By Bill McCarthy
THINK Subaru and you think of big, rugged 4×4, like Forester and Outlander taking on the toughest of terrains. Or do you? How about the absolutely bonkers Impreza WRX STi or the two seater BRX for a bit of sport.
Then there’s the latest XV, a redesigned crossover that competes in that toughest of sectors.
What does it offer that the others do not? Well, it’s bigger than its predecessor, while the iconic Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (SAWD) is an absolute bonus.
There is also standard EyeSight driver assist technology, which provides warnings and collision avoidance assistance through scanning the road ahead, together with the X-MODE with hill descent control which manages braking and power on steep inclines.
Being a bit left field is another. And it is in places like fields is where with its higher ground clearance it is likely to score for those inclined to pull trailers or horse boxes, but don’t want a full-fat mud plugger.
It also features the now familiar horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, in this case the 1.6-litre petrol version.
It does have much sharper styling the previously with the firm Global Platform (SGP) offering higher rigidity, increased strength, lighter weight, better rolling resistance and responsive steering.
A mixture of curves and angles, it sports an hexagonal front grille, while a sloping profile with integrated roof bars leads to a smart rear with black rear spoiler and surrounds.
It also offers ample storage capacity so you can pack it to the rafter for those offroad events . Boot space of 385 likes expands to 1,290 with the rear split seats folded.
The interior is smart, utilitarian rather than luxurious, but still fairly lavishly equipped with sporty styling, comfortable leather, powered, seats, commanding driving position and good all round vision. Even better on this model is the electric sunroof, allowing extra light and airiness into the cabin.
All controls are well placed and easy to use,including the push button starter. It features the firm’s latest generation infotainment system with eight-inch multi-function colour touchscreen the centre piece.
The navigation, car systems, audio and connectivity can be controlled from here, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to mirror smartphone apps onto the touchscreen.
In addition, the 4.3 inch LCD multi-information display gives real time driving and cabin information.
The 2.0-litre petrol engin is mated to the also familiar Lineartronic transmission. This is a constantly variable (sometimes constantly raucous) transmission. It is a comfortable ride and the handling, aided by the all wheel drive when conditions require, is excellent.
Firecracker performance you will not get here, the car hitting 60mph in about 13 seconds which is quick enough for most and that no really what this car is about. It will not race away from the lights, but it is a comfortable drive, particularly on the motorways.
Take it offroad and long time proven all wheel drive capability will not let you down.
|t is economical for an all wheel drive car, although emissions are on the high side for company car choices.
There are two trim levels, SE and this SE Premium model.
Not the cheapest, but it is packed with equipment and includes neat touches like the reversing camera displays a live colour image and head-up display for added safety. There’s also the five year, 100,000 miles warranty for peace of mind.
Subaru XV 1.6i SE Premium Lineartronic
Mechanical: 114ps, 1,600cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via automatic gearbox
Max speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 13.9 seconds
Combined mpg: 40.9
Insurance group: 10
CO2 emissions: 157g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles