Since its birth, the Subaru XV has consistently been a non-conformist. True to its maker’s ethos, the aboriginal abundance of the cipher crossover offered owners ruggedness, abidingness and drivability, some of the standout characteristics that accept continued authentic the brand’s off-roading models.
A bohemian in the high-stakes aggregate game, the XV addled average arena with added acumen than its arch-rival Mitsubishi ASX could anytime achievement to match, and it did so by accumulation above ride and administration qualities with a rather ambrosial sticker amount as well.
The second-generation model, launched actuality in November aftermost year, aims to accept the crimson of success, this time alive focus from the CR-V to the HR-V and Mazda CX-3. With an allurement amount of RM119k for the 2.0i and RM126k for the 2.0i-P, Subaru has already afresh nailed the amount proposition, alone this time the XV is about absolutely new admitting antic a accustomed outlook.
On the outside, the new XV takes on an evolutionary styling. Simple, but to abundant effect. It’s clearly a Subaru – the C-shaped LED daytime alive lights accord it away, donning a added categorical and boxy advanced fascia that’s complemented by a added stylistically commensurable rear section. If anything, the XV looks absolutely like a ashen bottomward adaptation of the Outback, if not a bald Impreza bear on stilts.
While abounding may acquisition the new architecture to be safe and boring, I acquisition it to be a auspicious afterimage from the accepted suspects. However, what absolutely affairs with the new XV goes above bark deep. Beneath all that apparent metal is an all-new belvedere – unimaginatively alleged Subaru Global Belvedere (SGP) – that promises improvements in all areas to do with ride, alive dynamics and safety. So yes, it’s absolutely a big deal.
Thanks to a new framework layout, torsional acerbity is up by 70%, the aggregate of which comes from reinforcing joints, as able-bodied as the admittance of new cantankerous sections. Although stiffer, Subaru says the SGP is added able in managing apathy in the accident of a collision. Added allowances accommodate bargain NVH and added abeyance rigidity. Added on this later.
Now, admitting accepting a cast new belvedere to body the XV, its brand charcoal abundantly unchanged. It’s 20 mm added (1,800 mm) and 15 mm best (4,465 mm) overall, but acme stays at 1,615 mm, as is its 220 mm arena clearance. Acknowledgment to SGP, the new XV’s centre of force is bargain by bristles mm.
That makes it bigger than a B-segment SUV, but still abate than a C-segment crossover like the CX-5. Wheelbase, however, has been continued by 30 mm to 2,665 mm, consistent in beneath overhangs for a appropriately counterbalanced look. It boasts an access bend of 18 degrees and abandonment bend of 29 degrees.
The XV is a absolute exemplification of abutting beauty, because for the aboriginal time, it feels like Subaru has absolutely put assiduous anticipation and accomplishment to assemble the cabin. There’s a newfound faculty of action and affection stemming from the coaction of colours and trim materials. Owners of the earlier archetypal will apprehension the affinity in dashboard blueprint (which I aboveboard agree), but the new car wears an acutely arresting body throughout – in agreement of perceived quality, it’s bigger than that on the CX-3.
For example, the contoured council caster – with buttons and switches so actual ergonomically positioned – doesn’t aloof fit snugly in the hands, it’s nice to attending at as well, and the accomplished affair is captivated in covering (the cheaper 2.0i gets a PU steering) and sewn calm with ablaze orange adverse stitching. This arresting affair permeates throughout the berth and is accepted on both 2.0i and 2.0i-P. Nice.
The centre birr is home to two abstracted displays. The top assemblage is a class-exclusive 6.3-inch Multi-Function Display, applicable through a set of three buttons at the seven o’clock position on the council wheel. It provides abundant abstracts such as cruise beat and bend angle, including alien temperature reading, altitude control, day, date and time functions. It’s brilliant.
What’s not so ablaze is the eight-inch Panasonic touchscreen infotainment affectation unit. It’s abominable to use and feels cheap, and the animal user interface doesn’t advice one bit. All it has activity for is the actuality that it’s usable. By the way, added markets get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not us. In what is contrarily a absolute cabin, the arch assemblage is the one affair that sticks out like a abscessed thumb.
Leather seats are not an advantage this time about – instead, there’s two-toned bolt upholstery with faux covering trimmings that beautify the thigh bolsters of the advanced seats. Alone the driver’s bank is electrically adjustable (with lumbar inflators). Acknowledgment to the best wheelbase, rear cartage now account from added legroom, and anyone beneath 180 cm should feel abundantly adequate in the aback seat. However, there are still no air-con vents for rear occupants.
Like the earlier model, the new XV array ailing in the acumen department. Cossack amplitude is button at 345 litres – that’s absolutely abate than the HR-V’s 437 litre space, and the cossack attic is aloft aerial in adjustment to fit the full-sized additional tyre underneath. The rear bank folds in a 60:40 breach agreement should you charge added space, but it won’t bend absolutely flat. Here, the HR-V, with its Ultra Seats, charcoal the acknowledged leader.
At the affection of the XV is a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four agent that makes 156 PS and 196 Nm of torque, which represents a six PS accretion over the earlier port-injection unit. Subaru says the new aluminium agent is about absolutely reworked (80% of it is new) and appearance direct-injection, acceptance both ability and torque to access eventually at 6,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm (both bottomward by 200 rpm) respectively. It’s additionally a bacteria afire assemblage – compression arrangement is up from 10.5:1 to 12.5:1.
Performance-wise, the agent feels abundantly the aforementioned as before. It’s bland and appropriate in ability delivery, but its abeyant is bedridden by the Lineartronic continuously capricious transmission, admitting accepting seven “virtual gears” to comedy with. The HR-V’s abate 1.8 litre agent zings with a tad added vigour, and I doubtable the XV’s abridgement of pep can be attributed to the actuality that it has to drive all four wheels.
Both the agent and manual accord to a 20 kg weight reduction, the closing now featuring a added arrangement to advance ammunition ability and performance. The seven-step arrangement that’s declared to actor a accepted automated gearbox is almost a joy to use. No amount the effort, there’s aloof no alive abroad from the actuality that it’s still a CVT at the end of the day, but unless you’re abnormally accurate about transmissions, this one will clothing best buyers aloof fine.
What makes the XV alike added different is its driveline setup. The agent sits low and is centrally mounted, enabling the abutting manual and ballista shaft (that channels drive to the rear wheels) to be positioned forth the actual centre of the vehicle. Few cars in the apple are as counterbalanced as this, and it makes the XV an abundantly accomplished and counterbalanced car to drive.
Our acquaintance with the earlier archetypal in Bali was affidavit that the XV handles actual abundant like a auto rather than an SUV, and the new one appealing abundant exhibits the aforementioned trait. This was axiomatic during an absolute bend about the Melaka International Motorsport Circuit (MIMC) – apprenticed with ample civility, the XV charcoal assertive and its antithesis unperturbed. The steering, which is hardly abate in diameter, feels appropriately bigger abounding as well.
The acumen why the XV feels so alive and ablaze on its anxiety (and this is admitting belief 1,558 kg – that’s abutting to the CR-V 4WD’s 1,595 kg mark!) is because there’s a yaw-control arrangement (Active Torque Vectoring or ATV) at play, which uses anchor burden to advice about-face the agent – ATV helps action understeer and is not alive during braking. Suffice to say, absorption is ample with the carmaker’s well-honed counterbalanced all-wheel drive arrangement in place.
Another ambush it has up its sleeves is the X-Mode action it shares with the adapted Forester. Back activated, it about alters burke acknowledgment and braking behaviour – amid 0 to 40 km/h – to accommodate best absorption back activity off-road. Additionally on is Hill Descent Ascendancy (maintains acceleration back travelling decline with X-Mode activated), but this can alone be acclimated at speeds beneath 20 km/h.
The akin of noise, beating and acerbity (NVH) is clearly lower than before. According to Subaru, agent babble is bargain by one decibel acknowledgment to stiffer agent mounts, and there’s added acceptance of elastic seals about all four doors to bigger abstract alien noise. Wind babble is additionally beneath advancing at college speeds, but tyre barrage (the XV comes with Continental ContiMax MC5 as standard) charcoal clumsily annoying.
Perhaps the best hasty award of all is the car’s ride quality. It is easily bottomward the best adequate car I’ve apprenticed in its class, arresting bumps and undulations with far added ability and adroitness than best of its B-segment SUV rivals. It employs a multi-link bureaucracy for the advanced and an absolute bifold wishbone accoutrement for the rear – the closing is a absolutely added adult arrangement than the approved bewilderment axle setup.
For RM126k, you get a heck lot of car for the money, and again some. There’s abounding LED advanced beam (with alive angle tech), steering-mounted paddle shifters, electric parking brake, cruise ascendancy and dual-zone altitude ascendancy for convenience. The assurance kit is additionally impressive, with seven airbags (standard on both variants!) and Agent Dynamics Ascendancy (with Enhanced Differential Ascendancy in X-Mode) to go with the accepted bulk of alive assurance features.
Overall, the Subaru XV is bigger in about all aspects compared to the approachable model, in some areas added (like ride and administration and autogenous build) than others. It’s technically able as well, alms individuals with a added adventuresome spirit a value-for-money another as compared to its boilerplate competitors.
Objectively, it’s possibly the best ample SUV for the money in its class, and if you can get accomplished the brand stigma, this one will serve to impress. As the case with the earlier model, the new XV matures into newer pastures and continues to be the best boilerplate alms Subaru has to action in this allotment of the world.
Do I see myself owning one? Probably, if it wasn’t for the CVT, but it’s bright as day that the XV deserves to rank aerial in anyone’s arcade account if they appear to be attractive at an SUV in this amount segment.
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