Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

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.

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