2012 New York Auto Show

Of all the SUVs sold in America, only around 10-percent are ever used for off-road activities beyond the occasional drive on the beach or up the gravel road to the family cabin.

Subaru knows this, and it’s created a business around all-wheel-drive wagons and crossovers that look rugged, yet still offer decent fuel economy and good driveability. An Outback won’t get you over the Rubicon Trail, but it will get you to and from work in any weather.

So will the new Subaru XV Crosstrek, introduced at this week’s New York Auto Show. Based on the Impreza platform, the XV Crosstrek delivers all the capability that most people need, while still offering up fuel economy of 33 mpg.

Motivation comes from a 2.0-liter, boxer four-cylinder engine good for 148 horsepower, mated to either a six-speed manual or a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is standard on Limited models. Power gets sent to all four wheels, ensuring that the XV Crosstrek can get through the worst that Mother Nature throws at it.

The XV Crosstrek gets better ground clearance, too, thanks to a slightly lifted suspension. While 8.4-inches of ground clearance isn’t enough to start tackling Jeep trails, it’s plenty to deal with potholes, rough pavement and even a bit of light off-roading.

Look for the XV Crosstrek to hit dealers this fall, in base Premium and upscale Limited trims. Pricing is expected to be revealed closer to the car’s launch.

For more breaking news and live images from New York, be sure to check out our dedicated 2012 New York Auto Show page.

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