What is it?
The Subaru XV is a compact, crossover class, vehicle that lists 4-wheel-drive, practicality and prestige among its strengths. Enhancements for 2016 include headlamps that have a more “premium look”, the manufacturer said. These complement a new grille, new steering wheel with revised switches plus 2, new, exterior colours.
The XV measures 4,445mm long by 1,780mm wide so it is slightly larger than the Impreza; the manufacturer's small family class hatchback. It is, however, far taller as it stretches to 1,615mm rather than 1,465mm. This height ensures it has among the best ground clearance in class to help conquer tough, off-road, terrain.
Subaru, therefore, emphasised that its fashionable crossover has “off-road ability its peers only dream about”. It has a low centre of gravity and permanent - rather than part-time - 4-wheel-drive, for example. The latter maintains momentum by transferring engine power between the front/rear axle based on which has the most grip.
Engines, transmissions, performance and fuel consumption
New, 2016, Subaru XV engines incorporate a flat piston concept. They move from side to side rather than up and down as is more common, in other words. The manufacturer said that its set-up produces less vibration than V and in-line counterparts from the same class. It lowers the centre of gravity to slash body roll too.
The 2.0-litre, 147PS, turbo diesel is teamed with 6-speed auto transmission. Gears can also be selected manually via the lever or paddles behind the steering wheel. This combination impresses as it: produces 350Nm of torque between 600 and 2,800rpm, hits 62mph in 9.3 seconds, averages 52.3mpg and emissions are merely 141g/km.
The 2.0-litre petrol produces 150PS. Expect: 196Nm of torque at 4,200rpm, 62mph in 10.5 seconds, 40.4mpg and CO2 of 160g/km when bolted to 6-speed manual transmission. The automatic slightly impedes the sprint to 62mph – this combination takes 10.7 seconds – but improves fuel consumption and emissions to 43.5mpg and 151g/km.
Trims and equipment
Both Subaru XV engines can be teamed with the SE, or SE Premium, trim. Even the former has a pleasing specification that includes: a rear-view camera, dual-zone climate control, automatic windscreen wipers, cruise control, whiplash reducing front seats, voice recognition plus hill-start assist to prevent it rolling backwards.
SE Premium adds: leather upholstery, electric driver seat, electric sunroof, keyless entry, push-button start and satellite navigation.
Practicality comes as standard too. The XV has 5 seats and cargo capacity is 380-litres which matches the Impreza. Equally important, however, is that the tailgate is near square which makes it easier to carry large, boxy, items such as furniture. Folding the 60/40 rear seats flat increases cargo capacity to 1,270-litres.
New Subaru XV prices range from £21,995 to £26,995.