Style, per­for­mance and com­fort

South Western Times - - Wheels -

THE Subaru XV has been a sur­pris­ing charmer for the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer, its dis­tinc­tive looks and in­her­ent sense of fun cre­at­ing in­ter­est in a whole new de­mo­graphic.

The lat­est ver­sion of the com­pact Subaru SUV aligns closely un­der the skin to the Subaru Im­preza hatch and is look­ing to fur­ther im­prove Subaru’s grow­ing mar­ket share in this seg­ment.

Of­fered in four vari­ants with price-drops across the range, the XV starts at $27,990, and boasts a handy list of stan­dard fea­tures. It chal­lenges the Mazda CX-3, Nis­san Qashqai, Honda HR-V and Toy­ota C-HR and we feel has the fire­power to stay the course. It’s the only model in this class with per­ma­nent all-wheel-drive

Sun­shine or­ange stitch­ing, brushed metal high­lights and a sleek, sculpted dash set the tone for the in­te­rior of the new Subaru XV. It feels spa­cious and light, an easy com­fort­able place to be in.

An 8.0-inch colour in­fo­tain­ment screen and se­cond smaller dis­play grab the eye in a con­sole that shows clear thought has been given to both lay­out and in­te­grated de­sign.

Subaru has upped it stan­dard fea­tures across the XV range while drop­ping the price.

The top shelf 2.0i-S comes with all man­ner of good­ies in­clud­ing leather trim, heated front seats, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, steer­ing-re­spon­sive LED head­lights,18inch The Subaru XV has a mix of style and rugged promise with the resin wheel arches and strong lines hint­ing at its all-round ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

al­loys, elec­tric sun­roof, sat­nav, re­verse cam­era and an en­vi­able safety pack­age.

On the out­side the Subaru XV re­mains strik­ing and not eas­ily for­got­ten.

It is a mix of style and rugged promise with the resin wheel arches and strong lines hint­ing at its all­round ca­pa­bil­ity.

The 8.0-inch colour touch­screen in the 2.0i-S we tested is un­com­pli­cated and easy to use with crisp pic­ture and good graphics.

There is sat-nav via TomTom with three years of map up­dates. Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity is a cinch and the sys­tem also pairs eas­ily with Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto.

There are two USB ports, two 12V out­lets and even a CD player for those that just can’t let go yet.

All four vari­ants in the range are pow­ered by the same 2.0-litre hor­i­zon­tally-op­posed nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated four-cylin­der en­gine paired with a CVT au­to­matic. The com­bi­na­tion is good for a re­strained 115kW of power and 196Nm of torque.

Only the en­try-level XV misses out on Subaru’s im­pres­sive Eye­Sight sys­tem. For the unini­ti­ated, it is a cam­era-based safety sys­tem that uses brake light recog­ni­tion as the ba­sis for a long list of driver-aid fea­tures.

The XV also has six airbags, front seat-belt pre-ten­sion­ers with

load lim­iters and the usual sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol for a five star ANCAP rat­ing.

Like the Im­preza, the XV uses Subaru’s all-new global plat­form which of­fers a lower cen­tre of grav­ity and greater rigid­ity for a bet­ter driv­ing dy­nam­ics both on and off the bi­tu­men.

Ca­pa­ble and as­sured with good driv­ing dy­nam­ics, an ex­cel­lent safety pack­age and gen­er­ous in­clu­sions, the Subaru XV makes for an ap­peal­ing choice.

It has the tech­ni­cal savvy to en­tice a younger gen­er­a­tion and the space and ease of use to sat­isfy older driv­ers while its off-road abil­ity adds an­other string to a well­weighted bow.

VANI NAIDOO, Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

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