SAFEST CAR ON THE ROAD
IT’S a common misconception that cheapest items sell best. If price was king then all weddings would be at fast food outlets, pampering weekends would not make our wish lists, and everyone would drive Dacia. Glance around in the morning commute to see how many of us choose quality products – we are prepared to pay extra to drive cars that are better, different, or enhance our perceived status. Our badge snobbery is exploited cynically by niche manufacturers offering essentially the same product with differing brand badging – at price points thousands of pounds apart. A lesson from Austin and Wolsey for those old enough to remember.
One manufacturer challenging long standing perceptions around motoring value is Japanese-built Subaru. Offering a range of Boxer powered All Wheel drive cars they’ve always differed from the motoring norm, and their all new XV is no exception. The completely redesigned XV looks just like the old XV at first glance, albeit with sharper, leaner and cleaner lines on the outside and a snappy and much welcomed interior redesign. But the new chassis is an incredible 40% stronger and in a bold and game-changing move, standard equipment now includes Subaru’s industry leading Eyesight accident avoidance technology.
Eyesight features a pair of stereoscopic cameras mounted either side of the interior mirror that constantly monitor road conditions ahead. It can “see” road scenes – brake lights, children, cyclists, cars – and if necessary brake autonomously in extreme emer- gencies. Eyesight is staggeringly effective. It is not to be confused with competitors’ crude beam or microwave devices which, like parking sensors, only detect imminent impacts. In a European survey Eyesight has been proven to reduce accidents by over 60%, which is an incredible statistic. Consequently the all new XV has been hailed as “safest car on the road” by the motoring Press, and scored highest ever safety ratings at the increasingly tough Euro NCAP crash tests including, crucially, child occupant safety tests.
Slick marketing elsewhere has conditioned us to expect such huge advantages in design safety to command price premiums. Not at Subaru. All new XV is just £24,995 OTR for the Boxer powered 1.6 SE, and the top of the range SE Premium 2.0 litre is only £28,495 OTR. For that you get a plush leather interior, sunroof and every conceivable luxury… plus Eyesight throughout the XV range. Subaru AWD is standard too, and contrary to another misconception efficient constant drive to all wheels, equally, actually prolongs tyre life and does not impact fuel economy adversely.
Subaru understand that when choosing wheels for the school, beach or shopping run, the protection of our most treasured and irreplaceable possessions – our loved ones – ranks highest on our consideration list. For parents and grandparents, family safety trumps crude badge snobbery, and new XV plays unashamedly to that audience. Singletons struggle with the safety concept until an accident, age and wisdom, or the joys of parenthood overtake them. Diehards? Well, there’s always Macdonalds for their wedding day feast.