Vi­ta­min orange

With the op­tions of aes­thet­ics and per­for­mance, can one ac­tu­ally have it all? The Subaru XV is try­ing to have its cake and eat it too.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Cars -

The

Taipei heat did noth­ing to dampen the ex­cite­ment for the re­gional un­veil­ing of the Subaru XV. It was eye-open­ing, in more ways than one. First: the colour. It’s show­case hue is orange. Like the colour rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the day’s weather in ther­mal imag­ing. (The model comes in other colours.) Sec­ond: it is fit­ted with the Subaru Global Plat­form (SGP); the only other car to have this is the Im­preza. With the SGP in place, the XV has in­creased rigid­ity and a re­duc­tion in vi­bra­tion and body roll when nav­i­gat­ing roads. The ve­hi­cle also has a lower cen­tre of grav­ity and re­spon­sive steer­ing, which proved useful in the test drive.

The carpark be­hind the event hall was transformed into a drive cir­cuit to demon­strate the XV’s han­dling (we drove the XV and a com­peti­tor’s car for com­par­i­son). Hous­ing a re­vamped 2l 4-cylin­der boxer en­gine, the XV proved its met­tle on the off-road tracks; its steer­ing was re­spon­sive and had good body con­trol through the sla- loms, es­pe­cially when it came to travers­ing the oil-slicked sur­faces of the cir­cuit.

While mud, oil and dirt made their mark on the XV’s ex­te­rior af­ter the drive, we could still see the Subaru’s sig­na­ture hexag­o­nal grille; its sharp lines fram­ing the head­lights. In­side, the cabin of­fers more legroom with plush leather that’s trimmed with orange stitch­ing. Pas­sen­gers who are not into watch­ing the world go by will be en­ter­tained with the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and its 8in touch­screen dis­play that of­fers Ap­ple CarPlay. As they get busy de­cid­ing which favourite track to play next, safety fea­tures like head­lights that au­to­mat­i­cally switch be­tween high and low beam, or re­spond when you round a curve, en­sure a smooth ride. Radar sen­sors at the XV’s rear also warn of col­li­sions or alert the driver to ob­sta­cles in his or her blind spot. The Subaru XV 1.6i-S is avail­able for book­ing at Subaru show­rooms, such as at 25 Leng Kee Road and 19 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh.

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