XV leaves you with no regrets the day after
THE day after a solid workout or a very physical massage is usually painful.
Every muscle seems to hurt more than before you had the massage.
It’s the same after driving a WRX STI. They ride so stiffly they punish kidneys and spleens a day or two later.
Not so the standard gardenvariety Impreza.
Now Subaru has launched an XV model variant that seems just right for rough roads, without being a pain in the neck the following day.
The XV features plastic flared mudguards that give it a certain rally-ready look.
To go with that rally inspiration is a 30mm increased ride height, requiring Subaru to tweak the stabilisers, spring rates, damping force and rear subframe bushes to cope with the higher ground clearance.
The result is a smooth ride on most suburban surfaces and the ability to soak up bigger-thannormal bumps out in the bush.
The XV also gets a bit of cosmetic surgery with a new grille, bumpers, roof rails, fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, an exhaust pipe cover as well as a rear spoiler.
But don’t let those alloys and spoiler fool you. This is a very tame hatch.
It is powered by the same two-litre four-cylinder boxer engine as the R, RX and RS, not the 2.5-litre turbo boxer from the WRX, let alone the steroidcharged STI.
It has figures of 110kW and 196Nm, which feel as feeble as they sound compared with the WRX’s 195kW/343Nm and the STI’s 221kW/407Nm.
We drove the five-speed manual, which is listed from $27,490, while the four-speed auto is an extra $2000. Pricing places it right between the RX and RS.
The manual transmission worked well, but leaves you wondering how soppy the auto must feel with this engine. The XV is value packed with features such as USB audio connection, climate airconditioning and is Bluetooth ready. A factory sunroof is available for $1500.
As expected from Subaru – whose entire fleet can boast a five-star crash rating – safety and security are paramount. Features include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, six airbags as well as DataDot security paint.