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The New Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Has A Steep Hill To Climb, You Aren't Buying Them

The new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has been in showrooms for less than a year but how is it doing? See how many have been sold so far.

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Subaru of America (SOA) never thought the all-new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid would be a big seller in its all-wheel-drive stable, and the new electrified model isn’t selling well. According to a report from The Detroit News, through July of this year, Crosstrek Hybrids represented just 1.5 percent of all Crosstreks sold and just 0.26 percent of Subaru's overall sales in the U.S. market.

If we project that through August of 2019, SOA has sold a meager 1,299 2019 Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid models since it made its dealer launch late last year. Why are so few selling in North America, the only global market it’s offered? The issue is price and availability. The Crosstrek PHEV is priced at $34,995 which is $13,100 more (60 percent) over the base 2.0i gas-powered Crosstrek.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid

To be fair, the Crosstrek Hybrid comes loaded with features, not on the base 2.0i trim like leather seats and trim, power driver’s seat, heated seats with the all-weather package, and keyless access with push-button start. But the Hybrid is still $7,800 more than the loaded top-trim Limited.

You aren’t buying them because they aren’t easy to get. Subaru Corp is only manufacturing “limited quantities” of the new 2019 Crosstrek with electric technology. The Crosstrek Hybrid is sold in every state but customers wanting their new hybrid vehicle will have to wait in most states after it’s ordered. Instead of waiting, customers are buying record numbers of the gas models already sitting on dealer lots.

Peter Tenn, planning manager for the Outback and Legacy assembled at the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana says Subaru customers are coming to the brand for value. Tenn told The Detroit News, “Our customers value, value. We’re trying to launch everyday cars. It’s tough to take those people off and put them on EV programs if we want to give our customers the kind of vehicles they expect from us.”

Subaru of America is giving buyers what they want and customers are responding. The Camden, N.J. automaker sold a record number of new Crosstrek compact SUVs last month. The top-selling 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Premium trim can be had for $26,265 with the CVT automatic transmission and EyeSight driver assist including destination. Customers are not willing to wait for months for the more expensive hybrid model.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Christie Cutright (not verified)    September 15, 2019 - 9:56PM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

I will buy the gas model as the new hybrid comes in one color (really dislike it), is way more expensive than the other Crosstreks and I can buy a Toyota hybrid right away if needed. Also many states don't have plug ins all over tto recharge the car if needed.

Dan (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 3:03PM

In reply to by Christie Cutright (not verified)

Not all true. The hybrid comes in 4 colors: Black, White, Cool Gray Khaki, and Island Blue Pearl. Sure, it's not a huge selection of color choices, but it's not 1 color. Though it is more expensive, take off the $4500 Federal Tax Credit from the price and now it's actually $30,000, much closer to the price of the Limited trim level. You also don't need a charging station to charge. Simply take the cable with you and plug it into a standard 120V outlet you find for some free charging. I agree that it takes awhile to get one (I ordered one in NJ because I didn't want the moonroof package and waited 14 weeks for it). I knew in the end it was worthwhile because I am getting over 90 MPG because most of my driving is within the limit of the battery (I get up to 22mi on a charge).

Digitaldoc (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 12:32PM

The Crosstrek Hybrid is not selling as it is overpriced, the fuel economy benefit is lacking, and the battery eats up too much cargo space.

Scot M (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 12:43PM

I work for a Subaru Dealership in Utah in the internet department. We've had hundreds of leads this summer from serious would-be buyers of the hybrid Crosstrek that went to another brand because Subaru DID NOT DISTRIBUTE THEM IN UTAH. It's pretty hard to sell them (even when people have been legitimately clamoring for them) when we tell them they'll have to go to California to purchase (and service!) their new Hybrid Crosstrek.

Just thought I'd add some insight as to why it might not have done as well, as I've easily seen 100+ lost sales here, due to no availability.

Steve (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 3:35PM

In reply to by Scot M (not verified)

Yes! Scot has it right. I am one of those potential buyers in Utah and I was waiting until the 2020 Crosstrek came out to see if they just might expand the availability. Looks like a "no." We even looked into travelling to CA to purchase one, but the thought of having it die here in Utah and having to have it towed to CA for service was the deal killer. Seriously bummed. It's the car I really want but it looks like I'll be moving on to the Prius AWD or something else.

Also, Subaru seriously needs to add a heated steering wheel option to the Crosstrek gas models (they have it in Canada!). But, they didn't do that in 2020 either. Sigh.

Eric Thibodeau (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 12:56PM

You can't buy them if they're not offering to sell them or capable of warranty reapirs. I'm in Denver and was told that they don't have any locally because California is the only location setup for any maintenance issues. So I if did have one shipped to me, I'd have to drive it back to Ca for any warranty issues.

Tiny Cadon (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 3:14PM

There's no cargo space... AT ALL!!! The cargo net they have for this is tall enough to fit a tennis ball in, not even kidding. Why even bother producing this if you can't fit anything in the hatch!?!?!

Dan (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 3:09PM

In reply to by Tiny Cadon (not verified)

You are misleading readers. There is cargo space, so your claim of no cargo space...AT ALL, is false. The compartment is reduced by 5 cu.ft., so yes, it is smaller, but there is still over 15 cu.ft. of space before lowering the rear seats. They could have engineered it better by integrating the battery into where the spare tire well is (since there is no spare tire now), but I assume they did not want to invest the engineering $$ into a re-design for this. Would have been worth it, but they know that the gas-only models will still sell more.

Tiny Cadon (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 10:20AM

In reply to by Dan (not verified)

I'm not misleading readers, I didn't write the article? Sorry that you read my comment too literal, sure there's "Some Space" in the rear, but it's hardly usable for anything above a couple of backpacks & certainly not for anything bigger than that. A pipe that's 1" wide and a mile long will have 440 cubic feet of space, that doesn't mean you can carry a 50" flat screen tv in it.

JJ Parks (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 4:42PM

Two of my favorite cars: The Prius Prime and the Subaru Crosstrek were merged into what I thought would become my favorite car ever. They really dropped the ball here with the pricing. I would have ordered a Prime but the lack of AWD killed it for me, and until there's a purely electric Prius (or Subaru) then I have to consider hybrids. That being said, the only hope I have on buying this is that they'll drop the price significantly to clear the lots and I'll finally own one. Here in CT they're easy to find and are literally gathering cobwebs at our local dealerships. They are gorgeous in person though.

Jeffrey (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 7:56PM

I wanted to buy one, but it got a ridiculous 17 miles on electric and then the power reduced to worse than the gas model. The price difference for a fully loaded gas model and the hybrid was significant especially for so little electric mileage. It didn't justify the plug in hybrid for me. It felt like a joke.

BRANDI (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 10:05PM

I wanted to by one and even put off a new car purchase for a year to get one. I was more than willing to travel to another state, but then i saw the cargo hold. With all the other difficulties, it didn't make sense to get one if I couldn't fit my dog and stroller in the back. Until they fix the cargo issue it just doesn't make sense.

Dave (not verified)    September 11, 2019 - 11:02PM

We were seriously interested in this car, but ended up buying a gas Crosstrek, as we could never see one of these cars, even months after the supposed launch date. We're in Oregon, so availability should have been ok, but we got tired of waiting. Add to that the negative cargo space ramifications of the battery pack. The regular Crosstrek is already pretty limited on cargo space. I'm glad we saw an honest review and decided to get the conventional version.

JJ Parks (not verified)    September 12, 2019 - 12:02PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

That makes a LOT of sense and my wife did buy a regular 2019 for the same reason. Given the price difference ($10,000+) the time between how long it'd take to be saving money given the small amount of EV miles, it just didn't make sense on paper. I want to buy one of these, but I want to buy one of these in like 3-4 years when they're available used and fully depreciated :). By then I'll probably be driving a Tesla though.

El Jefe (not verified)    March 1, 2020 - 2:32PM

Meager sales? Subaru already announced that they were only making a small number of them due to Toyota having to supply the battery packs. This, and only a small portion of the states are even allowed to sell them. Ever Subaru dealership I've called in my area were sold out, so your article has no merit. But yes, Hybrid's and EV's do not justify purchasing because of how long it takes you to recuperate the initial cap costs, and they don't even save on emissions.