Subaru XV 2018 Test Drive – New safety features and a smarter cabin design, but does it make it more appealing to buy?
Subaru XV 2018 Test Drive
New safety features and a smarter cabin design, but does it make it more appealing to buy?
Review and Pictures by Daniel Fernandez
Not all four-wheel drive cars are equal and one manufacturer that stands apart is Subaru, the symmetrical All-Wheel Drive specialists who strive to provide driving enjoyment and peace of mind in all their cars.
Subaru’s rugged XV crossover returns for 2018 with plenty of promise. The all-new XV offers improved dynamic quality, handling and performance, with improved rigidity flexibility and core strength provided by the Subaru Global Platform. Alongside technical improvements both interior and exterior design details have been updated to offer both style and substance culminating in a vehicle that’s engineered as a true crossover SUV.
Built on all-new Subaru Global Platform underpinnings, it comes packed with safety technology and an impressive 5-star Euro NCAP rating that ranks it, in terms of passenger protection, top of the compact family car class. Flexible across a number of terrains, the all-new XV allows drivers to maximise the crossover capabilities with minimal effort. With X-Mode and Hill Climb Assist featuring in the new models, the XV has been built to conquer everything from hills and mudslides to rivers and roads; proving it truly is better where it matters…..offroad and on road.
It also retains core USPs of its predecessor including proper permanent all-wheel drive and 220mm ground clearance, ensuring it remains a hardier off-road option than segment rivals like the Honda HR-V and the soon to arrive Toyota C-HR.
LOOKS OF THE XV
This is an all new Subaru XV, both visually and technically. With intelligent aerodynamic measures like a restyled body it was possible to increase driving dynamics and driving stability, while simultaneously reducing wind resistance. The distinguishing design feature of this new XV is the sharpened front section. The front bumper was given an even more dynamic shape with matt black cladding, new air intake grilles and muscular sides with high ground clearance of 220mm.
Eye-catching features at the tail end are the new diffuser insert in the rear bumper, the trim in silver chrome and the new spoiler lip on the roof spoiler which help to improve the driving dynamics of this new XV.
CABIN OF THE XV
The interior has been similarly upgraded and not just a simple nip and tuck. It’s a complete revamp and executed rather well. The dashboard is covered with quality material and has been given exclusive highlights with contrast orange topstitching.
Passive safety in the All-New Subaru XV has been improved as a result of the new Subaru Global Platform’s frame structure, with enhanced body strength resulting from an increased use of high-tensile steel. This enables improved energy absorption in the event of collision by 40% over present models. A total of 7 SRS Airbags, front, side, curtain & knee now comes standard with both variants to provide peace of mind for the driver and passengers wherever you go.
The instrument cluster has been given a new number design to ensure a sporty cockpit experience. A new 8.0-inch touch-screen display infotainment system featured in the interior offers integrated navigation and enables smartphone connectivity for drivers to stay connected safely. The spacious design flow in the All-New Subaru XV gives a sporty, yet refined interior that surpasses its class. In addition, functionalities such as all-round visibility, cabin space and cargo room have been improved.
DRIVE THE XV
From ignition this new XV is quiet and refined. The well insulated cabin keeps engine and traffic noise out. From the driver’s seat looking out the sense and feel of being in a premium car is high with high quality material fit and finish. The seats offer good support and firm feel. In city traffic this XV is like any premium crossover, comfortable, easy to drive and with good all around view. Also the entertainment system does not disappoint. The 2.0-litre Boxer Engine has been revamped, making the new engine approximately 12kg lighter and equipped with Direct Injection to deliver more power and fuel economy. The Lineartronic CVT transmission is also 7.8kg lighter than previous models and features auto-step shift control and 7-speed manual mode function which enables the driver with greater control.
The 156hp engine is docile in traffic speeds and only when you work it a little more on the highway does it show its 196Nm of torque. The 0-100km/h dash speed is robbed a little by the XV’s weight which has to carry the Subaru all wheel drive system, however from 50km/h onwards this XV easily stretches its legs and get to its governed top speed with ease.
Subaru as a brand is not interested in global or segment domination. Subaru, is more interested in growing its faithful customer base and keep Subaru owners staying with the brand and moving up their product portfolio or add sporty variants like the BRZ and Impreza to their garage.
Subaru XV 2.0 i-P Specifications
Engine: Boxer 4-cylinder, DOHC 16v
Gearbox: Lineartronic CVT with 7-speed mode
Max power: 156hp @ 6000rpm
Max torque: 196Nm @ 4000Nm
0-100km/h: 10.4 secs
Top Speed: 194km/h
Selling Price: From RM118,819.00