Second-gen XV shows distinct style
I thought I was over small-to-middling SUVs, those mostly boring lookalikes scampering around streets of the world in everincreasing numbers. So, what’s changed? The new Subaru XV has turned up, that’s what.
On the bitumen, the sports utility vehicle exhibits car-like qualities of comfort, convenience, safety and economy. Off-road, with ground clearance of 220mm and X-Mode technology — more about that in a moment — it is capable of conquering conditions many fourwheel-drive owners would think twice about tackling.
The second-generation XV comes in four variants — 2.0i, 2.0i-L, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i-S — with a reduced entry-level price of $27,990, plus on-road costs, and is the second Subaru after the new Impreza to make use of the company’s acclaimed global platform.
Subaru Australia managing director Colin Christie, says the XV arrives at a pivotal time for the company, with sales growing to a whole new level.
“Just like Outback and Forester before it, our small SUV has carved a hugely successful path that will only grow with the debut of the even more capable secondgeneration XV,” he said.
The new XV is underpinned by the Subaru global platform, designed to provide high rigidity, and strength together with less weight.
Rolling resistance is reduced with the help of specially developed tyres.
Power comes from a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injection naturally aspirated engine producing 115kW of power at 6000rpm and 196Nm of torque at 4000 revs and is mated with a new, lighter Lineartronic continuously variable transmission with a wider gear range than previously.
Fuel consumption is claimed by the maker to be 7.0 litres per 100km on the combined urban/highway cycle with carbon dioxide emissions put at 159g per kilometre. It has a Euro 6 rating.
Minimum fuel requirement is just 90 RON.
Under normal driving conditions, Subaru’s constant all-wheeldrive makes sure power is directed to the wheels with most grip, while X-Mode can be engaged at the press of a button.
This co-ordinates the operation of the engine control unit, traction control and vehicle dynamics control to improve driveability and wheel grip.
VDC also uses hill descent control to slow the vehicle on steep inclines and leave the driver to concentrate solely on steering.
The shape of the XV is like no other SUV, with a solid design theme based on a chiselled look to edges and curves, producing a solid profile devoid of soft styling.
A sturdy horizontal bar across the radiator grille is a reminder of horizontally opposed engine conrods and Subaru’s boxer heritage, while a sharp windscreen angle, together with a large rear spoiler and bumper, aids aerodynamics.
LED headlamps of the rangetopping XV 2.0i-S incorporate advanced functions such as steering response and daytime running lights.
Other grades feature halogen headlamps.
All XVs run on 17-inch alloy wheels, except the top-rating 2.0i-S, which wears 18-inch alloys.
Towing capacity is put at 1400kg with a braked trailer and 650kg without brakes.
The new Subaru global platform has given more interior width and height to the XV with added attention to detail, including switches and interactive displays and use of high-quality materials and quality finish.
Displays vary from model to model, with a 6.3-inch colour multi-function display across the range at the top of the central dashboard presenting useful and entertaining information such as audio, air-conditioning, fuel efficiency, favourites and settings.
The lower part of the screen provides visuals of Subaru’s advanced safety functions, including EyeSight on the 2.0i-L, Premium and S, auto lights and vision assist.
EyeSight, in conjunction with adaptive cruise control, monitors the vehicle ahead and adapts the speed to match the distance.
A turn-by-turn screen in the instrument cluster indicates turns in conjunction with the satellite navigation.
Smartphones can be connected via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, with an 8.0-inch screen in upper grades, or 6.5-inch one on 2.0i situated high on the dash.
Disclaimer: a family member owns a first generation six-speed manual Subaru XV. Should I encourage her to trade up to the new model? Not half. No pressure.
The second-generation XV has a chiselled look to edges and curves, setting it apart from competitors in the segment.
The Subaru XV is a versatile vehicle.