Sunday, June 9, 2019

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Highway Mileage

Crosstrek Hybrid Highway Mileage


The Crosstrek Hybrid has an electric range of around 17 miles, according to Subaru. Once the battery is mostly used up, or when traveling at speeds over 65mph, the gas engine is used. 

The question was asked how is the highway mileage, especially since it's running on the internal combustion engine, ICE, mostly on the highway. Subaru claims highway MPG is around 35mpg for the Crosstrek Hybrid. They rate the regular Crosstrek equipped with the CVT as 33mpg. 

Charging 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Charging for free at a nearby BMW dealership

When looking at highway mileage, a few factors come into play. Air drag is big, the force on the vehicle because of aerodynamics is a function of the square of the velocity. That is if you double the speed, the air drag goes up by four times. Friction and drivetrain losses also must be factored in. A regular CVT Crosstrek, and the Hybrid will have similar aerodynamics. They will also have similar losses through the drivetrain (the transmission and AWD system). The hybrid tires are "Low rolling resistance" meaning they have a little less friction to overcome than standard tires. 

The hybrid uses an Atkinson cycle engine, versus the Otto cycle. Click the link on the left for a video explaining the difference. Basically, the compression stroke is shorter (or rather, the intake valve stays open longer), allowing for less counter (or negative) forces on the engine due to the compression cycle. These engines produce less horsepower (as Subaru rates the HP of the 2.0L boxer at 137 for the hybrid and 152 for the regular Crosstrek) but typically provide better mileage.

One other factor to consider is weight. Every time you go slightly uphill, or have to accelerate, the heavier the vehicle, the more force that is required. This is physics and nothing can change that. The Crosstrek hybrid weighs about 500 pounds more than a regular Crosstrek. That extra weight can be a problem for mileage. 

This is where regenerative braking and battery charging from the engine help out, even when the battery is mostly empty. If the electric motor can assist the gas engine those times it needs a little push, say accelerating, or doing a slight incline, it will. This will keep from using the gas engine to provide the additional force, saving gas. This is of course, one way many non-plugin hybrids work.

Get to it, what was the mileage?

We will have future blog entries of the mileage from daily driving. However, for the trip home from the dealer in Amherst, New York to Michigan - the mileage was pretty good.

The trip home was 259 miles, and the mileage was 37.43MPG from using 6.92 gallons of gas. This is actually calculated by filling the tank before and after, not by using the mileage readout on the dash. Considering the standard Crosstrek has a highway rating of 33mpg, this is pretty good.

Crostrek Hybrid 6.92 gallons, 259 miles = 37.43mpg
Crostrek Hybrid 6.92 gallons, 259 miles = 37.43mpg

2017 Forester mileage

However, my wife was with me on the trip. We drove back together, driving at the same times, on the same roads, going the same speed. She has a 2017 Forester. Her car, managed, in real life calculation, 35.84mpg for the exact same trip home. 

I maintain the Forester is probably the best deal in that size of crossover. Certainly, there are few vehicles that can match the size, full-time AWD, with anything close to the same mileage.  Plus, all new Foresters come standard with eye-sight. You will be hard pressed to find any other crossover, with collision avoidance, emergency rear braking, adaptive cruise control, at the price of the Forester. Plus you get a good AWD system and the best in class mileage.

2017 Forester 7.226 gallons, 259 miles = 35.84 mpg
2017 Forester 7.226 gallons, 259 miles = 35.84mpg
As time goes by, there will be updates on the mileage, based on how I drive the vehicle. Additionally, I will try and get a feel for how much it actually costs to charge, for comparison's sake.

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