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New Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Details; Why You May Not Be Able To Get One

When the new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV arrives later this year, it won’t be available where the brand is most popular.

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Subaru of America is bringing its first-ever plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid. It’s coming later this year, and it will incorporate Toyota Prius Prime technology. But fans in western U.S. states may not be able to get one. Here’s what’s coming for those in California and the Northeast.

Crosstrek PHEV only available in 10 U.S. states

Subaru's new Crosstrek plug-in hybrid will be sold only in the U.S. to comply with California's zero-emission vehicle regulations. According to what Colorado dealerships are telling customers, Subaru Corp’s plans are to only sell the Crosstrek PHEV in the 10 states that have adopted zero-emissions vehicle requirements. There are only nine states that have adopted California's ZEV program. They are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. So unless you live in California or one of these states in the Northeast, you are out of luck.

Subaru taps Toyota technology

Because Toyota owns 16.5 percent of Subaru, it allows the small Japanese automaker to tap their vast hybrid resources for their first-ever PHEV. Subaru’s new plug-in hybrid will pull largely from the Toyota’s Prius Prime. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid integrates the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) mated with Subaru’s four-cylinder direct-injection Boxer engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and an all-new transmission.

Subaru, with their own in-house electrification project, will tap Toyota Prius Prime technology but will use their own boxer engine, rather than the Prius Prime's transversely mounted Toyota powerplant. They will likely use a 2.0-liter Boxer engine like “e-Boxer” just announced for the new Japan-spec 2019 Forester Hybrid. The fifth-generation 2019 Forester e-Boxer, announced for the Japan market, will be powered by the newly developed 2.0-liter direct injection engine coupled with an AC synchronous electric motor.

Subaru also says the new Crosstrek Hybrid will maintain all the capabilities of the traditional Subaru Crosstrek with increased fuel efficiency. It can be driven as a normal Hybrid, using both gas and electric power and eliminating range anxiety, or driven on an all-electric drive for local commuting. The new crossover will also get X MODE and 8.7-inches of ground clearance for off-road adventures. “The Crosstrek Hybrid combines the wide-ranging off-road capability of the gas-powered Crosstrek with hybrid efficiency,” says Subaru.

Prius Prime efficiency

To get an idea of what’s coming from Subaru, we can look at Prius Prime’s efficiency. It gets an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe, 640 miles total driving range and 54 combined mpg. Toyota says it also comes with 25 miles of EV Mode driving range. Prius Prime can be charged with a standard household outlet and charges in less than 5 hours 30 minutes. Subaru has not revealed fuel economy numbers.

The new Crosstrek PHEV won’t be sold where the brand is the most popular, in the Rocky Mountains and the state of Washington. Unless these states adopt tougher air-quality standards, environmentally conscious consumers who live in these regions won’t get any new fuel-stingy Crosstreks. The all-new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In-Hybrid arrives in U.S. showrooms near the end of this year.

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Photo credit: Subaru

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Joseph Turner (not verified)    July 6, 2018 - 8:20AM

"There are only nine states that have adopted California's ZEV program. They are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. So unless you live in California or one of these states in the Northeast, you are out of luck."

Really, when did Oregon get moved to the Northeast?

Prius Fan (not verified)    July 19, 2018 - 11:18PM

This makes it sound like you have to LIVE in one of these states to purchase it. Is that the case? If not, you can just buy it out of state and drive it back or ship it back if that's in your budget.

Danny (not verified)    October 17, 2018 - 3:55PM

In reply to by Prius Fan (not verified)

I believe it has to be registered at an address in a compliance state. Once registered, you can do what ever you want with it but watch out for those rebates. If you receive an EV state rebate and remove it . from the state, the state will most likely withdraw the rebate.

Chris (not verified)    October 19, 2018 - 11:06PM

In reply to by Danny (not verified)

I have bought new cars in other states, gotten a "one way trip" permit, or something like that, and driven it home to register it. There's no reason that shouldn't work in this case. Plus, Colorado has an excellent tax credit ($5000, better than California's, on top of a similar federal credit) for buying a new plug-in car anywhere and registering it in CO.

danwat1234 (not verified)    September 17, 2018 - 5:17PM

Somehow I think the ICE they are going to use in this car will cause the charge-sustain MPG to suck. They should really use the best Atkinson cycle engine Toyota can offer along with strong electric motors.

Donald Thoreby (not verified)    September 18, 2018 - 10:08PM

Can I buy a 2019 Subaru plug-in hybrid Crosstrek in Oregon or California, then drive it to my home in Washington state?

steve1718 (not verified)    September 26, 2020 - 9:07PM

In reply to by Anthony Castillo (not verified)

I would be very interested in more information about servicing Crosstrek hybrid in WA state. We live in California but are expecting to move to WA in the next year or two. I was told the same thing Donald was, that dealers in WA will not be able to work on the hybrid components, only the engine and other non-hybrid components. Is there anything that contradicts that?

Jen (not verified)    September 28, 2018 - 9:37AM

It’s almost October - when will the ‘available by year end’ crosstrek hybrid be available to test drive in NJ?

Susan Daley (not verified)    March 15, 2019 - 5:19PM

This is March 2019 and all the Subaru dealers are each only getting four Subaru Crosstrek Hybrids cars apiece, all are top of the line and loaded, so they are all the most expensive versions, so no lower end models will be sold in America at all, and 3/4 of them have already been sold before they even get here! That leaves about six cars that will be available here in my state of Maine for everyone else who wants one, and they are all top of the line and loaded and are selling for between $38,000 and $40,000 apiece or more, and they won’t get any more of these cars until the 2020 version comes out next year! I wanted a basic one for $35,000 to $36,000, but I can’t even see one never mind ever get one even if I could afford $40,000! I just don’t get it! Why advertise and market these cars, and get everyone excited, salivating and wanting one, and then cut out all of the more affordable lower priced versions when the price is already rather high to begin with, and then only give each dealership four of the highest end version cars apiece for the entire year even though 3/4 of them have already been sold sight unseen before they even get off the boat? This makes zero sense!! I though that Subaru was in the car sales business! We want eco friendly cars and we want them now, so what do we consumers have to do to get one, rob a bank and put a gun to their heads to get them to make more of them? Please Subaru, at least allow folks to order one and have it be available before the end of the year for goodness sake! Why advertise models of cars that you are not even manufacturing or shipping to America? I just don’t understand! And we need electric AWD cars now, we have only got about ten years to stop climate change so we must stop burning fossil fuels NOW or there will be an unprecedented climate catastrophe that verges on the Apocalypse! Every place on earth below two hundred feet above sea level will all be underwater worldwide, and all the world’s rivers will backflow two hundred feet, so it will entirely flood America’s Midwest, so even if you don’t live near the sea you can still drown. The entire state of Florida will go underwater, perhaps all at once. We could cause the meltdowns of all of America’s 114 nuclear power plants at once due to flooding, as happened in Fukushima, only no one will be around to help stop this or fix it as they will be underwater too. We are making all the world’s oceans too acidic for sea life and fish and so all sea life will die and there will be no fish and billions of people who depend upon seafood will die. Wildfires, droughts, and severe storms will slowly worsen every year. The fossil fuel companies have spent hundreds of milllions of dollars every year for forty years lying to everyone in the public about climate change and that natural gas which is methane is better for the environment when it is much worse, as methane is five times more powerful of a greenhouse gas than is CO2 and all of the gas pipelines all leak methane into the atmosphere, and so they have caused half of the American people to believe that climate change is just a hoax and that we have nothing to fear when that couldn’t be further from the truth. These greedy fossil fuel people only care about their profits and they won’t be around when billions of people drown and die of toxic radiation, and poisoned air, water, and food, and starve to death or burn up in wildfires or get blown away in hurricanes that are stronger than usual. I hope that there is a God, because if not then these greedy men will have gotten away with the biggest and most genocidal scam in human history, and eternal damnation will be too good for them! Some Americans like myself want to do our part to help things by buying an electric or hybrid car, but I need AWD or 4WD to get up my driveway in the wintertime. That, and because I love Subarus is why I wanted the Subaru Crosstrek hybrid, and I need a new car now as my old 2002 Subaru just rusted out, so I am forced to get a Forester. I am very disappointed, but now I will be stuck with the Forester for the next ten years and won’t be able to help stop climate change very much if at all. Why can’t more be done to help us make these changes before it’s too late? We can’t all go and live like Native Americans! I am disabled and I must use a car to get around to the grocery store and I need AWD. This is terribly disappointing and frustrating! Please Subaru, make many more AWD hybrids and please try to make them more affordable and with room to put our groceries in because that is a big part of why we need to use a car. Those two seater mini cars just don’t do it! Please help us because even your factories can go under water too, and don’t be so sure that even you will be able to escape in time. Please think, it’s not illegal yet!

steve1718 (not verified)    September 26, 2020 - 9:03PM

In reply to by danwat1234 (not verified)

I've been told that Toyota is providing each dealer only 2 of the MY2021 RAV4 Primes, and dealers (at least here in California) are asking for $5K to $15K over MSRP as a result. So screw Toyota as well.

Joe Williams (not verified)    February 19, 2020 - 8:31PM

So here we are 1 year later and only Pennsylvania has been added to the states that can sell the Hybrid.I live in chicago and have owned subarus for 22 years. I have been trying to figure out why they aren't selling them here in chicago. This is a perfect place for this car to be sold but they won't do it. It makes no sense. I think they are missing out on a huge opportunity.

John Hinkey (not verified)    June 14, 2020 - 1:42PM

In reply to by Joe Williams (not verified)

Yes, this is absolutely silly. I live in WA state, have driven Subarus for years, and for no particularly logical reason I can't buy a hybrid CrossTrek here in Washington. They would sell well here. It feels like Subaru is only selling these in the particular states because they have to and they likely don't make as much $$ on the hybrid version vs. the regular version even with an elevated price. A few months ago one of the local sales people said it would be at least another year for the hybrid CrossTrek to come to Washington State.

Jerry Coyle (not verified)    March 16, 2021 - 10:34AM

How can Honda sell Rav4 hybrids in Pa, and Subaru can't sell it's Crosstrek hybrid in Pa ?

Jordan (not verified)    August 30, 2021 - 2:58PM

Does illinois adopt the zero emissions vehicle requirement? Cause if not, then sorry y'all are out of luck. The state has to adopt those requirements and you know actually care about the environment for Subaru to sell the hybrid there.