Subaru XV

As roomy and as practical as ever – does this mean it’s more inviting to sit in?

With Subaru bringing their second-generation model of the XV this year, we are excited to tell you what’s expected and what we think of the Japanese brand’s smallest SUV.
You wouldn’t believe that Subaru first began at the end of the war, the Nakajima Aircraft Company that produced Japanese planes, which then transformed to Fuji Heavy Industries, prototype cars. Their pilot vehicle was named the P-1. However, the company soon changed its name to Subaru – a star cluster in the Taurus constellation meaning ‘to govern’ or ‘gather together’.
Since then, the company has collected many proud accomplishments throughout the years, from their launch of their Subaru Legacy in 1989 to their launch of the Subaru XV in 2011.  So, what has 2018 brought with the second generation of the XV model?

With a Subaru, there are no massive surprises; the XV combines all-wheel drive, boxer engines and boxy design – in which is pretty like its predecessors since the brand arrived in the UK three decades ago. So, with Subaru sticking to their traditions, it will seem reassuringly familiar to their small-loyal customer base. However, this may prove to be difficult to appeal more to the other sectors of the market.

When it comes to the Subaru’s overall design and styling, it’s narrowed down to the consumer who doesn’t want a car that looks like a larger SUV, but someone who does have a need for the off-road capability that such a car might provide.  So, in further detail, a person who is more than happy to have an enlarged, but standard five-door hatchback body style – whilst also being interested in the traction and ground clearance to tackle snow and mud, field and green lane without the stress on your mind.
The mechanical side to this model is also familiar, there are only two engines to choose from (both being petrol), the entry-level 1.6-litre has just 110bhp, while the 2.0-litre makes a more respectable 151bhp. Not only is the cabin nicely hushed at speed but the ride quality is excellent. The chassis team have done a great job, so while it’s a fraction firm, every single jolt is absorbed and addressed individually by the passive dampers, so you lose the jiggling sensation all too many adaptive set-ups exhibit. 

Now, in terms of the interior – luxurious is the descriptive word we’d use to describe the new XV. There are two trims to choose from - SE and SE Premium. Entry-level cars come with automatic headlights and wipers, 17inch alloy wheels, roof rails, electric windows and heated wing mirrors fitted as standard on the outside. Inside there is dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated front seats and Subaru's Starlink infotainment system complete with 7.0in touchscreen display, a reversing camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Upgrade to SE Premium and the XV gains sat nav, keyless entry and start, a leather upholstery, electrically adjustable driver's seat and a sunroof.

When it comes down to leg room, it’s more than generous than in most family hatchbacks, although headroom is a different story. We measured 40mm less headroom in the front row and 20mm less in a Hyundai i30 hatchback. Both the Peugeot 3008 and Qashqai are roomier passenger cars. In the same vein, the XV’s boot is no larger than that of many more ordinary family hatchbacks.

So, how much will this SUV cost you? From its basic 1.6i S 5dr coming at a price of £18,165 to the top spec of the 2.0i SE (Nav) 5dr Lineartronic costing you £23,660. We’d say this is very competitive within its niche market.

Overall, compared with its lacklustre predecessor, the Subaru XV is a significantly improved car. It’s nicer to drive, easier to live with and feels more upmarket, while it retains Subaru’s durable image and off-road prowess. However, it looks set to remain a niche choice for UK buyers due to its limited range choice and divisive powertrain.
For more CarCliq reviews click here
Looking for a used Subaru XV? Click here

Search our Stock