E-xtra V-alue from rugged SUV

Subaru XV Hybrid

By Bill McCarthy

There’s something about Subaru that attracts a loyal following. A left-field alternative to the mainstream it offers something a little different with its legendary all-wheel drive capability making it a more than competent off-road performer.

Recently facelifted, the exterior sports a hexagonal front grille, sloping profile with integrated roof bars and new fog lamp bezels which surround the LED fog lights.

The rear spoiler is finished in gloss black and an e-Boxer badge has been added to the wings and tailgate. It sits on smart 18-inch alloys, standard across the range. It also features advanced safety technology like EyeSight.

The two-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer petrol engine has been mated with an electric motor and powerful lithium-ion battery which is mounted within the boot floor and allows for pure-electric driving at speeds of up to 25mph. The power plants are mated with the familiar Lineartronic transmission.

The savings in fuel are not huge however and the electric-only running only really kicks in in slow moving traffic. 

However, I was surprised to get better economy than the official figure of around 35mpg. Overall, I was clocking just under 40mpg in all driving conditions.

The interior is smart and roomy, if not class-leading, but still well-equipped and offers sporty styling.

Centrally placed is an eight-inch multifunction colour touchscreen controlling major functions like infotainment, connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio and Bluetooth. Above this sits a screen displaying information on economy and driving data. A TFT information screen sits behind the steering wheel.

The SE is pretty well packed with standard kit, but this model includes dual zone air-conditioning, reversing camera and heated seats are also standard on this model as are eight-way power adjustable driver seat, satellite navigation and sunroof.

Performance is quite lively if you floor the accelerator, but the transmission becomes raucous under heavy acceleration. The vehicle can hit 60mph in around 10.7 seconds.

It handles very well despite its high ground clearance and is a comfortable motorway cruiser. 

In addition, the permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD), allows you to deal with just about any road or weather conditions. Engage X-MODE with Hill Descent Control at the touch of a button and more challenging off road conditions and negotiating steep inclines and descents are handled with ease.

In practical terms, the boot is quite small in its class as a result of accommodating the battery, but fold the seats and 1,290 litres of space is available.

Safety features are comprehensive and include a full complement of airbags, EyeSight EyeSight, which delivers Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Sway and Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist. It uses a dual-camera setup behind the rear view mirror to monitor the road ahead and anticiapte danger.

In addition, Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD) includes: Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert

There are two trim levels, SE and this SE Premium model priced from £30,995 OTR.

There’s also the five year, 100k miles warranty for peace of mind.

FACTFILE

Subaru XV 2.0i SE Premium e-Boxer Lineartronic Hybrid

Price: £35,195

Mechanical: 150PS, 1,995cc, four-cylinder petrol engine driving and electric motor, driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 10.7 seconds

Combined mpg: 35.7

Insurance group: 16E

CO2 emissions: 180g/km

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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