Subaru has it covered with prize package
AWARDS come fast and frequently. The latest is 4x4 Magazine’s SUV of the year. These specialist 4x4 magazines have specific experts and they have chosen Subaru’s XV as SUV of the Year. It takes the closely contested title ahead of rivals from Audi, Kia, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen.
Editor Nigel Fryatt said: “For a vehicle which obviously spends most of its time onroad, it is such an enjoyable drive, involving the driver in a positive manner. It also boasts promising fuel economy potential. When we took it off-road, given the obvious limitations of ground clearance, the Subaru completed our test route with ease. But what clinched it for the XV was Subaru’s Everything Taken Care of customer service package, which has to be one of the best around.” In other words, Subaru’s care package was the decider.
This three-year/60,000 mile warranty is shorter than many but is worth up to £7,000, covering minor dent and scratch repairs, alloy wheel repairs, monthly wash, annual valet, lost keys replacement, service collection and delivery, annual wheel alignment check, first MOT cover, and winter wheel and tyre storage, as well as providing an accident management service and a contribution to insurance cover excess.
Earlier this year, I gave the XV a thorough blooding off-road. Apart from its price (from £21,295 for the petrol 1.6 five speed), I liked the XV. It is great in the rough. All models have permanently running 4x4 drive and many experts rate this Subaru system as pre-eminent in tackling grassy slopes.
Now I have spent a week with an XV on-road. There are a few caveats — the whirring CVT automatic gearbox and yet another Subaru with unwanted rattles in the rear – but gosh I liked driving this smaller SUV.
The price list rises to a fiver shy of £30,000 for the 2-litre diesel SE Lux Premium – rocking along with the likes of a Freelander or even an entry-level Evoque. Err, no I wouldn’t get that XV, either.
On test was the 2-litre petrol SE with the CVT gearbox. It costs £25,795. The CVT gears added £1,500 – which is quite an extra lump but despite the annoying drivetrain slurring they take little penalty in economy, emissions or acceleration.
That said, this is no pacemaker. The official 0-62mph time is 10.7 seconds and it feels slower. To get a speedy exit you must slam the accelerator and then wait for it to shuffle into its stride. Better is the mid range flexibility but the message is to judge your overtaking moves carefully.
The ride height is raised enough for track driving and gives that elevated road view most of us like — without the feeling you are clambering up into the cabin. At 175 inches, it is short enough to park easily, helped on the SE by an accurate rear view camera. The kit also includes leather and cruise control. Towing? It is rated at 1200 kg.