If it ain’t broke...

The XV is so suc­cess­ful, Subaru ain’t mess­ing with it.

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

Un­der the bright lights of the 2017 Geneva In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show, Subaru fi­nally un­veiled the all-new XV. And just like the Im­preza com­pact sedan it’s based on, the high-rid­ing cross­over hatch­back has taken the same evo­lu­tion­ary styling route.

It re­tains its dis­tinc­tive pro­file, but is now longer, lower and wider for a more per­for­mance-ori­ented stance. Up front is a larger ver­sion of the brand’s hexag­o­nal hon­ey­comb-pat­tern grille, flanked by the fa­mil­iar hawk-eye head­lamps. This be­ing a cross­over, it gets a healthy dose of matte-black trim on the lower grille sur­rounds, fog­light hous­ings, wheel-arch ex­ten­sions, and sills for a tough, out­doorsy ap­pear­ance. Hand­some two-tone 18in al­loys com­plete the ex­te­rior de­sign. The roomier and tech-filled in­te­rior, mean­while, is pretty much iden­ti­cal to that of the Im­preza, save for some or­ange con­trast stitch­ing on the dash­board and the cen­ter con­sole.

Rid­ing on Subaru’s new global plat­form, the lat­est XV fea­tures a more rigid struc­ture for im­proved NVH lev­els. Its lower cen­ter of grav­ity, re­vised sus­pen­sion, quicker steer­ing ra­tio, and Ac­tive Torque Vec­tor­ing en­sure im­proved han­dling and ma­neu­ver­abil­ity. The engi­neers of Fuji Heavy In­dus­tries didn’t for­get the main brief for this cross­over hatch­back: They man­aged to main­tain the im­pres­sive 220mm of ground clear­ance of its pre­de­ces­sor. That bet­ters the ground clear­ance of some com­pact SUVs on the mar­ket to­day.

Pow­er­ing the XV is a re­vamped ver­sion of Subaru’s nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 2.0-liter boxer-four en­gine, which now pro­duces 154hp and 196Nm of torque. This is mated to the new seven-speed Lin­eartronic CVT with a man­ual shift func­tion. Com­pared with their older coun­ter­parts, the new en­gine and CVT are 12kg and 7.8kg lighter, re­spec­tively. As ex­pected, the Ja­panese car­maker’s Sym­met­ri­cal AWD sys­tem comes as stan­dard, and now fea­tures X-Mode to con­trol en­gine out­put, torque split, brak­ing, and other driv­e­train set­tings to op­ti­mize grip on rough sur­faces and slip­pery con­di­tions.

The all-new XV has been im­proved in vir­tu­ally ev­ery way, and it def­i­nitely looks like Subaru has another po­ten­tial win­ner in its hands. If you have your eyes set on this new cross­over, it’s ex­pected to reach our shores as early as the third quar­ter of 2017.

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