Subaru turns out urban crossover
The previous Subaru XV sold in South Africa was quietly ushered in around this time in 2011 and a similar treatment has now been given to the all-new XV crossover that has gone on sale here four months after its local preview at the Johannesburg International Motor Show.
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The crossover XV’s versatility and all-wheel drive practicality are being touted as two of its stronger points, along with 220mm ground clearance.
Subaru hopes to appeal to trendsetters who “want a stylish vehicle” and “superior driving dynamics”.
SUBARU GENES STRONG
The XV is undeniably Subaru, showing off the automaker’s signature grille with its hexagonal design and an overall design best described as functional. The headlights, however, use xenon technology and the foglights are set into the front bumper.
The XV is fitted with 17” dual-tone aluminium rims - part bright metal, part dark - and the black moulding on the exposed body section gives the high-riding wagon a sense of purpose.
Despite its high ride, the distance between the XV’s floor and the top of the sills has been reduced, to make lifting your legs in or out of the car less taxing. Subaru describes the cabin as “surprisingly spacious” and, with the wheelbase longer by 25mm, there’s more legroom for rear passengers.
All-round visibility has been improved with the inclusion of triangular mirrors in the A pillars; the normal door mirrors have grown by 20%.
The XV’s seats are new. Those in the front have a higher hip-point and the backrests are taller. The driver’s seat is height-adjustable. Leather upholstery is an extra-cost option.
The boot is bigger and more accessible and, Subaru says, a number of smaller storage areas have been provided throughout the cabin.
The XV’s infotainment system uses a large liquid-crystal display to show the regular trip data computer information, such as temperature and fuel consumption, but adds a drive-train display for the status of each wheel and indicates the direction of the front wheels - especially useful when off-road.
The six-speaker audio system is Bluetooth-enabled and compatible with iPods and other portable audio storage devices. A reversing camera, sunroof with tilt and slide functions and dual-zone aircon are some of the XV’s standard equipment.
The urban crossover is powered by a new range of engines also found in the Forester station-wagon - still boxer-configured but with smaller combustion chambers, revised intake ports and valves and lighter pistons and connecting rods. Subaru says they contribute to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption.
The XV uses a two-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 110kW at 6200rpm and 196Nm at 4200rpm with a six-speed manual transmission (from the Legacy) or a constantly variable transmission with paddle-shift ratio anchors.
It all rides on a new independent strut suspension up front and double wishbones at the rear that, Subaru says, has been tweaked for quicker steering responses and better straight-line stability.
The XV achieved a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash-protection assessment thanks in part to its seven air bags and all-wheel drive. The car also has stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic pressure distribution and emergency braking assistance.
XV 2.0 manual - R329 000
XV 2.0 CVT - R339 000
The cars will be delivered with a three-year or 75 000km maintenance plan and a three-year or 100 000km warranty. A vehicle service is required every 15 000km