Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid PHEV Boasts Prius Prime-Like Electric Range


Subaru’s first plug-in almost goes the distance.

Way back in May of this year, Subaru officially announced its first plug-in hybrid model – the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid – that should enter the U.S. market near the end of 2018.

Details were and still are scarce on this newest plug-in. But now, thanks to a CARB certification filing, we’ve got a few new details.

It appears as though the Crosstrek Hybrid (plug-in) will get a city all-electric range (AER) rating of 25.65 miles or an equivalent all-electric range rating of 26.273 (EAER). Meanwhile, its highway figures are AER 21.9 and EAER of 27.381.

***Note – UDDS stands for Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule, and refers to a United States Environmental Protection Agency mandated dynamometer test on fuel economy that represents city driving conditions which is used for light duty vehicle testing.

That’s certainly not Chevy Volt territory (53 miles / combined), but it will challenge the Toyota Prius Prime (of which it’s loosely based off of) at 25 electric miles combined.

Subaru named its plug-in hybrid simply Hybrid, like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Of course, this is quite a confusing name too, as the Crosstrek Hybrid was around in the past, but in conventional hybrid form, not this new plug-in version.

As previously mentioned, Subaru makes use of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that is integrated with Subaru’s four-cylinder direct-injection BOXER engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and an all-new transmission.

The PHEV model was already expected this year with an all-electric Subaru hinted for 2021.

Hat tip to Jeremy!

Conventional Subaru Crosstrek

2018 Subaru Crosstrek (ICE)
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2018 Subaru Crosstrek (ICE) 2018 Subaru Crosstrek (ICE) 2018 Subaru Crosstrek (ICE) 2018 Subaru Crosstrek (ICE) 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

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108 Comments on "Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid PHEV Boasts Prius Prime-Like Electric Range"

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Will this be an AWD? Have to assume so, but all other similar plug-ins have been disappointing FWD vehicles. Anyway, this should be a good commuter car for those in snowy climates. We are eager to see the PHEV RAV4 when released. It will be time to replace the 2007 RAV4 soon.

Would be a huge departure from Subaru to make a FWD or RWD car. Every model they have is AWD. As a Crosstrek owner, this is mighty interesting, would love to trade up.

How has reliability been for your Crosstrek? I purchased a new Subaru many, many years ago and had many engine problems. Thus, my RAV4 preference.

I have a 2013 Crosstrek. Too many things have gone wrong far too soon in my opinion. I won’t be buying another Subaru.

On our second one (first died in rollover), been no problem mechanically, only issue being replacement on 12v battery

We the Impreza five door for 6 years and no problems.

2014 Crosstrek owned since May 2014, 24,000 miles on it. The only maintenance has been oil changes every 6 months, literally no other mechanical maintenance has been performed or needed.

Pretty good, but my Volt has gotten 3 oil changes in 6 years. Brakes should last 200,000 miles. The Bolt EV needs no oil changes, besides needing NO GAS!

Fair point. I’m trying to decide between the bolt and this new Crosstrek. Apples and oranges, but there’s not too much room to be choosy in the ev market yet. I have a volt coming off lease and while it was great, I want something that is better in snow and has better range. It seems I can’t have both yet unless I want to live hand to mouth and get an awd Tesla.

Btw, I’ve had a forester xt for 6 years almost, and no major issues. It’s like a jackrabbit in all conditions, so I’ve got confidence in subaru.

I am one of the very few who bought the 2014 Crosstrek XV hybrid. Fine reliable AWD car that’s great in snow, terrible hybrid! The engine turns on at start, then stays on for the first few miles of driving or if you have any ventilation going. Finally after a few miles with a/c off it shuts off at a standstill, only to shudder back to life if you press on the accelerator harder than a hummingbird’s breath. According to EPA figures it gets worse highway mpg than the plain un-jacked-up Impreza and only 1 mpg better in city. We really wanted an compact AWD PHEV, but the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV wasn’t available and the Tesla Model X is big and expensive. So this new version is appealing. But I wonder if Subaru’s system will work any better with the Toyota PHEV bits. On our hybrid, Subaru kept its boxer engine (not Toyota’s Atkinson cycle engine optimized for hybrid), regular CVT (not Toyota’s dual motor planetary gear e-CVT optimized for blending engine and motor power) and mechanical Symmetric AWD transfer. Subaru should dump Symmetric AWD and just put a separate motor on the rear axle, but it’s the pride of… Read more »

Forget the ICE altogether; put 100 HP electric motors at the front and rear and a big battery in between, which is what the Kona should’ve done, and which the Tesla M3 does. Even the Toyota RAV 4 hybrids have electric motors at both ends.

BRZ is rwd. They sold FWD in US through about 2000. Probably still sell FWD in other markets.

Out of the 1,000s of Subaru’s I see in Colorado, May have seen a couple BRZs, are they not rebadged Toyota’s?

Yes. Toyota 86. I believe it’s the only Subaru that is not all-wheel drive as standard.

I Believe Subaru builds the brz and Toyota 86

Subaru leads this joint effort. Subaru motor, Subaru built and engineered.

BRZ is really a Toyota F86 in Subaru clothing.

It has a Subaru badge. Food for thought.

Jointly developed; it uses the Subaru flat four engine.

Subaru engineered and built. Toyota gave the transmission, money and badging for the FRS and GT86.

You forget BRZ which is RWD but don’t worry, this will be AWD!

Great link!
Weird, it seems to have a physical driveshaft for the rear wheels? Why not use the RAV4 setup and put DC motors in the back??

Far from every model. You’re thinking US-centric. Outside the US, the vast majority of Subarus sold are FWD.
Oh, and everywhere outside the US, it’s called the Subaru XV.
And lots of technical detail missing, as people noted here; until then “loosely based off Toyota” is a meaningless statement — Subaru’s traditional boxer engines are nothing like what Toyota uses in the Prius, and the Prius drivetrain is very different from what you’d need to accommodate AWD. Are both rear and front wheels both engine- and electric motor- driven? How does it work?

” Outside the US, the vast majority of Subarus sold are FWD.” Canada is outside the U.S., so…no.

No, hard to find a non AWD Subaru anywhere in the world.

Not quite…the brz sports car is not awd

“Every model they have is AWD”

Subaru BRZ is a RWD model.

The Subaru BRZ is RWD.

Every model Subaru makes is AWD with the exception of their RWD sports car, the BRZ. The second to last sentence confirms the Crosstrek Hybrid will be AWD.
“As previously mentioned, Subaru makes use of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that is integrated with Subaru’s four-cylinder direct-injection BOXER engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and an all-new transmission.”

Dunno, if it’s going to be a Boxer engine (NA or Atkinson, I can’t wait and see) it would definitely not be horizontally mounted. Behind the F-R split box may actually house a familiar planetary dual motor set up.

I have some worries, given how awful and inadequate Toyota’s and Lexus’ AWD hybrids are off road – largely because those systems are front-biased (where the power is generated) and the HV battery is too small.
But negating those worries some hope should come out of the Prime’s +300v pack which was designed to propel the wheels.

> As previously mentioned, Subaru makes use of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that is integrated with Subaru’s four-cylinder direct-injection BOXER engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and an all-new transmission.

That’s pretty good, now the question is whether they’ll sell them in Prius Prime-like numbers and distribution.

Grass and Battery love Cool Weather

Think Mitsubishi Outlander numbers 🙂 It is indeed a good vehicle, but unless the pricing is released, it’s hard to guess.

Do you mean Outlander PHEV numbers in the US or outside? It’s one of the top selling plug-in vehicle in Canada and UK.

Grass and Battery love Cool Weather

I meant worldwide. Outlander may be top selling, but the numbers are still low from a mainstream sales perspective.

Will be interesting to see who can bring the units stateside, Mitsubishi or Subaru, big market waiting for these AWD PHEVs.

Does anyone know if the 2.4l Outlander PHEV performs better off road and crawling situations?

It had a bunch of trouble given that its dual 60hp electric motor setup doesn’t have the rotational energy to get itself out of a rut. An engine spinning at 2500rpm before dumping the clutch does have that kind of valuable energy for off roading.

These really are not meant to be serious off road vehicles. Good for snow, gravel roads, etc. The big question to me is what kind of mpg numbers it achieves running as a hybrid (after the battery is drained). Probably not real great since it is tall, likely quite heavy and has a lot of mechanical equipment. If it can get 40 combined (vs 50? or 52? for the Prius Prime) I will be impressed. I expect more like 36.

I expect more as the regular Crosstrek with CVT is rated at 29 combined by EPA.

If that. The Outlander gets about 22 miles of EV range, but about 25 MPG on gas alone. MPGe is 74. It’s a bigger vehicle all around.

Grass and Battery love Cool Weather

CrossTrek Touring is $27,000; if they can price it around $30-32k mark, then it might sell, presuming that owners will qualify for $4.5k in federal credit. Otherwise, it will simply compete with Mitsubishi and sell in those numbers as well.

“Subaru makes use of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that is integrated with Subaru’s four-cylinder direct-injection BOXER engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and an all-new transmission.”

The boxer four design AWD layout is no where near the same as the traditional transverse 4 FWD of the Prius so I anxiously await a more technical report on this new design collaboration.

Although it makes sense to put this in this smaller Subaru body, I, for one, would love to see it ported over to the Outback in the next 6th generation (we have a 5th). Might as well request it have the larger Camry hybrid engine too. Oh, and bring it under $30k with 25 miles AER. TIA

Such a vehicle won’t likely use the Camry engine any more than the PHEV Crosstreck uses the prius engine. Look at the pictures posted by JP above; they are adapting Toyota’s high voltage batteries, controllers, and motors to their own front longitudinal four wheel drive system. Toyota’s systems (except truck based ones) are front transverse.

Campy engines won’t fit in a Subaru which is designed ground up to use a boxer motor.

Will they actually sell me one in Florida by next spring when my current lease expires?!

More AER would be better, but this is acceptable as a stopgap until there are more options, IMO.

Florida is one of the last places to get electric vehicles, unfortunately. West Coasters get ’em. I guess they’re smarter and greener out there than these Florida rednecks, who prefer huge trucks and hemi-powered cars.

Better compare it to 2019 Prius Prime which will get:
* 38.130 UDDS AER
* 38.480 UDDS EAER
* 20.56 US06 AER
* 31.870 Highway AER
* 31.360 Highway EAER

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Thanks, JP.

UDDS = Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule aka the crappy old 2-cycle test numbers.

It’s not going to get Prime miles. Probably just labeling it a hybrid because the extra weight will limit the electric performance even more.

That driving cycle is used to calculate EPA numbers still.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

The EPA numbers either use 3 additional cycles, or use a 0.7 fudge factor.
So if 25 miles on 2 cycle, expect max of 17.5 miles.

Not looking good. Straight ratio of the above compared to the Prime’s actual numbers would put the Crosstrek at ~16-17 miles EPA.

Numbers I provided are for 2019 prius prime, not 2018.
[EDIT] Numbers are identical for 2018 prius prime

There are no 2019 numbers. In fact, there is nothing known about the next model-year yet.

2019 numbers are available in CARB certification filling, exactly like the Subaru phev:

The U.S. 2019 Prius line will have an option for AWD that previously had only been available in Japan.

I consistently get 27-34 mile all-electric range from my Prius Prime. I’m not driving like a snail, either.

Pretty good, but pales in comparison to the Gen II Volt, which users report gets between 55-65 EV miles. Even my Gen I Volt averages about 40-44 MPC.

Better to compare it with the defunct Ford C-Max Energi PHEV. That’s what my wife replaced her non-hybrid Crosstrek XV with on trade.

How did that car do on fuel economy?

I would love to replace my 2000 Subaru with a BEV or PHEV since the only AWD option is the Mitsubishi Outlander. Not interested in replacing it with a sedan or a Tesla with chicken-wing doors.

The Volvo PHEVs are also AWD, but with low AERs.

For the love of all whatever you consider holy, how far will this go on a charge? 21.9 miles? 29.3 miles? Equivalent all-electric range? Does someone get paid to think up new categories that don’t make sense to the layperson?

It’s a joke, right? “A partial zero emission vehicle and a super ultra low emission vehicle walk into a bar and…”

Can’t wait to explain this at Thanksgiving.

In other news, thumbs up to Subaru for making a plug-in 4wd/AWD.

Those are not EPA numbers. The same CARB filing for Jaguar I-Pace has an AER (UDDS) of 354.45 miles. Just sayin’…


With extra weight and worse aero, it would be lucky to get 20 miles AER if it has the same battery size as the Prime.

Since it got a rating of 25 miles, that’s an indication it is not same for this larger vehicle. Of course, Prime actually delivers higher. And it may all just be a wash anyway with potential for higher regen.

Yay Subaru now bring out a 100% electric one and we’ll be really happy 🏖

Amen. A real 4WDEV would have an electric motor at both ends and a big honking battery in-between, like the Jaguar i-Pace. What’s so difficult, Subaru? Be a leader, not a wunnabe.

Yawn…. tick, tock, tick, tock Subaru.

Ah yes!
I remember telling my wife, before she got her Subaru Forester in 2005, that she shouldn’t wait for a Subaru hybrid as, per latest info, it would be 2010 before a Suby hybrid came out.
Glad she didn’t wait!

What do the EAER specs mean compared to AER? Never heard of EAER before.

Sorry, at 25 miles you are always plugging in and always at the gas station.

“. . at 25 miles you are always plugging in . . ”
And plugging daily can get old really fast.

Before the usual suspects chime in and inform me that it only takes 2 seconds to plug in, be aware that I have been plugging in for nearly 5 years now (EVSE outside the house – trekking through ice, snow, rain and blizzard – granted, mostly in winter). Doing it daily would destroy the PHEV experience for me!

As for plugging in daily, hopefully Plugless can do a wireless-charge option for it. We’ve been seriously considering getting the Plugless upgrade on our i3 – if we could get it on both cars, we would buy in to the Plugless system.

I plug in my 2013 Volt daily; it takes about 10 seconds, and another 10 seconds to unplug. I get about 40 miles of EV driving, and I’m currently averaging 144 MPG, on about 70% electric and 30% gas driving. Charging happens overnight, most of the time, when 90% of EV drivers charge. I can also plug-in during the day, and after 3.5 hours of charge I’m ready to go another 40 miles on electric. Some Volt commuters charge at work and have never used gas. Charging is only a big deal if you have no gas backup and are running out of battery away from home.

My wife’s daily commute is 14 miles round trip. We have a BMW i3 now, and are used to plugging in daily, just for the sake of keeping a topped-off battery. Our now 20 year old Forester is getting a bit ridiculously long in the tooth, but there hasn’t been a good “fully Winter capable” plug-in available yet that can be both a Winter commuter and a long-distance road trip car. This Crosstrek checks both boxes well. It can be a daily commuter in all weather solely on electric, and still get us across mountain passes for road trips.

If they can make this available at $30,000-$35,000 (depending on options,) we will almost certainly be getting one.

You can get a base Outlander PHEV AWD for about $35k that’s bigger than the bitty CrossTrek. Canadians and Europeans seem to like it.

Depends on your local temperatures, the terrain, and your commute. With my Prius Prime PHEV (rated at 25 mile all-electric range), I do plug in every day, but I only burn 1-2 gallons of gas per month. My all-electric range is consistently 27-34 miles.

Had a look at the link in the comments thread below – they are not taking advantage of an EV architecture – they are going to continue with a centre diff and driveshaft to the rear wheels. Efficiency will not be good. I’ll be skipping this weaksauce compliance effort from Subie. (Disappointing as we do like our 2011 Forester…)

Loved our Subaru Impreza, but we traded it in for the Pacifica Hybrid. Would have considered getting this crosstrek hybrid if it had been available. Too little, too late Subaru.

What is your real world MPG and range in the Chrysler?

Have a Subaru while I wait for my Tesla 3 AWD with air suspension and towing (promised by Musk when we put our $1K deposit down). Still aiming for the Tesla (figure end of 2019 before air suspension shows up). If air suspension doesn’t show up by then and a plug in EV works and Subaru’s are great and the Eyesight system is great BUT I’d need 35 miles EV to solidly cover my daily commute and weekend driving.

Wish Subaru had gone with an Outback, able to carry a heavier battery and a 35-50 mile range.

That’s a want, not a need. You’d still get remarkable MPG overall.

How much would you be willing to pay for that additional range?

“That’s a want, not a need.”

Covering one’s daily commute in all weather conditions is a requirement for plug-in EV’s electric range. Volt’s 50 is the right spot as that covers the commute plus weather plus battery degradation over time.

BMW’s i3 at 37 miles EV (assuming AWD with gasoline engine) would just make it.

Who is requiring that? It certainly isn’t a factor of design. The intent of providing a full-power gas engine to take over for power delivery after depletion overwhelmingly confirms that; otherwise, it would just be a tiny generator. That’s why there are different types of plug-in hybrid… and a very good reason to ask who.

For that matter, why such an arbitrary range? Think about how diverse mainstream consumers are.

“Who is requiring that?”

Everyone considering an EV. If you cannot cover your daily commute with EV it is pretty much a pointless purchase.

One’s commute is the exact opposite of “arbitrary” it is very specific to one’s driving situation.

Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid is the topic. The discussion is about PHEV purchases, not EV.

Eyup…the lack of EV range on the Subaru PHEV is the topic you replied to.

i3 37 miles?! What is this, driving 90 MPH in sub-freezing temperatures with the HVAC on full-blast heat nonstop? Even the first-gen i3 gets 60+ miles in normal driving (I just road tripped my REx model last weekend – got 67 miles at 75 MPH before the REx kicked in.) The 2019 with its larger battery is over 150 miles per charge.

Sorry new X3 BMW has the 37 EV range.

When it debuted, the i3 was the right combination of EV range and gas backup, but not affordable enough at almost $50k.

Sounds like it’s using Toyota’s weak PHEV tech? I guess that helps explain the low electric range… come on guys, it’s almost 2019 and you’re releasing vehicles with less electric range than the 2011 Volt.

On the plus side, it doesn’t look like a fugly Prius and may have AWD.

Sacrificing affordability to satisfy a want has proven an unwise choice, as sales have reflected. GM learned that lesson of “more is not always better” the hard way. We now see Prime owners driving for months between refills, quite pleased with their purchase.

I’m not sure what you’re talk about since the PP and Volt can be had for the same price out-the-door, with the Volt being the superior PHEV. Also, it’s not like people are buying the PP over the M3 based on price.

Pretty much following Toyota’s TLTL (too little too late) strategy. The more they lag, the more painful their future is going to be.

Toyota’s timing is great. They are rolling out affordable plug-in hybrids just as the early-adopter phase is coming to an end for others, yet they still have an ample number of tax-credits still available. That sets a stage for them to take full advantage of phaseout period.

They’ll have a diverse & profitable offering. Subaru can be thanked for helping out. There’s nothing late about it.

Remember, the goal is to phaseout traditional production (changing their own product-line), not to compete with other automakers.

Too little too late. Where’s the real PHEVs & BEVs? They’re not coming from Toyota or Subaru apparently. We all know your bias towards Toyota, and how they can do no wrong in your eyes, but they are really on the wrong side history when it comes to plugins.

Toyota’s goal is to kill BEVs. Seems like they’re failing.

Toyota’s goal is affordability. GM failed to deliver on their own “nicely under $30,000” target and certain enthusiasts now hold a grudge, feeling the need to lash out at other legacy automakers for having got burned. So, don’t listen to the disenchanted.

$27,300 MSRP for the base Prius Prime is an amazing achievement. That 25-mile electric-only range delivers impressive results for those not ready to spend a premium to get an EV. We’re still in the early-adopter stage. So, drawing conclusions is far too premature.

Ordinary consumers (those shopping the dealer’s showroom floor) have yet to even consider the purchase of a plug-in vehicle yet. It’s just a “someday” idea still. Sticking to a capacity that can be served by nothing but a standard 120-volt outlet overnight allows the opportunity to reach a very wide audience right away… which is ideal for legacy automakers hoping to quickly reach a large number of customers.

Whether you accept that approach or choose to listen to the disenchanted makes no difference. That is their intent, like it or not.

That’s clearly nonsense Star Trek John. The basic Bolt ev, with dealer discounts, state discounts, and $7500 federal discounts comes in much more than ‘nicely under $30,000″. It is by far the lowest-cost long range BEV available, and is a very practical offering considering its easy seating for 5 people, and, alternatively, its huge storage space – since such a relatively small vehicle cannot be All things to All people All the time. I have a basic Bolt ev with 2 small options. Unlike some other companies, there are Bolt evs on the dealer’s lots with zero options for those who want a full BEV at the absolute lowest cost – of which my definition of a BEV is a car that goes at least 200 miles. There are smaller battery models available but I haven’t to date, and don’t plan on considering them for purchase. Like the Prius Prime – all GM ev products, including the BOLT ev, come with a standard household outlet charging cord which is just fine for drivers who only do limited driving during the week, yet need plenty of range for a weekend excursion. I possibly disagree with most here in that I think… Read more »

>> The basic Bolt ev, with dealer discounts, state discounts, and $7500 federal discounts comes in much more than ‘nicely under $30,000″.

MSRP was always the target, for a simple reason…. selling far more than just 200,000.

Short-Term discounts (like that $7,500 tax-credit) is not how an automaker sustains profitable business.

An EV model of C-HR is in the works for 2020.

Meh. 25 miles of range is truly uninspiring

Spoken like a true enthusiast. Know your audience. Mainstream consumers have different priorities. They quite pleased with the mix of EV and 200 MPG averages.

Don’t forget the success of Toyota hybrids in the past. Prius, Camry, RAV4. Were any of them giving “inspired” reviews? No. They were just solid contenders in their market segment, paving a clear path to greater electrification efforts… which builds up a strong purchasing base for next-gen offerings

The goal of a legacy automaker is not to please niche consumers. Their bread-and-butter sales come from “ordinary” vehicles so in very high volume with very little effort.

Exactly. The same car failed the market last time and the market has moved on to higher EV miles. And the low hybrid mpg of 26 mpg adds to the problem. The 25 EV miles is OK with Prius and Ioniq getting 50+ regular mpg but it puts the Subaru PHEV in a poor market spot.

40 EV and 26 mpg would have worked as it would have provided a solid day to day EV range.

Stick with Toyota if you want a hybrid or plug-in, even though Subaru and Toyota do collaborate on some vehicles.

Like the Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Prius Prime, Subaru took an existing design and tried to stuff a battery into it, with limited results. They should take a page from Chevy and BMW and build an electric vehicle from the ground up. At least we’re making some progress. At this point, I’d go with the bigger Outlander PHEV.

Chevy REALLY needs to build an electric SUV, and they have to technology and experience. Start with the E-Trax, and move up to the E-quinox. In 2-3 years we’ll be past the need for a gas engine generator.

I currently drive a Ford C-Max Energi. The concept and layout is amazing. However, no AWD, poor quality/reliability over the 2 years I’ve had it. I’d love to drive one of the Subaru PHEVs but can’t find any yet.