XV Crosstrek Hybrid – Breaking Even
In 2014, Subaru introduced their new XV Crosstrek Hybrid, FHI’s first hybrid model put into production. Still available in 2015, this new gas-electric hybrid model comes with 160 horsepower, 12 horsepower more than the standard 2.0i gas model with a CVT transmission. And it also gets 4 more miles per gallon than the 2.0i does in the city.
This puts Subaru in the “green” vehicle market, but for those looking for a fuel efficient vehicle to reduce vehicle operating costs, is the XV Crosstrek Hybrid really worth the extra $3000? A little math helps us answer that question. The Hybrid model is rated at 29 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, whereas the 2.0i model gets 25 in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Since there is no difference on the highway, we can only calculate a difference in city mile driving. The XV Crosstrek with a standard transmission gets slightly worse fuel economy, but we are focusing on those equipped with CVT transmissions to compare apples to apples.
With the current price of 87 octane gasoline in our area being about $3.50 per gallon, the Hybrid costs $0.12 per mile in fuel to drive. The 2.0i model costs $0.14 per mile. That’s a difference of $0.02 per mile in fuel costs. Using fuel savings to earn back the $3,000 difference in purchase price between the models, you would have to drive the hybrid 155,000 miles. And don’t forget – these are city miles, not highway miles. Even if fuel prices go up to $5.00 per gallon, you would still have to drive 109,000 miles.
My daily commute takes me through 6 miles of city driving and 32 miles of highway driving. With the stop-and-go traffic that I usually encounter in the afternoon, I will more fairly say that I have 22 miles of city driving and 16 miles of highway. If fuel prices never change, it would take me 27 years of commuting 5 days per week to make up that $3,000 price difference. I would have 268,000 miles on it by the end of those 27 years if I didn’t use it for any road trips on the weekends. Since the average Subaru owner keeps their car for 15 years, chances are I would never make it to the break-even point.
So for those who are environmentally conscious and are happy to spend the extra money for the extra 4 miles per gallon simply to burn less fuel, it may be worth the purchase. But trying to make up the difference in purchase price by driving the Hybrid may never pan out. If you are truly looking for a green or highly efficient vehicle, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid leaves something to be desired. Subaru does have more plans on the table for hybrids and electrics, including a plug-in diesel hybrid that was introduced as a concept car. But with so many Subaru drivers being nature lovers, it’s a wonder why Subaru is so far behind in the green market.