ITS A GUY THING
For ages, women have been generally averse to this car brand. it’s time to make a stand
‘The all-new Subaru XV is stiffer, roomier, and filled with new technology’
On the surface, my officemate Maria is the ideal woman. Smart, attractive, responsible, and well-raised, she’s more Maria Clara than Ozawa—way, way more. She’s the type of girl you can bring home to meet your parents, and your mom will happily begin imagining beautiful grandchildren, and your dad will praise you for inheriting his taste in women.
But her flaw was revealed to me when she recounted how her brother had asked for car advice. Kuya was up for a car plan, and he wanted to know more about the Subaru XV. It was in that tone that indicated he had already made up his mind—he just wanted validation. Maria said the XV is an okay vehicle, but her next line defined her personality: “What do you need allwheel drive for?”
I realized then that she was too good to be true: She was a typical girl, wary of car brands that are not ‘safe’ choices—that is, not Toyota, Honda, Ford, and so on. To her, Subarus are widow-makers, full of unnecessary features that will brainwash normal men into thinking they are Tommi Makinen and thus make orphans of their kids.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard of female resistance to this Japanese brand. A former Subaru marketing manager told me about a couple who walked into his dealership one day, wanting to buy a turbocharged Forester. The missus took one glance at the hood scoop intake, and declared it unsafe because it had a turbo. Without missing a beat, the man pointed with practiced acquiescence at the non-turbo Forester. Happy wife, sad life.
I will never pretend to understand the female mind, but what is it about
Subaru that seems so threatening? Especially with the XV, this harmless crossover that is one of the few naturally aspirated models in the carmaker’s lineup? To gearheads, it’s practically a mom-mobile.
Since the first XV entered our market in 2012, it has become one of local Subaru distributor Motor Image Pilipinas’s bestsellers. The reason for its success serves as an example of what makes crossovers so appealing: It handles mostly like a car, but the owner enjoys the practical benefit of having a raised ride height. It has a non-turbo boxer engine that can haul passengers and cargo around town easily, but—like all Subarus save for the BRZ—it has symmetrical all-wheel drive that gives it grip and stability.
As this first generation bows out of the showroom, it leaves behind a reputation as a great day-to-day vehicle. I’d be on the lookout for a wellpreserved pre-owned unit if I wanted to buy a secondhand crossover.
Then again, the all-new XV does makes a compelling case for an upgrade if you plan to purchase brand-new before the looming 2018 excise tax increases. Subaru’s new crossover is stiffer, roomier, and filled with new tech. When we drove it at a media event in Taiwan back in June, what we experienced was a good follow-up to a model with few flaws. And now, we get to have solo time with it the crossover at the Pradera Verde development in Pampanga.
Looking at this XV for the first time, you might think it’s just a facelift