The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek now includes a new hybrid model, Subaru's first-ever, and the new model manages to boost the Crosstrek's fuel-economy ratings above those of the most efficient Impreza hatchback--the model on which the jacked-up hatchback is based.
Specifically, the 2014 Crosstrek Hybrid is rated at 31 mpg combined (29 mpg city, 33 mpg highway), against the base Impreza's 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway) when fitted with Subaru's continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is the only transmission option in the hybrid. The non-hybrid Crosstrek comes in lower, at 28 mpg combined with the CVT and 26 mpg combined with the standard five-speed manual gearbox.
These are still quite good numbers for five-door vehicles fitted with all-wheel drive, though the Crosstrek doesn't have the storage capacity of a compact crossover like the Subaru Forester. We'd also note that CVT versions of all Subarus get better mileage than the manual in real-world driving; in a limited first drive we saw nearly 30 mpg in mixed conditions. Notably, however, we saw little improvement over the standard model when driving the new Hybrid over several hundred miles, although admittedly our test included a majority of highway speeds during which the hybrid system doesn't play a role.
Still, if you're looking for the greenest Crosstrek, the hybrid is the model to have--although supplies may be limited during this introductory year, and at $25,995, the price is $4,000 higher than the most basic non-hybrid Crosstrek. The top-of-the-line Crosstrek Hybrid Touring, in fact, just passes the $30,000 mark when delivery is included--a healthy increase of almost $8,000 over the entry-level Crosstrek.