The turbocharged, horizontally-opposed 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is actually the fastest in the small crossover segment. For a four-cylinder, this vehicle has surprisingly impressive acceleration speeds, taking just 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. This engine is motivated by 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque, and all-wheel drive is standard. Now for the huge downfall, the turbocharged engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Most people do not even remember a time before five-speed automatic transmissions started becoming outdated. This gearbox is a huge flaw, as it causes the 2.5XT Touring to return poor fuel economy at 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The ride is one of the best in class. It is comfortable, composed and it can hold its own during a little light off-road action. Plus, the turning circle is only 34.4 feet, so it is as easy to maneuver and park as many small cars. On the downside, the cabin suffers from wind noise, which could be a deciding factor for some.
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• Audio - The audio system won’t blow you away, but you probably won’t be disappointed either. You get a six-speaker system with a subwoofer, CD player and iPod/USB interface.
• Navigation - An optional TomTom® navigation system is available that operates through a portable touchscreen. Get turn-by-turn directions, maps and more while you are on the road.
• Satellite Radio - Optional satellite radio is available. Enjoy commercial-free music, sports broadcasts, news, etc.
• Bluetooth - This hands-free audio and phone connectivity system allows you to keep your eyes on the road. You can end, receive and make calls through Bluetooth. Plus, the audio controls are right on the steering wheel, so they are at your fingertips.
Despite the fact that the brakes on the 2.5XT Touring feel spongy, it does average in braking tests, taking 122 feet to stop from 60 mph. The vehicle does excel in crash tests though as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it a “Good” rating in front, side and roof strength protection. Safety features to appreciate include:
• Six airbags with rollover sensors
• Antilock brakes
• Emergency brake force distribution
• Brake assist
• Steel frame surrounds passenger cabin
• Collapsible steering column
• Turn signal mirrors
• Traction control
• Self-leveling headlights
• Reverse assist sensors
• Child seat anchors
• Stability control
• Security system shock sensor
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Rear door safety locks
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Engine immobilizer
The exterior could benefit from a little freshening up, but it is certainly not ugly. It does feature 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, roof racks and privacy glass. Plus, there are a ton of accessories you can add on, such as grille kit, rear bumper under guard, kayak carrier, fuel door cover, bike carrier and more.
Like the exterior, the interior won’t have you jumping up and down. There is really no ambiance or points of interest. However, the dash is neatly laid out with controls all within reach. The seats are comfortable and covered in leather, and there is plenty of leg room in both rows. The driver position offers great visibility, which is always a bonus. Unfortunately, the rear seat is just awkward. Although roomy enough, the seat is really high so passengers feel as though they are looking down on those in the front seat. Plus, the middle seat is pretty much useless as it doubles as a cup holder and armrest.
Cargo space is definitely a selling point for the 2.5XT Touring. Its square styling makes it ideal to load and haul bulky items. Overall capacity is a generous 68.3 cubic feet, and even with the rear seat in place, you still get 33.5 cubes.