2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S (car review)

Sitting alongside its naturally aspirated brethren, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S offers decent handling, good safety tech, and plenty of comfort. Featuring smooth power deliver, it provides a pretty nice driving experience.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre e-Boxer Hybrid drivetrain, which combines the standard petrol engine (110kW and 196Nm) with a 12.3kW/66Nm electric motor and small lithium-ion battery for improved fuel economy.

A system called Subaru Motor Assist allows the two power sources to work together under acceleration. Drive is sent to the symmetrical all-wheel drive system via a CVT automatic, with “seven” gears.

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You’ll note we say pretty nice earlier in this review because while it’s good, it isn’t great. Where it tends to struggle is in its power delivery. It lacks get up and go, especially when compared to the petrol variants.

It’s also not very economical. That sounds like an odd statement given we’re talking about a hybrid. Subaru’s effort in this space is, shall we say, a little mild, and the fuel numbers tell the story.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S
2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S

The car maker claims 6.5-litres/100km for the e-Boxer Hybrid, and yet the best we could manage was 8.3-litres/100km in a mix of city and long highway driving. The 48-litre fuel tank is another oddity (the petrol version gets and extra 15-litres).

That aside, the Crosstrek has light but well-weighted steering that feels very point and click. It responds well to your direction choices, both on and off road. It’s fun to push around and is great as a daily driver.

Thanks to its two-tier X-Mode AWD setup, the Crosstrek Hybrid S is confident in the rough stuff should you want to leave the tarmac. The ride height and ground clearance make it practical in most situations too.

Up against the likes of the Haval Jolion Ultra Hybrid, Honda’s HR-V e:HEV L and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV, the Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S is priced from $45,090 plus on-road costs. That’s a little expensive although this is at the pointy end of the range.

As you might expect from Subaru, safety is high on the agenda, with forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, a digital speed display, tyre pressure monitors, blind-zone warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

dash
Inside the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S

The driver monitoring cameras do an excellent job of making sure you don’t take your eyes off the road as well. All these goodies join a raft of interior features that includes leather-accented interior trim, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

There’s a sunroof, heated front seats with 10-way electric adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a 360-degree camera system, 18-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling LED headlights and automatic high beams.

The upright 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and satellite navigation. The interface is clean and easy to use, and there’s no lag to speak of, which is super nice.

The seats are comfortable, and the second row sports plenty of space in the headroom department. Leg and knee room are okay, but not brilliant, and there’s no rear air vents. There are USB-A and USB-C charging points though.

The Crosstrek also misses out on a powered tailgate, digital instrument cluster and front parking sensors. The boot space is among the smallest in its class too, at just 291-litres with the rear seats up. Drop them and it’s 1,278-litres, floor to ceiling.

front seats
Inside the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S

For those wondering, that seats up measurement is less than the Mazda CX-30, and the Hybrid also misses out on a spare wheel, instead having to make do with a tyre repair kit. That’s a factor we’re not really sure about if you’re up for a heap of off-roading.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and 12 months free roadside assist. Capped price servicing and pre-paid care plans are available.

If this sounds like the car for you, colour options include Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Magnetite Grey Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Pure Red, Offshore Blue Metallic, Sun Blaze Pearl, Oasis Blue, Sapphire Blue Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl.

To build your own, or to find out more about Subaru Australia’s hybrid options, visit their website. if you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Subaru Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S, contact your local Subaru dealer.

rear seats
Inside the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7
Exterior styling
8
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
8
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros – great ride and handling; exceptional safety systems; X-Mode AWD platform; sound system.
Cons – feels underpowered; hybrid is mild at best; price point is a little iffy; fuel economy.
Peter Swat
Peter Swat
Peter is a lover not a fighter, with a deep passion for motorcycles and performance cars. He has been riding for some 14 years. His favourite bike is the BMW S 1000 RR and he has a passion for sports bikes and cruisers alike.

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<strong>Pros –</strong> great ride and handling; exceptional safety systems; X-Mode AWD platform; sound system.<br> <strong>Cons –</strong> feels underpowered; hybrid is mild at best; price point is a little iffy; fuel economy.2023 Subaru Crosstrek AWD Hybrid S (car review)