Ver­sa­tile soft-road­ers

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

Up to eight dis­plays can be per­son­alised to show a range of use­ful in­for­ma­tion and can even send you a happy birth­day mes­sage

There are screens in the cen­tre of the in­stru­ments, in the cen­tre stack and a third on the dash­board.

The larger mul­ti­func­tion dis­play has up to eight dis­plays, which can be per­son­alised to show a range of use­ful in­for­ma­tion and can even send you a happy birth­day mes­sage.

The up­graded au­dio has USB, MP3 and iphone con­nec­tiv­ity and there is a new sat­nav sys­tem with voice con­trol, and pre­dic­tive text when en­ter­ing an ad­dress. It will even read out your text mes­sages. DE­SIGN: The XV is based on the new Im­preza due next month with a 25mm longer wheel­base, bet­ter aero­dy­nam­ics, a slightly fast­back look, sharper head­lights and a re­served at­ti­tude to style.

No pompous ma­cho pos­ing here. The guards aren’t flared and there are few chunky bits. Per­haps that is due to the high pro­por­tion of fe­male buy­ers Subaru is hop­ing to at­tract.

The XV has the same high ground clear­ance as the Forester but a lower body height than most com­pact SUVS for a rak­ish, sporty cross­over look.

The longer wheel­base trans­lates to greater in­te­rior legroom with scal­loped backs to the front seats pro­vid­ing more rear knee room. Rear pas­sen­gers will also wel­come the move from an­chor­ing the cen­tre lap-sash in the ceil­ing to the C pil­lar.

Child seat tether an­chor points are now in­te­grated into the back of the seats, not the cargo floor.

Head room re­mains limited, es­pe­cially in mod­els with a sun­roof. The doors are light and a lit­tle flimsy, but they open out very wide for easy ac­cess.

The boot is flat with a low- load­ing lip and flat-fold­ing rear seats. Cargo space is limited be­cause the floor is raised to ac­com­mo­date a space-saver spare tyre.

There are nine ex­te­rior colours, in­clud­ing the tan- ger­ine hero colour from the TV ad fea­tur­ing Rus­sell Mor­ris’s iconic rock an­them, The Real Thing. SAFETY: Subaru re­gains its record for five-star ANCAP safety rat­ings with the XV, which has seven airbags, in­clud­ing full-length cur­tain airbags and a knee­bag for the driver.

It also comes with a re­vers­ing cam­era as stan­dard, AWD and a brake over­ride sys­tem that is bi­ased to the brakes if the driver hits the brake pedal and ac­cel­er­a­tor at the same time.

Driver vi­sion is im­proved not only by a slim­mer A pil­lar, but also higher front seats and 20 per cent big­ger sing mir­rors.

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