First drive Subaru XV SE Premium
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