Style, performance and comfort
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