2012-2017 Subaru XV

En­gine: 2.0-liter DOHC H4 Trans­mis­sion: con­tin­u­ously vari­able Power: 148hp @ 6,000rpm Torque: 196Nm @ 4,200rpm Es­ti­mated econ­omy: 6-7km/L (city); 7-8km/L (high­way) Price new: P1,398,000 Price now: P700,000 to P800,000

Top Gear (Philippines) - - The Garage -

His­tory

The Subaru XV was first un­veiled at the 2011 Frank­furt Mo­tor Show, and de­signed to be a raised ver­sion of the five-door Im­preza hatch­back. It ar­rived on our shores the fol­low­ing year at the Manila In­ter­na­tional Auto Show, and has since be­come a pop­u­lar choice for driv­ers look­ing for a bit more per­for­mance from a cross­over.

Value and costs

When it launched, the XV was priced at P1.398 mil­lion for the 2.0is Pre­mium and P1.288 mil­lion for the 2.0i. The unit seen here is a pre-facelift ver­sion pur­chased in 2016, and was one of the last re­main­ing at the Mo­tor Im­age Pilip­inas show­room on EDSA-Green­hills. Even four years af­ter its Philip­pine launch and with a facelifted ver­sion out on the mar­ket, the pur­chase price still stood at roughly P1 mil­lion.

A quick scan of the used-car mar­ket sees units sell­ing around P700,000 to P800,000, so the XV re­tains its value quite well. If you’re pur­chas­ing a facelifted unit, take note that the re­fresh came out only in 2016, so most ex­am­ples will likely still fall un­der the man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty. Things to watch for in­clude mi­nor elec­tri­cal is­sues (par­tic­u­larly warn­ing lights) and po­ten­tial prob­lems with the CVT.

Ex­te­rior and in­te­rior

Even in this base vari­ant, the old XV stood out among its cross­over ri­vals for its sporty looks. Its over­ar­ch­ing slope is tinged with sharp lines here and there, giv­ing you the im­pres­sion that it can han­dle any city or coun­try road you throw at it. The ath­leti­cism is also present down be­low, with the flashy bi-color al­loy wheels. The front fas­cia, how­ever, looks a bit dated when you com­pare it to to­day’s stan­dards.

This sporty look con­tin­ues on the in­side, which fea­tures a nice mix of cir­cles and straight edges that blend seam­lessly to­gether. Even with the pic­tured model’s old head unit, the de­sign works as it mixes the mono­tone color of the dash with the am­ber back­light of the con­trols. Steer­ing­wheel con­trols and cruise con­trol come as stan­dard. For you techies out there, the re­freshed ver­sion comes with a touch­screen mon­i­tor. Trunk space, mean­while, is much smaller than you’d first ex­pect.

En­gine

The XV’s pow­er­train is a 2.0-liter ver­sion of Subaru’s pa­tented boxer en­gine mated to a Lin­eartronic CVT. Out­put is a re­spectable 148hp and 196Nm. Nil to 100kph can be reached in 10.5sec, which

is de­cent given the cross­over’s size.

That said, those two fac­tors con­trib­ute to the Subaru’s big­gest flaw as a util­ity ve­hi­cle. The fuel econ­omy here is av­er­age; our past test drives of the car net­ted just 6.5km/L in the city and 7.4km/L on the high­way. As a user of this car, I find my­self re­fu­el­ing more fre­quently com­pared to when I reg­u­larly drive a front-wheel-drive (and lighter) Mit­subishi ASX.

Driv­ing im­pres­sions

Ver­sus other crossovers, the XV’s edge is that it comes in all-wheel drive, mak­ing it more ver­sa­tile and bet­ter-han­dling than its front-driven ri­vals. De­spite the added weight, it moves quickly from launch with an agility you don’t ini­tially ex­pect. Ac­cel­er­a­tion is steady even when you feather the throt­tle. This is a cross­over that drives bet­ter with in­creas­ing fa­mil­iar­ity of its ca­pa­bil­i­ties and di­men­sions.

Though it sits higher than a sedan, you don’t get that im­pres­sion when you take cor­ners. The sus­pen­sion keeps you planted, while the Ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics Con­trol sys­tem and Sym­met­ri­cal AWD dis­trib­ute power where it’s needed across the four tires. On the down side, there is no­tice­able body roll, and while steer­ing is pre­cise, the wheel gets more weighted the fur­ther it gets from the cen­ter. The sus­pen­sion can be a bit soft on harsh roads, too. All these short­com­ings are ex­pected to be im­proved .

Ver­dict

This XV was mar­keted as the per­fect spir­ited com­pan­ion to an ac­tive life­style. For the most part, it de­liv­ers. The en­gine of­fers am­ple power, han­dling is fun and sporty, and the looks are in keep­ing with the ve­hi­cle’s over­all de­meanor. If you’re the camp­ing or road-trip type, how­ever, you’ll have to make do with the rel­a­tively small stor­age nooks and the av­er­age fuel econ­omy. Given that the changes on the all-new ver­sion are mostly to do with its driv­abil­ity, you may want to wait it out if you’re an ea­ger en­thu­si­ast driver look­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence Subaru’s new global plat­form.

We ap­pre­ci­ate the looks of the ver­sa­tile XV

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