2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid: Power isn’t everything

Our Opinion: If you flip open the brochure for the ‘19 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, you might put it right back into the plastic holder after you see the unimpressive 148 hp — 137 from the gas engine with 11 more from the electric motor. And, well, you’re not wrong — it’s not a lot. But that all goes by the wayside when you actually drive the thing — it is without a doubt the best Crosstrek you can buy. At least, until the folks at Subaru build a WRX version.Taking the Crosstrek Hybrid on one of my regularly scheduled trips to my parents’ home in Indianapolis, I loaded the Crosstrek with basically every stitch of clothing I had. That’s when I found out the rear cargo space is a good amount smaller (about 5 cubic feet, maybe two backpacks’ worth) than the standard Crosstrek — a small blemish on an otherwise seamless hybrid, but the batteries have to go somewhere. Still, there’s no problem if you’re not filling the car with passengers: The rear cargo space holds about two small carry-on bags, but the back seat can handle a large laundry bag overflowing with sweaters, slacks and plain white T-shirts. The Crosstrek Hybrid takes on road-tripping like a pro: It was quiet at speed, the battery regeneration was easy to manage and it sipped fuel better than I would have expected. Getting to highway speeds does require some patience, but when you’re at speed and cruising, you’re solid.