Subaru XV Video Review


Every time a car company launches an all-new model you can count on three things: it’ll be bigger, more powerful and better equipped. It has to be: Otherwise there’d be no reason for customers to buy in and upgrade the one they’ve already got. That’s exactly what’s happened to the super-successful Subaru Forester – which is a sound commercial reason for adding the diminutive XV into the Subaru family lineup.

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Vehicles get bigger and fatter as they age, just like most of us. That’s exactly what’s happened to the Subaru Forester – the current Forester easily eclipses the first, which was originally an Impreza spin-off. That’s how, and why, the Forester got super-sized.

Car companies hate losing sales because they can’t field the right-sized entrant – so there definitely was a need for the XV in the Subaru range.

XV sales have been running hot since the launch, and Subaru struggles to keep up with demand. Typically, XV smashes the Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi ASX, and Holden Captiva 5 – at least in terms of the numbers that get sold.

The XV comes just one engine - a two-litre petrol-powered boxer four, with symmetrical all-wheel drive, and the platform rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels. Unfortunately, with just 110kW and less than 200Nm the XV is hardly a machine for the performance enthusiast. But if you don’t want to set the world on fire, the XV will at least manage to keep up in traffic.

You can have a six-speed manual transmissionor a CVT. The manual is the pick. The CVT is a kind of faux automatic, but it’s very fuel efficient. The CVT adds another $2500 – another excellent reason to go with the manual.

The XV comes in three models, the ‘I’, ‘L’ and ‘S’. Basically, there are no nasty surprises as you step up through the range – you just get more fruit like leather upholstery, electric seats, body garnish, xenon lights, and a more accomplished multimedia, infotainment and nav system.

A big tick is the five-star ANCAP safety rating across the range.

In a nutshell, the XV is capable, cost-effective transport – just like a junior burger version of the Forester.