The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is an affordable, versatile compact crossover that’s well suited to the rigours of our Canadian winters, and is a popular model in the brand’s lineup.
However, the Crosstrek Hybrid version isn’t as interesting, with its rather high $30,495 MSRP and marginal fuel economy improvement. The 148-hp, 2.0-litre engine is supported by a 13.4-hp electric motor, and the combined fuel consumption rating only drops from 8.1 L/100 km to 7.5 compared to a non-hybrid Crosstrek.
However, in its home market, the Japanese automaker is spicing things up with the Subaru XV Hybrid tS. The crossover has been modified by Subaru Tecnica International, or STI, and features unique suspension tuning and interior trim.
STI added a flexible tower bar as well as firmer dampers and coil springs for a more dynamic drive, while the Hybrid tS is recognizable by the orange highlighting on the 17-inch alloy wheels, the front bumper, the side skirts and the roof spoiler. The front grille features dark grey edges, and the vehicle is adorned with appropriate STI and tS badging.
Inside, the Subaru XV Hybrid tS gets black leather and Ultrasuede seat upholstery with orange and beige accenting, orange contrast stitching, orange door armrests and STI sill plates. Even the climate control knobs are enhanced with orange bezels.
Sadly, or not since we won’t be getting it anyway, the XV Hybrid tS doesn’t get a power increase. The sportier Crosstrek hybrid will go on sale in Japan this fall.