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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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I see that there is a Crosstrek Hybrid model now - but the gas mileage seems only slightly better than a regular Crosstrek.

I didn't see much in the way of details, but I am guessing that this is a very "minimalist" hybrid - is it just a beefed-up starter motor that is used to provide some assist in moving away from rest?

It looks like the engine is the same (2.0 liter H-4) as in a "regular" Crosstrek.

Anyone know more about the approach/design?

Adder: OK, I answered some of my own questions. Excerpted from a Car and Driver article:

"A hybrid that is rated at 29/33 mpg on the EPA cycle (only 3 mpg better combined than that of its $3000-cheaper nonhybrid brother) doesn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense, either. Still, we anticipate that this model, with its 13-hp electric motor jammed into its CVT and a former spare-tire well now filled with an 0.6-kWh nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, will sell in places where the atmospheric and political climates favor a hybrid-badged Subaru (we’re looking at you, Boulder, Colorado)."

So it's a small electric motor, mostly just working at start-up from rest (apparently it can be all-electric up to 13 mph, if you go slow). So it helps the city mpg a bit. But with a bit of added weight as well, it's probably not really faster than a regular one. There is also stop-start capability on the gas engine, and regenerative-braking.

As the quote above implies, it seems more for PR without a whole lot of real benefit. That said, I'm glad to see Subaru getting their feet wet, at least...

Here's the full article:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-subaru-xv-crosstrek-hybrid-first-drive-review-crossbred-for-micro-variegated-climates-page-2
 

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Bob where have you been? The hybrid Crosstrek has been out for a while. The whole concept of the Crosstrek was targeting inner city young professionals just getting started who wanted a city car that could do double duty as the ski slope or camping rig. Hence the hybrid feature which would be an advantage sitting in heavy NY, SF, LA type traffic etc.
 

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'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
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How significant is the real-life city MPG payoff? My mom does a lot of city driving and will need a new car when I take the Outback to college.
How much regenerative braking does it have? Is it strong enough to use mostly regenerative motor braking in traffic?
I'm thinking a less expensive, better handling standard Impreza hatch is still the sensible choice.
 

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How significant is the real-life city MPG payoff? My mom does a lot of city driving and will need a new car when I take the Outback to college.
How much regenerative braking does it have? Is it strong enough to use mostly regenerative motor braking in traffic?
I'm thinking a less expensive, better handling standard Impreza hatch is still the sensible choice.
The major gain is with the engine shut down and ability to creep forward under electric power. Largest fuel hit you take in cities like SF, LA, NY, Seattle etc is just sitting in stopped traffic with the engine running.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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I spoke to my dealer contact and the internal buzz on the Crosstrek Hybrid is not great around Subaru. Not selling well
 

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I spoke to my dealer contact and the internal buzz on the Crosstrek Hybrid is not great around Subaru. Not selling well
Makes sense

Every subaru family I know use their cars on long trips which case the whole concept of Hybrid sorta is pointless.

On the flip side if 99% of your use is sitting in nightmare ish traffic jambs then the hybrid starts to make sense.
 

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I think the hybrid is simply a proof of concept right now to pacify the "ecoists" that insist on driving a hybrid. As noted, it offers minimal gains in MPG which would take forever to offset the added price.

I really think this was a way for Subaru to introduce the technology and refine it. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a full blown Hybrid Impreza in the next generation, which is only a couple years away. I think there will be a Hybrid option across the fleet by 2020.

I am wishfully hoping they will offer an AWD all electric Legacy by 2030... but that's a pipe dream.
 

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I think the hybrid is simply a proof of concept right now to pacify the "ecoists" that insist on driving a hybrid. As noted, it offers minimal gains in MPG which would take forever to offset the added price.
This.

Current hybrid technology seems to only be effective in small, lightweight vehicles. Get it pushing all 4 wheels in a heavier driveline and the benefits are pretty much negated. I know this technology is ever-improving so we'll see what the future holds, but there's a reason the lightweight FWD Prius with it's tiny wheels works. Get bigger than that and pound for pound the benefits (and cost benefit!) are negated.
 

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A nice 1.3L tiny turbo diesel would be better than a hybrid
 

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I don't really understand the logic of this Subaru. You get 20 miles on a full charge. That's 10 miles one way. The overall mpg is not significant over the gas-only version. The RAV4 hybrid gets much better mileage and more utility (and it's NOT a plug-in). The whole plug-in concept appears to me to be only partially thought thru. Had Subaru built the Crosstrek system similar to the RAV4 then you might have a big win. As it is... I'll bet they have issues giving these away....
 

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This.

Current hybrid technology seems to only be effective in small, lightweight vehicles. Get it pushing all 4 wheels in a heavier driveline and the benefits are pretty much negated. I know this technology is ever-improving so we'll see what the future holds, but there's a reason the lightweight FWD Prius with it's tiny wheels works. Get bigger than that and pound for pound the benefits (and cost benefit!) are negated.
I would have to disagree with you a bit. Try driving a RAV4 hybrid. It's probably the best hybrid out there and is NOT plug-in.
 
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