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Subaru’s second generation All-Wheel Drive XV Sports Utility is even better than before. Utilising the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP), first seen on the new Impreza, this XV is built to engage drivers in a multitude of surroundings, from urban to the great outdoors, while providing higher levels of confidence, comfort and control. It looks sharper, drives better and receives much appreciated cabin refinement, and according to Subaru just about every aspect of the vehicle has been mulled over, tweaked and improved. For instance the CVT transmission chain has a tighter pitch to reduce noise and improve performance.


While changes to the car’s exterior may not be obvious to untrained eyes, Subaru has furnished the new XV with spiffed up front bumper displaying sharper contoured lines, fresh set of C-shaped head lights, stylish hexagon grille and distinct set of 17-inch rims. Alone, these new differences may not count for much but parked next to the previous model it is obvious which is better dressed.

All models have permanent all-wheel drive, Active Torque Vectoring increasing driving precision with more force applied to the wheels that need it, and X-mode, for enhanced off road capability below 40kph, affecting multiple aspects of vehicle behaviour at touch off a switch. Also there is tyre pressure monitoring.

With regard to the progressive levels of specification available, some standouts are- the L model adds 8'' touch screen, dual aircon, electric folding mirrors, eyesight with Lane keeping assist, then Premium adds electric sunroof and Satnav, and S adds steering responsive LED headlights, 18 inch alloys, and blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and a new feature, reverse automatic braking.

Internally, drivers are treated to large 8-inch (2.0i-L, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i-S) and 6.5-inch (2.0i) touch-screen infotainment system, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing drivers to connect devices safely. Also improved all-round visibility influenced by Subaru’s earlier aeronautical engineering background makes driving the new XV much easier. Cabin space and cargo room have also been improved.

The Subaru Global Platform contributes enhanced body strength, with increased use of high-tensile steel improving energy absorption capabilities about 40 per cent over previous model.

High Beam Assist is featured on the new XV S, using monocular camera integrated in the rear view mirror. It detects preceding and oncoming vehicles and automatically switches headlights to high or low beam. Headlights are now Steering Responsive, following the direction the car is being steered, improving visibility and safety.

The Subaru XV 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Horizontally-Opposed boxer engine, newly direct injected, is no WRX by any stretch of imagination and may fall short on thrilling with an exhilarating driving experience. 115kW of power and 196Nm of four-wheeled twisting force may seem a little low for around 1,500kg kerb weight, but behind the wheel the car does not exactly struggle in overtaking, although you really do have to put your foot down for the engine to come to life. The CVT transmission may also play a part in this. Compelling considerations are to keep cost, weight and fuel consumption all low, and considering that, you get good value for money here. If you want high performance you pay more, but you choose this car because it is fine for you.

Subaru has done two things that noticeably improve the new XV’s ride quality. Firstly, wind and road noise have been reduced with the adoption of more sound-absorbent materials throughout the car. On the long stretches of highway on the New South Wales south coast, the car gained points with a quiet and comfortable drive, even with rain pouring mercilessly.

Secondly, the dampers for both front and rear suspension have also had their pitch rate lowered, improving both stability and smoothness. With Symmetrical AWD working alongside Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system, the car’s handling remains swift and steady.

As we said earlier, the XV is no way a WRX, with steering maybe lacking feedback, but it manages to stay well planted in corners better than most rivals will, and with its properly-sorted suspension system, you can have a lot of fun behind the wheel. This car is a compelling stand out in its segment.
  • Dimensions mm: L x W x H x WB: 4,465 x 1,800 x 1,615 x 2,665
  • Kerb Weight: 1,462kg – 1,484kg
  • Engine: 1,995cc horizontally-opposed Boxer 4-cylinder, petrol DOHC
  • Max power: [email protected],000rpm
  • Max torque: [email protected]
  • Transmission: Lineartronic CVT AWD Active Torque Split 7 speed modes
  • Fuel: 90 RON
  • Tank: 63 litres

*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorised Subaru dealer.
  • 2.0i $27,990*
  • 2.0i-L $30,340*
  • 2.0i Premium $32,140*
  • 2.0i-S $35,240*