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Old 09-01-2012, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Impreza vs. Crosstrek

The 2012-2013 Impreza is, I think the highest EPA MPG rated AWD vehicle available at a reasonable price, 36 hwy. But here in hilly snow country, people who worry about ability to get around in snowstorms think that high ground clearance is important too. So they look to the Crosstrek variation on the Impreza, which has 8.7" ground clearance. It has the same drivetrain and pretty much the same body is rated 33 mph hwy.

As far as I can tell, the differences are:

1) Suspension height about 2" higher on the Crosstrek.
2) Tires: Yokohoma Avis S33 P195/65R15, which seems to be a LRR tire, on the Impreza, vs. 225/55 R17 Yokohama Geolandar G95 on the Crosstrek. That provides the other inch in clearance, and presumably a bit of rolling resistance.
3) Wheel styling: the structure is different, though neither looks optimzed for aero. I tried to post a link to pictures but as a new user I'm not allowed to...
4) A little bit of a fender on the rear of the crosstrek, for a little more drag there.

Anyone care to speculate on:
A) How much of the 3 MPG/10% difference is due to which of the 4 items,
B) How easy it would be to do some mods on the Crosstrek to get back up to the Impreza performance (staying conservative, based on it being a new car!)
C) How easy it would be to mod the Impreza for variable suspension height to boost it up for winter use (the easy mod being putting on bigger diameter snow tires, but what if you wanted the additional two inches?)


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Old 06-06-2013, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get the impressa all the way. Forget the crosstrek. I'm a ski bum that pretty much only uses my car for skiing and I'm 100% glad I have a Legacy and not an outback.

The crosstrek is basically the outback version of the impressa. Go for the 36 mpg.

You'll be able to get anyware you want in the impressa with all season tires. If you want to tow a snowmobile up steep hills in a snowstorm get snow tires. But otherwise you won't even need snow tires. Subaru AWD is rediculausly amazing in snow. I have snow tires for my car and never even put them on cause the AWD and all seasons work so good.

Unless you're a park ranger that needs to save people on unplowed mountain dirt roads or someone who wants to try to hook a plow up to their subaru you don't need the high ground clearance and bigger tires to get around even in the worst snow storms.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The Crosstrek is wider than the Imprezza, so that adds frontal area, as does the higher clearance (more tire exposed). Addidionally, it is heavier. Added frontal area+weight+a dirtier undercarriage=less mpg.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think there is a plugin hybrid version of the Crosstrek? It only gets 2-3MPG more though, as I understand it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I think there is a plugin hybrid version of the Crosstrek? It only gets 2-3MPG more though, as I understand it.
The prototype was presented, but I'd expect it to get some improvements before becoming available. And possibly available in the regular Impreza instead.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just finished a road trip in a '14 XV from the mid west and down the other side of the Appalachian mountains an back (about 1600 miles): one tank gave us 39.6mpg with the other tanks averaging out around 37.2mpg. This trip included 70mph highways, mountains, rush hour traffic, city driving, and some off roading. Considering the dropping temperatures as well as zero mods, I am pretty darn happy. More progress shall be made for future trips though.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Are we talking Ohio "snow country" or Colorado "snow country"? I'd say get the lower one and use snow tires. AWD is good for going, but doesn't help you one bit to stop. My Civic is about six inches off the ground and with snow tires it'll push snow. With a stock height AWD car, you'll have no issues unless you're trying to drive in a foot of unplowed sticky snow.

If you find that you're doing more off roading/expeditions than you expected, you can probably just swap over some taller springs and shocks. You'll already have the beefy snow tires.

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crosstrek, height, impreza, subaru, tires

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