First drive Subaru XV SE Pre­mium

DRIVE

The Herald Magazine - - ETC DRIVE -

RYAN HIRON

MY RE­CENT drive in the new and up­dated Subaru XV, brought to mind driv­ing this model when it came out – I thought at the time Subaru must have a win­ner. This was based on its dash­board that had a slick touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment and nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem. The Ja­panese com­pany was renowned for ig­nor­ing such niceties but the XV had piano-black ac­cents, blue di­als with new graph­ics, voice con­trols and the abil­ity to deal with smart­phones.

For Subaru this was rev­o­lu­tion­ary as the com­pany had un­til then been pos­sessed with build­ing util­i­tar­ian ve­hi­cles that were rugged, tough and strong enough to com­bat the jagged sur­faces of the farm track.

De­spite the im­mense com­pe­tence of the XV, you won’t see many on the road un­less you go to its home coun­try, Ja­pan or the US where they sell in large num­bers.

The XV is a com­pact cross­over that’s ca­pa­ble off-road and has full-time four­wheel drive. It sits on the com­pany’s new and stronger global plat­form that claims to be stiffer with a 70% in­crease in tor­sional rigid­ity. It’s sig­nif­i­cant that a diesel op­tion has been dropped from the UK line-up and un­der the bon­net of my car was a twolitre petrol boxer en­gine (it lies side­ways) with an out­put of 156ps; this was mated to a Lin­eartronic CVT gear­box with the equiv­a­lent of seven speeds. On the out­side changes are less no­tice­able but there is an ar­guably sleeker grille, dif­fer­ent LED

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