Car Review: Subaru XV – To My Taste

Performance, aesthetic appeal and value for money have been on the table with all Subarus I have jumped behind the wheel of lately.

There’s no hiding from it… I’m a fan of Subaru’s latest generation of offerings.

Performance, aesthetic appeal and value for money have been on the table with all Subarus I have jumped behind the wheel of lately.

And while the new XV range may be an acquired taste as far as looks go, it is both to my taste and hits the mark in the performance and value stakes….  And gets plenty of other ticks along the way.

The look and feel of the XV – for some reason – takes me back to one of my earliest cars, a Subaru 4WD Wagon.

While the pressed tin of the new XV could best be described as radically different to my 1980s wagon, the XV more than adequately fills that segment of small city SUV but with impressive off-road skills… which is exactly what I was looking for back when first hitting the road (even though the term “small city SUV” had not even been coined).

It is an affordable package, great nippy performance and with all the little luxuries and available with all Subaru’s celebrated safety features.

But the robust-looking, fun, different styling is likely to hit the spot with a select following (aka not appeal to everyone) and, as such, I wouldn’t be surprised if it earns something of a cult following over the years to come.

Unfortunately you cannot get a manual gearbox in the Australian release and the range kicks off at $27,990 for the 2.0i

That will buy you an auto gear box along with standard features including smart key-style keyless entry, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay for iPhones and Android Auto, a 6.3-inch multi function display, Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio, CD player, cruise control, climate control, engine stop-start system, ‘X-Mode’ traction system, tinted rear glass, rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, two 12-volt power jacks, hill start assist, two USB ports, push-button ignition, cloth seats, black carpet trim and halogen headlights.

Stepping up in the range is the 2.0i-L at $30,340 which adds among other upgrades, Subaru’s EyeSight safety system; then it is on to the 2.0i Premium at $32,140 and adds an electric sunroof and GPS sat nav.

We tested both the base model and the top of the range 2.0i-S at a price of $35,240. It has all of Premium’s features, the ‘Vision Assist’ package, leather seats, alloy pedals, auto LED headlights and daytime running lights, auto wipers, power driver’s seat, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

If the exterior isn’t exactly to your taste, there’s plenty to like about the interior. First glances reveal lots of stitching and a tidy small and sporty steering wheel, plenty of air vents and cup holders… all the stuff you want in a tidy adventure package.The increase in wheelbase means more legroom in the back row.

That’s the draw for me with the XV… a vehicle that not only looks adventurous but has the credentials to get the job done.

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