The Gen2 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (2018-2023)

Subaru’s first hybrid was the 2014-2015 Crosstrek Hybrid. While there was a lot of interest in a small SUV hybrid at the time, the Highlander Hybrid was the more popular choice. The Gen1 was a combination of very strange engineering choices.

It had the smallest hybrid battery found in any Japanese hybrid, even when you include Honda’s tiny 1999 Insight. A belt driven starter alternator powered with a separate 12V starting battery. And a tiny 13 HP electric motor in the transmission offered a little bit of assistance to push this heavy car down the road.

The hybrid was 300 pounds heavier than its conventional counterpart, so it only improved fuel economy by 3 miles per gallon. Since it was $4000 more expensive and maintenance and repair costs were higher, most people opted for the conventional Crosstrek.

I wasn’t all that impressed with the Gen1 Subaru Crosstrek hybrid, and apparently the car-buying public agreed. Subaru discontinued the Gen 1 Crosstrek Hybrid after an extremely short 2 year run.

Subaru tries again

A couple of year later Subaru gave the Crosstrek Hybrid another try and the 2018-2023 Crosstrec Hybrid is worth checking out. This time Subaru did a much better job, yet they don’t seem to be selling very well at least not in Berkeley or Oakland. It could be that their reputation was damaged a bit with the Gen1. I don’t know.

Subaru’s design choices with the Gen2 made a lot more sense. The Gen2 has a large high-capacity lithium traction battery that can be charged while capturing regenerative braking or by plugging the car in. The car has 17 miles of driving range in EV only mode thanks to a 118 HP electric motor, nearly 7 times more powerful than the Gen1’s electric motor.

Better fuel economy

The 2021 Crosstrek hybrid gets 35 MPG if it isn’t ever plugged in. That’s compared 5 or 6 MPG better than the conventional alternatives, depending on the engine option.

But that’s not all. Powering a car with electricity is less expensive and the Crosstrek Hybrid gets 90 eMPG. If you commute 17 miles or less, you may use very little gas.

How does the Crosstrek Hybrid work?

If you know how Toyota’s series/parallel hybrid system works, then you know how the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid works.

It’s the same system Toyota uses. Well, mostly at least. Toyota uses an electric rear differential on their AWD hybrids. Subaru still uses a conventional rear differential.

Here’s how it works. There are two electric motors, motor generator 1 (MG1) and motor generator 2 (MG2). MG1 starts the gas motor (an Atkinson Cycle motor for increased fuel economy). The gas motor can also drive the MG1 as a generator to charge the battery.

The MG2 powers the car in EV mode or can team up with the gas motor to power the car together. The MG2 also can act as a generator and uses the kinetic energy normally wasted when braking to recharge the battery.

A DC/DC converter charges an auxiliary battery and powers the 12V systems (computers, lights, wipers, etc.) This replaces the alternator in a conventional car.

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid shop

We’re mostly known for our expertise in Toyota hybrids, but the Gen2 Crosstrek Hybrid is very familiar since it’s based on Toyota’s design, with some minor twists. We’re competent with any Subaru hybrid repair.

Art’s Automotive is a full-service Subaru hybrid shop. We own a Subaru Select Monitor 4, which is the Subaru factory approved scan tool, so we can access the hybrid control systems, just like Albany Subaru or any other authorized Subaru service center. ASE Certified technicians with lots of hybrid repair experience

If you’re looking for a shop that can help with your next Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid repair, we can help. There’s no need to pay too much at the Oakland Subaru dealership. We can do the work for less, while still using high-quality genuine Subaru repair parts.

Crosstrek Hybrid service

Subaru hybrid service is just about the same as service on any other Subaru. Special tools and equipment are required for some routine maintenance items, but the scheduled maintenance required is just about the same. The only difference is the inverter coolant, which should be replaced at the same time as the gas engine coolant.

A Subaru Crosstrek hybrid maintenance schedule chart from the 2021 Crosstrek warranty and service manual.