NEIL VORANO, The Globe and Mail

Based on the compact Impreza wagon, the Subaru XV Crosstrek rides 75 mm higher (220 mm total) from the ground – the added height enabling the vehicle to move easily over packed snow and making the suspension travel longer, too. The features were welcomed as the Crosstrek soaked up the deep potholes on the neglected roads of La Belle Province.

As with the Impreza, the XV has full-time all-wheel drive. For those more daring adventurers, the off-road chops of the XV Crosstrek can really only be topped by more dedicated four-wheel-drive off-roaders. Snowed-in roads or icy hills – even a dedicated snow-cross track, as experienced in Montebello – are dismissed almost as if it were summer again.

This car is the Limited version with a well-mannered CVT and the technology package, which includes the company’s Eyesight driver assistance feature – it stops the car if it senses an impending collision, and it’s one of the more heralded systems out there. In fact, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gives any Subaru with the system its highest rating of Top Safety Pick +, something to welcome the next time you’re taking the brood out for hot chocolate and a skate.

Combine all of that with a fuel-efficient and peppy engine, decent room inside and an aggressive look, and you get an XV Crosstrek that is adept for any adventure.

You’ll like this car if …Your off-road adventures always have to end back at your small parking spot in the city.