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The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. (Michael Bettencourt for The Globe and Mail)
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. (Michael Bettencourt for The Globe and Mail)

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Crosstrek cutie is a fun-loving, respectable ride Add to ...

Hi, my name is Subaru XV Crosstrek, and I never thought I’d be the type for online video dating, but times are changing, so here I am. I’ve just arrived in the city from the mountains of Japan originally, and more recently the wilds of Australia, the love child of my Outback mom and Impreza hatchback dad.

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Yes, she’s a fair bit taller than him, but so what? I never heard either of them complain.

I’m taller now than my father, too, and I have a bit of my mom’s love of the outdoors, but everyone says I’m more like him, inside and out. Now that I’m all grown up, I think he’s a bit jealous of my 220 mm of ground clearance, especially whenever there’s a bad snowfall. Though I wish he’d stop asking me, ‘How’s the weather up there?’

I know it’s just a coping mechanism for him, as he was always one of the smartest and most sophisticated folks around, with all-wheel-drive standard, double wishbone rear suspension and a handling-friendly flat-four engine. But flashing all that underhood bling never made him very popular. Plus he always drank more than his front-wheel-drive buddies.

Anyway, for me, I realize that his big mistake was just hanging out in the wrong crowd, one that didn’t appreciate his unusual but party-ready differences, no matter the time, day or season. He stopped drinking quite so much after his latest intervention in 2012, and though we’re not quite teetotalers, we’re both amongst the least thirsty of all our friends.

Sure, my crossover friends tend to be wilder, taller and thirstier types, and most of them will drink me under the table, especially the all-wheel-drive ones. But now that I’ve moved to the city, all you see around here are those goody-two-shoes compact cars that are 10 deep on every corner. And though I wish I could go back and redo that crazy night when I woke up with these permanent black tats on my rims, nobody thinks they look at all strange when my friend Juke is around.

Of course, we don’t hang with those hybrid geeks, they’re no fun – they rarely want to hit the gas bars at all. And those plug-in kids are even worse, always talking about helping the planet and “energy independence,” and hitting us up for more catchy megaphone slogans.

Fun is very important to me, especially in the corners, though I don’t mind venturing off the beaten path to get down and dirty every once in a while. My dad taught me to dance in those corners, and though I like to relax for the most part when I’m travelling, I’m not afraid of a good suspension workout, no matter what the surface.

Just don’t think I’m out to hook up with just anyone: I’m a respectable girl, from a respectable family, so I’d rather meet up with someone that isn’t always clipping coupons, or looking for the next big rebate or deal. Okay, you might catch a chintzy clang or two, say when closing my hatch, that gives away some of our humble origins from back home. But my entire family comes from a long line of Top Safety picks, since 2010 in fact, and I always practise safe motoring.

So as long as you’re willing to go slow, not rush me, and let my continuously variable personality lead us to wherever we’re meant to go, please go ahead and message me.

globedrive@globeandmail.com

Tech specs

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Type: Compact five-seat SUV

Base price: $24,495; as tested: $29,490

Engine: 2.0-litre boxer four

Horsepower/torque: 148 hp/145 lb-ft

Transmission: CVT or five-speed manual

Drive: All-wheel

Fuel economy (litres/100 km: EPA: 9.4 city/7.1 highway; regular gas

Alternatives: Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mini Cooper S Countryman, Nissan Juke

Follow us on Twitter: @Globe_Drive

Globe rating for the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Our ratings guide
8

Ride

A fine compromise of comfort and handling, courtesy a sophisticated double wishbone rear suspension, with confidence-enhancing full-time all-wheel drive standard; CVT best choice here.

8

Looks

Arguably cooler than the Impreza hatchback it’s based on – if you like black rims, as those are the only ones available.

7.5

Interior

Largely the same as latest Impreza interiors, with decent quality for the price, but without the design flair of some rivals.

8.5

Safety

Closely related Impreza rated as IIHS Top Safety Pick since 2010 and, even with generous ground clearance, its low centre of gravity suggests this will continue.

8.5

Green

Among the least thirsty of all-wheel-drive crossovers in Canada, though front-drive-only hybrid crossovers like the Ford C-Max and Prius v are notably stingier.

8.5

Overall

(out of 10 / Not an average)

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