Motoring Review: New Subaru XV reviewed
Reviewed by Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist – tweeting @carwriteups
Subaru’s new XV won’t make you moist with excitement, but it’ll keep you safe and sound on and off-road.
I should know. I tested the car in snow-covered Lativa – and didn’t crash once. Oh, I tried. But the excellent all-wheel-drive system employed by the XV thwarted my efforts to have an accident.
Crazy? Yes, I am. But car tests can get boring, so why not chuck an XV around stupidly on ice and snow to see what happens? Honestly, the Subaru somehow just plays ball all the time, and its wheels feel like they have spikes digging into the terrain below them. Yes, the grip is that good.
The car’s not bad in comfort terms either. It still lacks that premium feel you’d expect to find in a German machine – and it’s not sexy to look at, but it’s damned impressive to drive.
The only thing to wee on the chips of the XV is the whining CVT ‘box. The noise does the old noggin in, but the excellent audio system can drown that out, no problem.
The new XV will set you back around £23,000 if you want to buy a basic one, and it’s worth it for the safety factor alone. The solid motor achieved the highest-ever grade in Japan’s newly hardened NCAP assessments, notching up 199.7 out of 208 marks.
The new XV also impresses on the roominess front. It has bags of space for front and rear occupants and more than enough room for everyone’s luggage in the boot.
You also get that factory-fitted all-wheel drive and Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance. The latter tech consists of adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane keeping assist. And to help with any off-roading you might want to do, the XV has a substantial 8.7-inches of ground-clearance.
The XV’s performance isn’t mind-mashing, but it’s damned decent for a crossover. It’ll do 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds and the top speed is 116mph. Fuel consumption isn’t horrific either, at over 40mpg.
The fresh Subaru provides a confident, stable drive on and off-road, with appealing compact proportions for negotiating the overcrowded urban jungle, too.
Overall, the Japanese auto-maker’s new XV should do well in 2018, although it’ll never sell as well as rivals, such as SEAT’s Ateca.
But Subaru fully acknowledges it’s not the biggest seller in the UK – and it’s cool with that. In some ways, that makes me want to go out and buy an XV now, because it isn’t a car everyone will drive. You might feel the same. Trouble is, then the XV will become ubiquitous. Oh well; can’t win can we, Subaru?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Almighty Grip √
- Off-Road Prowess √
- Top Safety √
- Looks X
- Lacks Premium Cabin Feel X
Fast Facts (XV 2.0i Lineartronic – as tested)
- Max speed:116 mph
- 0-62 mph: 10.2 secs
- Combined mpg: 44.4
- Engine layout: 1995cc four-cylinder petrol turbo
- Max. power (PS): 156
- CO2: 140 g/km
- Price: £25,000