Subaru has it cov­ered with prize package

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - Fred­eric Manby

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.

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