The Advertiser - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

VALUE The out­go­ing XV 2.0i was $29,240 with CVT; the new one un­der­cuts that by $1200. Buy­ers want­ing ac­tive driv­ing aids will need at least the 2.0i-L at $30,340 (up $100). The new 2.0i-P vari­ant adds a power sun­roof and sat­nav for $32,140. The range-top­ping $35,240 2.0i-S ($300 cheaper than out­go­ing model) has 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, power driver’s seat and leather trim ac­cents. TECH­NOL­OGY De­fault gear in­cludes smart­phone mir­ror­ing, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor and an off-road mode that, up to 40km/h, soft­ens ini­tial throt­tle re­sponse to avoid wheel­spin. All but the base model have au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol and lane-de­par­ture as­sist. Top-spec 2.0i-S adds blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert and au­to­mated re­verse brak­ing if the rear sen­sors de­tect an ob­struc­tion. PER­FOR­MANCE The di­rect-in­jec­tion en­gine is new; out­puts are vir­tu­ally un­changed at 115kW/196Nm, though peak torque kicks in ear­lier and then hangs on longer. Weight is up by about 45kg, off­set­ting any out­put gains. Subaru has re­sponded to crit­i­cisms of the CVT by in­clud­ing a se­ries of steps un­der mod­er­ate ac­cel­er­a­tion, help­ing to avoid the dreaded dron­ing. DRIV­ING There’s a lot of fun to be had in the XV, if not spir­ited straight-line ac­cel­er­a­tion. The high ride height isn’t an is­sue in terms of pas­sen­ger com­fort and the brakes are bril­liant. Its abil­ity to hang on in the turns is up there with the class lead­ers and it changes di­rec­tion with all the alacrity of a politi­cian read­ing an opin­ion poll. DE­SIGN Subaru has worked to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the XV from the Im­preza it is based on. In this gen­er­a­tion that in­cludes new front and rear bumpers, wider and longer body, larger open­ing for the cargo area and 26mm more rear legroom. The ex­tra size ex­pands the turn­ing cir­cle from 10.6m to 10.8m, while boot space grows from 310L to 350L. In­side there are big­ger vents to im­prove air­flow and re­duce cabin noise. The 2.0i gets a 6.5-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen (up from 6.2), while in other vari­ants the screen grows to eight inches, up from seven inches, and is touch-sen­si­tive.

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