When we had the opportunity to try the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid on the rocky, dusty trails above Santa Monica, it had us excited to try it on our crumbling Michigan roads. Luckily, the arrival of Subaru's first plug-in vehicle to the Autoblog office coincided with a powerful snowstorm followed by subzero temperatures, and then some serious freezing rain to cap off our week with it. Perfect Subaru weather. The new Crosstrek Hybrid may share a nameplate with the discontinued conventional hybrid, but this one features a plug-in hybrid powertrain borrowing technology from Toyota. It features two electric motors — one to propel the vehicle, the other acting as a starter/generator. Together with its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine, this PHEV gets a combined 148 horsepower, and is actually a full second quicker from 0-60 than the ICE-only Crosstrek. With an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, it offers a modest 17 miles of all-electric driving, but an overall range of 480 miles. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: This is a solid execution of the modern hybrid. The price is reasonable. The range (17 miles of EV travel) is usable. Go where you need to go. Charge up. You're good. It's attractive, inside and out. I love the Lagoon Blue Pearl paint. The cabin is comfortable and laid out nicely, and the blue stitching and pleasing leather elements dress things up. As expected, the Crosstrek is solid in the snow and ice. I had no trouble navigating the messy roads when much of the rest of the world was snowed in. The infotainment is smart. It's part of a $2,500 option that also adds the moonroof and heated steering wheel. It's worth it. I already like the Crosstrek. If it were my money, I'd go for hybrid variant. Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: A night and a morning in the Crosstrek Hybrid on Michigan roads only confirms what I decided when I drove it in California two months ago: I dig this car. It's quiet, it's economical, it's capable, it's good-looking. There are only two downsides that I see. First is the cargo area behind the rear seats. It's pretty small. The battery pack raises the load floor a few inches above the bumper height. That doesn't seem like a lot, but when you realize how high it already is, taking out those few extra inches means it's not only harder to fit large items back there, it's harder to load and unload them at that height. I love the @subaru_usa Crosstrek Hybrid, but here's one of the drawbacks of the plug-in powertrain. Is it really that bad, though? See for yourself. @therealautoblog @AutoblogGreen pic.twitter.com/r8Ttm808Fl — John "The Detroit Moustache" Snyder (@jbeltzsnyder) January 17, 2019 The second drawback is that it's not quick. I had trouble getting up to highway speeds in it. Then, if I wanted to pass someone, I had to wait for a pretty big gap in the left lane to make my move, lest I slow down others behind me …
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