2017 SUBARU XV 2.0
NOO SOOBY UPS THE ANTE
It was a love/hate relationship for me with the first gen’ Subaru XV basically because the thing went like a slug especially the manual. Balanced against that was the fact the The XV was safe, controlled and looked good and being Japan-built is a big reliability plus for me.
Now second-gen’ XV is here and wow, what a difference.
They completely addressed the non performance issue, it’s now a CVT stepped auto only, rides with the comfort of bigger brother Forester (with a sportier edge) and is feature rich, even in the base model 2.0i tested.
The chunky styling is an evolution of version one and the interior is upgraded to include plenty of the latest tech along with stylish looks.
And, against a horde of small SUV competitors, the XV stands out as the only one with all wheel drive as standard. The competition is trending more and more towards the lesser front wheel drive.
Marginally extra oomph from the 115kW/196Nm, 2.0-litre boxer engine is augmented by carefully calibrated CVT gearing to yield strong acceleration off the mark and across the entire engine speed range. It’s smooth and quiet too with minimal characteristic boxer engine warble.
Standard kit on the base model includes torque vectoring feeding drive to the wheels with most grip, hill hold assist, reverse camera and a large infotainment screen but if you want the full range of advanced driver assist technology it’s in the top of the line 2.0i-S. Hardwired satnav is only in the top two variants.
All get a five star ANCAP crash rating.
ON THE ROAD
I must admit to being a tad stunned by how good the base model performed and handled. It has a relatively high seating position and feels high but through tight corners, the XV hangs on tenaciously, has responsive steering and strong brakes. This from a small SUV….
Real world fuel use hovers around the 7.2-litre/100km mark.
It’s comfortable and roomy inside and feels solid as a rock on the road.
Other makers should take note….
➔ Impressive ride and handling
➔ Good engine performance
➔ No rubber band feel to CVT transmission
➔ Engine almost silent at cruise speed
➔ Styling is evolution of handsome predecessor
➔ Roomy, functional interior
➔ Decent luggage space and storage compartments
➔ Comfortable seats
➔ All wheel drive handy in slippery conditions
➔ Can be taken moderately off road
➔ Quality build with price reduction on most models
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Proper satnav only in top two models
➔ Advanced driver assist features not on lower variants
➔ Becomes comparatively thirsty when pushed/loaded
➔ Bit porky at 1400kg
ENGINE: 2.0-litre boxer four cylinder petrol 115kW/196Nm
TRANSMISSION: Stepped CVT `auto’
THIRST: 7.0-litres/100km claimed
WEIGHT: Approximately 1400kg
0-100KMH: Approximately 8.0 seconds
ALTERNATIVES: Suzuki Vitara Turbo 4WD $34,990, Mazda CX-3 Maxx AWD $26,890, Skoda Yeti AWD Outdoor $32,990