The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid plug-in hybrid has reached the end of its charging cord. Subaru confirmed to Green Car Reports that there is no plan for a Crosstrek Hybrid in its new generation, which made its debut Thursday at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show.
The Crosstrek Hybrid launched for the 2014 model year as Subaru’s first hybrid, then became a plug-in hybrid as part of a redesign for the 2019 model year. Still available for 2023, and currently in stock at some West Coast dealerships, the Crosstrek Hybrid goes 17 miles all-electric and carves out a unique space among plug-in hybrids, reflecting Subaru’s nonconformist market proposition.
In plug-in hybrid form, the Crosstrek has always been a very low-volume vehicle, selling almost entirely in California-emissions states where ZEV mandates and their credit-based compliance system effectively require a certain ratio of plug-in models.
Which leads to why the Crosstrek Hybrid is living on borrowed time. That role of regulatory compliance is now filled by the all-electric Subaru Solterra, which joined the lineup for 2023, as the brand’s first mainstream EV (at least by Subaru’s terms). The Solterra (the name is a combination of the Latin words for “Sun” and “Earth”) is positioned in a crowded segment already populated by the Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Nissan Ariya.
Subaru has relied heavily on Toyota to get electrified models into U.S. showrooms. The Solterra is closely related to the Toyota bZ4X; the Crosstrek Hybrid borrowed components from both the RAV4 Hybrid and the Toyota Prius Prime, and it was seen as a project with significant input from Toyota.
At the time of the Crosstrek Hybrid’s introduction, Subaru hinted that given the level of effort and investment from both companies in getting the product to market, it may be headed to other models as well. Given California’s plans since then to hold the most meaningful incentives for 50-mile plug-in hybrids, it’s likely those plans have shifted to other projects. So another Crosstrek Hybrid along the lines of the outgoing version just doesn’t make sense.
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