the Crosstrek lineup, our test came with contrasting blue and gray leather along with blue accent panels.

Since the Hybrid occupies the highest echelon of the Crosstrek lineup, our test came with contrasting blue and gray leather along with blue accent panels.

Much like the other Subaru's we've tested recently, the material quality is impressive. The leathers and plastics used may not have been the softest or the most refined, but they all gave you feeling that it was built to survive the rigors of life.

Much like the other Subaru's we've tested recently, the material quality is impressive. The leathers and plastics used may not have been the softest or the most refined, but they all gave you feeling that it was built to survive the rigors of life.

In front of the driver is a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for everything from the audio system to the drive mode selector. The buttons are clearly labeled and thoughtfully placed.

In front of the driver is a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for everything from the audio system to the drive mode selector. The buttons are clearly labeled and thoughtfully placed.

The Crosstrek Hybrid features a simple but useful gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch digital information screen flanked by a pair of analog gauges.

The Crosstrek Hybrid features a simple but useful gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch digital information screen flanked by a pair of analog gauges.

The Crosstrek, like the Forester and Ascent, features not one, but two infotainment screen.

The Crosstrek, like the Forester and Ascent, features not one, but two infotainment screen.

Our tester came with an eight-inch touchscreen running Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. Lower trim levels come standard with a 6.5-inch unit. Starlink has become one of our favorite mass market infotainment systems. Its simple, no-nonsense design and high feature content really impressed us.

Our tester came with an eight-inch touchscreen running Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. Lower trim levels come standard with a 6.5-inch unit. Starlink has become one of our favorite mass market infotainment systems. Its simple, no-nonsense design and high feature content really impressed us.

The system features a built-in navigation system, a slew of media sources, satellite radio, as well as Pandora and Aha app integration.

The system features a built-in navigation system, a slew of media sources, satellite radio, as well as Pandora and Aha app integration.

Starlink also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Starlink also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

It's also home to the Crosstrek's rear view camera.

It's also home to the Crosstrek's rear view camera.

The secondary display, which is controlled using the "Info" button on the left side of the steering wheel, is just as useful. It offers readouts of the vehicles trip computer, radio,...

The secondary display, which is controlled using the "Info" button on the left side of the steering wheel, is just as useful. It offers readouts of the vehicles trip computer, radio,...

... secondary gauges, ...

... secondary gauges, ...

... navigation,...

... navigation,...

...weather information,...

...weather information,...

... hybrid drive system status, and...

... hybrid drive system status, and...

... the status of the Crosstrek's various advanced safety systems.

... the status of the Crosstrek's various advanced safety systems.

Speaking of safety systems, all Crosstreks come standard with Subaru's EyeSight suites of driver's assistance technology that includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. The system, which uses a pair of cameras located on either side of the rear-view mirror, worked really well and is a major selling point for Subaru.

Speaking of safety systems, all Crosstreks come standard with Subaru's EyeSight suites of driver's assistance technology that includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. The system, which uses a pair of cameras located on either side of the rear-view mirror, worked really well and is a major selling point for Subaru.

Our test car also came with blind spot detection with lane change assist along with rear cross traffic alert.

The second row is where the Crosstrek's compact hatchback roots really become evident. With 37.4 inches of headroom and 36.7 inches of legroom, it's significantly less roomy than taller crossover SUVs.

The second row is where the Crosstrek's compact hatchback roots really become evident. With 37.4 inches of headroom and 36.7 inches of legroom, it's significantly less roomy than taller crossover SUVs.

With that said, the rear cabin will fit two full-size adults and the seats are fairly comfortable.

With that said, the rear cabin will fit two full-size adults and the seats are fairly comfortable.

An optional moonroof helps bring added light into the cabin, but we do wish the Crosstrek could be had with the Forester's panoramic glass roof.

An optional moonroof helps bring added light into the cabin, but we do wish the Crosstrek could be had with the Forester's panoramic glass roof.

Open up the rear liftgate and...

Open up the rear liftgate and...

... you'll find an unimpressive 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That's down from the 20.8 cubic feet found on other Crosstreks due to the presence of the lithium-ion battery pack. Fold down the rear seats, and the Hybrid's cargo capacity increases to 43.1 cubic feet.

... you'll find an unimpressive 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That's down from the 20.8 cubic feet found on other Crosstreks due to the presence of the lithium-ion battery pack. Fold down the rear seats, and the Hybrid's cargo capacity increases to 43.1 cubic feet.

That space is further reduced by the charging cable.

That space is further reduced by the charging cable.

There is a small storage nook in under the main cargo floor.

There is a small storage nook in under the main cargo floor.

Most Crosstreks are powered by a 152 horsepower, 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets a detuned version of the engine with 137 horsepower that mated with two electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The total system output of the hybrid is 148 horsepower.

Most Crosstreks are powered by a 152 horsepower, 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. The Crosstrek Hybrid gets a detuned version of the engine with 137 horsepower that mated with two electric motors and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The total system output of the hybrid is 148 horsepower.

The hybrid drive system features two electric motors. One is used as a starter motor and as a generator to recharge batteries. The other helps powers the car itself while providing charge for the battery pack during regenerative braking.

The hybrid drive system features two electric motors. One is used as a starter motor and as a generator to recharge batteries. The other helps powers the car itself while providing charge for the battery pack during regenerative braking.

All Crosstrek Hybrids are equipped with a continuously variable transmission sending power to all four wheels via Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Non-hybrid Crosstreks can be had with a six-speed manual transmission.

All Crosstrek Hybrids are equipped with a continuously variable transmission sending power to all four wheels via Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Non-hybrid Crosstreks can be had with a six-speed manual transmission.

The 8.8 kWh battery pack can be fully charged in two hours using a 240V plug or five hours using a 120V plug. According to Subaru, the Hybrid can drive 17 miles using only electricity and up to 480 miles in hybrid mode.

The 8.8 kWh battery pack can be fully charged in two hours using a 240V plug or five hours using a 120V plug. According to Subaru, the Hybrid can drive 17 miles using only electricity and up to 480 miles in hybrid mode.

So how does it drive?

So how does it drive?

It's not terribly exciting, but it's also not painfully slow.

One of the great complaints people have about the of Subaru Crosstrek has long been its tepid acceleration. With just 152 horsepower under the hood, the Crosstrek is decidedly underpowered.

The addition of the hybrid drive system dramatically improves the Crosstrek's performance in spite of the 500-pound weight penalty. Even though the Hybrid has less horsepower at 148 ponies, the added torque from the electric motor allows it to enthusiastically bolt off the line.

With that said, the Crosstrek Hybrid is still not far from quick. Rather it's just no longer infuriatingly languid.

According to Motor Trend, the Crosstrek Hybrid clocked in with a respectable 0-60 MPH run of 8.3 seconds, a marked improvement over the 9.8-second run posted by the non-hybrid variant.

Apart from the acceleration, the Crosstrek proved to be confident and capable in most driving conditions.

The Hybrid also returned sold fuel economy at 42MPG in mixed city and highway driving.

The verdict.

The verdict.

The Subaru Crosstrek is a really likable and capable little crossover. With the addition of the hybrid drive system, the Crosstrek is now more efficient and significantly more peppy to drive.

As always, we came away impressed by Subaru's build quality and its standard EyeSight suite of drivers assistance features. However, the hybrid's lithium-ion battery pack reduces Crosstrek's cargo capacity by 5 cubic feet.

Further, with a starting price of around $35,000 and an as-tested price of more than $38,000, you're really paying a premium for the hybrid drive system.

At the end of the day, if you're really into the Subaru Crosstrek and you really like the fuel economy and you're willing to part with nearly $40,000 to get it, then, by all means, go for the Crosstrek Hybrid.

If the price is too steep, go with the regular Crosstrek and live with the mediocre acceleration. Or better yet, get a Subaru Forester which offers more utility at a similar price point.

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