XV 2.0i SE Premium Lineartronic
XV might look like a swish soft-
roader but whats
under its skin
makes it a lot more capable tackling
off-road terrain than many of its
ALL-NEW FROM THE GROUND UP and sitting on a brand-new platform (chassis),
powered by petrol engines and boasting an appealing and smartly finished cabin,
this latest XV is exactly the type of crossover that should sell very well in
today's trendy 'me too' compact SUV segment.
Whichever angle you come at it you have to admit that this XV looks purposeful.
There's a polished ruggedness to it emphasised in particular by the noticeable
can-do ground clearance, well-planted stance and strongly defined wheel arches
with protective angular cladding encasing meaty 18-inch alloys.
Size-wise it's Subaru's 'compact' SUV; their Forester is the next size up, while
the Outback wears the 'full-size' label. Inside the XV you'll find a spacious
and well-trimmed cabin with good quality black leather giving off a premium
air that's as welcoming as it is neatly laid out.
expected colour touchscreen infotainment and 3D navigation system is in its
rightful place; crowning the centre stack. It's a crystal clear eight-incher
so easy to read; it's also simple to use. Immediately below it is a strip of
'jump' buttons to quickly take you into frequently used menus such as Map, Apps,
Radio and Media. Underscoring this is the two-zone climate control panel with
three easily-adjusted-on-the-move knurled rotary knobs.
up front you sit high
with decent headroom
and getting in and out
And the shapely,
well-bolstered seats are
supportive everywhere they should be and
smartly finished with
perforated centre panels
and sporty orange
is good with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus there's Bluetooth, CD slot,
six speakers, DAB radio, a voice recognition system, USB and Aux-in ports and,
also playing through the main screen, a reversing camera.
There's generous space up front you sit high with decent headroom and
getting in and out is easy. And the shapely, well-bolstered seats are supportive
everywhere they should be and smartly finished with perforated centre panels
and sporty orange highlight stitching (also on the doors, dash and the good-to-grip
leather rim of the three-spoke multifunction wheel). The driver enjoys multi-way
powered seat adjustment and both front seats feature fast-acting two-stage heating.
Wheel-mounted controls operate the adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, telephony,
audio, and the 4.3-inch LCD multi-information display set between the trad-style
rev-counter and speedo and which along with a wealth of core driving information
and safety status graphics features a digital speed readout. Another important
plus point is the commanding driving position boosted by fine all-round visibility.
Roomy accommodation is not so good if there's not ample room to stow all those
annoying items, from mobiles to bottles, that drivers and their passengers need
to cart around with them. Thankfully the XV cabin has plenty of hidey-holes:
a large glovebox, a capacious storage box under the padded armrest between the
front seats, big bottle-holding front door bins, a pair of large siamesed dual-use
cupholders, and a 'cave' at the base of the centre stack.
The XV's rear cabin confirms its five adult capacity with plenty of leg, knee
and foot room. It's also easy for access, courtesy of the seating's high hip-points
that allow you to just sit and easily swivel in your legs. Once there the backrest
angles are relaxing, and made better by the large drop-down central armrest
with built in cupholders and comfy outer armrests; cans and small bottles will
fit in the door pockets.
out are unrestricted and rear passengers benefit from sitting about six inches
higher than those in front. If the sunroof blind is open then they'll be bathed
in light but even with it closed it's still a pleasant place in which
to travel. A grown-up sitting in the centre spot will be fine, and parents will
be glad of the Isofix child-seat fixings and childproof rear door locking.
EyeSight safety system
uses two stereo cameras
to capture 3D colour
images as it constantly
monitors the road ahead
for potential hazards,
and can distinguish
bicycles, and lane
as is the norm with Subarus, is generous and, in addition to the leather upholstery,
heated front seats, and infotainment and navigation system also includes keyless
entry and locking (front doors and boot) with push button start, electric parking
brake, powerfolding heated door mirrors, power windows (one-touch fronts), UV
protection and privacy glass, powered tilt-and-slide glass sunroof with blackout
sunblind, dual-zone automatic climate control with anti-dust filter, drive-away
automatic door locking, ally pedal set with a matching left-foot rest, and eye-catching
18-inch alloy wheels.
Subaru bills the XV as 'the safest small car in Europe'. Certainly the list
of safety kit and driver assists is comprehensive, starting with Subaru's symmetrical
all-wheel drive (including X-Mode and Hill Descent Control for extreme driving
conditions) and Subaru's high-tech Eyesight safety system that uses two stereo
cameras to capture 3D colour images as it constantly monitors the road ahead
(up to 110 metres) for potential hazards. EyeSight can actually distinguish
types of objects as opposed to just seeing that there is an unidentified obstacle,
recognising pedestrians, vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, and lane markings,
which makes it more accurate than traditional camera and sensor technologies.
There's also a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating, autonomous emergency braking,
Vehicle Dynamics Control, hill-start assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping
assist, blind spot monitoring, Lead Vehicle Start Alert (warns you when the
car ahead moves off surprisingly useful in snarled up traffic and stop-start
motorway situations), as well as rear cross traffic alert (like eyes in the
back of your head, it scans behind when you're reversing and warns if anything
Naturally there's also a full set of airbags along with whiplash-reducing front
seats, height-adjustable front belts, seatbelts 'in use' indicator, safety pedal
set with a driver's knee airbag, automatic steering-responsive LED headlights,
high beam assist, auto wipes, pop-up headlight washers, wiper blade de-icing,
and automatic drive-off door locking.
has finally come full-circle and the once bÍte noire is now the PC choice (well,
at least until 2032, by when our political masters intend for us all be fully
conscripted into the EV camp). So, make the most of the combustion engine while
you can. Certainly Subaru are the XV can only be had with a petrol engine
although you do get two choices: a new 1.6 and the comprehensively upgraded
2.0i that we've been driving this past week.
2.0-litre petrol unit
continues the Subaru
Boxer tradition of having four cylinders with two pairs horizontally
It pumps out 153bhp
backed up by 144lb ft
which is served up
willingly and is
enough to take you to
on the way, pass 62mph
from standstill in 10.4
2.0-litre unit continues the Subaru Boxer tradition of having four cylinders
with two pairs horizontally opposed. It pumps out 153bhp backed up by 144lb
ft which is served up willingly and is enough to take you to 120mph and, on
the way, pass 62mph from standstill in 10.4 seconds; it's also pretty sparing
with the unleaded a week's hard driving saw it return an honest 39mpg
against its official Combined Cycle figure of 40.9mpg.
On the move the mid-range grunt is strong enough to feel while that idiosyncratic
once-heard-never-forgotten thrummy Boxer heartbeat is immediately recognisable
for everyday driving, though, it's as smooth and quiet as it needs to
It's also partnered with a new CVT Lineartronic autobox which, despite being
a continuously variable transmission, can simulate seven gears accessible
via the wheel-mounted paddle-shifters should you feel the need to intervene.
However, that's a bit like buying a dog and barking yourself as you've
paid for the auto it's best to let it get on with things itself and just enjoy
Talking of which, the XV rides well over poorer blacktop, maintaining its composure
even over not so good country blacktop. Equally important, while there's decent
resistance to body lean built into the suspension, the ride on 18-inch alloys
wrapped in 225/55 Bridgestones is passenger-pleasingly composed.
Subaru's engineers have reached a fine compromise between the ride quality and
the handling dynamics that keeps the XV entertaining to drive; crisp turn-in
allied to nicely weighted steering and the well managed roll resistance, helped
by a low centre of gravity (courtesy of the flatter-than-normal Boxer engine
that allows for a low-down engine bay installation) plus permanent all-wheel
drive, ensures a confident agility particularly on tricksy B-roads. The brakes
(discs at every corner and vented at the front-end) are the reassuring kind
you never notice because they just get on with their job without drawing attention
to themselves, which is exactly how it should be.
crossovers rarely see the dirtier side of motoring, spending their entire lives
running on blacktop. And that's because many of them can't really cut it off-road.
Not so the XV with its symmetrical all-wheel drive, no-nonsense X-Mode
and 220mm of ground clearance, off-piste is somewhere the XV is happy to go.
see the dirtier side of
motoring, spending their
entire lives running
And thats because many
of them cant
really cut it off-road.
Not so the XV with its
drive and no-nonsense
is somewhere the XV
is happy to go...
new X-Mode takes the XV's permanent symmetrical all-wheel drive to the next
level in extreme driving conditions for max-trax when navigating slippery surfaces,
boggy fields, rough roads and steep hills.
the button to activate X-Mode and you can also call on Hill Descent Control
to maintain a constant but safe speed when travelling downhill just set
an appropriate speed when approaching the hill and then remove your feet from
the pedals to let HDC manage the brakes, leaving you free to concentrate on
steering during the descent (should you need to, you can still adjust your speed).
All of which guarantees the XV is very well prepared to take adventurous drivers
deeper into unmapped territory unlike many of its less hardy crossover
classmates that, when push comes to shove, are really crossovers in looks only.
Lift the head-friendly tailgate and retract the roller blind luggage cover and
you'll find a regular shaped boot accessed through a wide opening that makes
light work of loading 385 litres of luggage. Drop the easy-fold 60:40-split
back seats (the rear belts, helpfully, stay well out of the way) and you'll
triple that with a 1,290-litre loadbay with a seamless and level floor. Of course
there are bag hooks plus some extra storage space beneath the boot floor, and
if towing is your thing then the XV is good to haul a braked 1,400kg.
Scooby owners are a loyal bunch but given the number of drivers now racing to
sign up to the mushrooming compact crossover movement, Subaru's off-road capable
XV is likely to attract plenty of new customers with an active, outdoor lifestyle
to the iconic Japanese brand. ~ MotorBar
Subaru XV 2.0i SE Premium Lineartronic
Maximum speed: 120mph | 0-62mph: 10.4 seconds | Test Average: 38.9mpg
Power: 153bhp | Torque: 144lb ft | CO2: 155g/km