Subaru has always been thought of as a quirky car marker since it hit these shores decades ago. I don’t know if that thought is still accurate. Subaru offers a full line of cars that are, well, different, but fit into a variety of lifestyles. The XV Crosstrek offers all the Subaru stuff – all-wheel-drive, boxer engine, continuously variable transmission – but pushes the envelope by adding hybrid technology. It’s useful technology. Instead of bolting a hybrid drive to a small car which should get great gas mileage, the Crosstrek is a roomy crossover. Said hybrid drive allows 33 on the highway and 29 city. That’s an overall average of 31. Just average you say? Remember this is something that can haul five people, stuff in the back, on top and has all wheel drive. Little more impressive don’t you think? The hybrid’s total horsepower output is 160 with 163 pounds-feet of torque. That’s OK because it’s enough to move the vehicle about without much hesitation. It’s not fast – or even quick – but it does do the job. Driving this is like driving most other Subarus. I’m a fan of its all wheel drive system which I especially like using in the rain. It gives the car a stability you feel in an Audi but at far lower a price tag. It’s also unobtrusive. You don’t really notice till there’s a need. What you will notice is the gas mileage. Yep, trips to your local petrol station will be fewer. It’s also good to know this is a partial zero emissions vehicle (PZEV). That means it’s clean enough to drive in California which is saying much. My only gripe with the Crosstrek is the continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s not just Subaru. I’ve found most of them to be noisy. The five speed manual would be my pick but the art of driving a stick is fading. Automatic transmissions are more efficient and get nearly the same gas mileage. The hybrid touring model comes with many features. Traction control and stability control are standard, as are antilock brakes, seven airbags, premium sound system with HD/Sirius/XM radio, power package, voice controlled navigation and split-folding rear seats. The decked out hybrid will run you into the mid $30,000. The 2.0i premium starts at under $22,000. You can check out stock at your local dealer or build your own at www.subaru.com (then find it at your local dealer). The XV Crosstrek isn’t flashy nor will it make you pine to own one. Once driven it will leave a lasting impression and make you seriously consider owning a Subaru. You would be one of several million that likes the fact they made that choice.