While a lot of average folks like Subaru, the brand has long been popular with the hippie-dippy demographic. Frankly, it seemed like the company missed a golden opportunity to further solidify its standing with the granola crowd by being a little late on the hybrid front.
However, maybe we’ve categorized the automaker’s consumer base incorrectly — or at least their taste in powertrains. After all, the Crosstrek Hybrid wasn’t an overwhelming success. The model only lasted three years until Subaru decided to kill it off in 2016. But it’s coming back from the dead for 2019, this time as a plug-in — making it Subaru’s very first PHEV.
Considering how poorly the last model performed, choosing to bring back the Crosstrek Hybrid may sound like a fool’s errand. However, Subaru is being smart by building 2019 model with a power port. Plug-ins are gaining in popularity, though a lot of that stems from consumers being more willing to adopt battery-only vehicles. PHEV sales are more of a mixed bag and both still represent a minuscule portion of the total market.
We’re not sure how well the updated Crosstrek Hybrid will sell. But dealers will be able to boast that the model can be driven as a normal hybrid, using both gas and electric power to eliminate range anxiety, or solely under electric power for shorter commutes. That ought to interest those hunting for a versatile family hauler who are keen to keep fuel costs down but don’t want to go fully electric.
The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid keeps its four-cylinder Boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, but adds a new transmission and a hybrid system on loan from Toyota. It’s also supposed to get some unique styling cues to differentiate itself from the gas-powered alternative.
While the automaker didn’t give much in the way of details, it’s safe to expect the same 2.0-liter from the standard car with added oomph coming from the electric motors. Subaru hasn’t released pricing yet, but it’ll definitely surpass the Limited trim’s $26,295 MSRP. Subaru says the model should begin appearing on dealer lots before the end of the year.