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Subaru's second-gen crossover: We drive the new XV

2017-10-16 07:14

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Sean Parker

Cape Town - Subaru South Africa launched its new Impreza and XV earlier in 2017. Recently, Wheels24 had the latter on test to find out what the second-generation high-riding crossover is like to drive on our roads. 

The all-wheel drive XV 2.0i-S ES CVT retails for R439 000 and is fitted standard with cornering headlights, keyless entry and push-button ignition, a 20cm touchscreen infotainment system which includes satnav.

You can also easily link your iPhone or Android device. 

Interior

The cabin is a great environment to be in; comfortable (heated) seats do a great job of keeping the occupants ensconced in comfort. It's spacious, filled with storage binnacles and even features a sunroof that makes the cabin feel even more airy. 

Good quality materials are used in the dark-coloured cabin, while smatterings of chrome add an upmarket touch. 

A host of safety features bandied together, which Subaru calls "eyesight" sees and detect when objects (cars or pedestrians) are in your blind spot, rear cross traffic alert and front and rear parking sensors.

There's also adaptive cruise control, the car will warn you if you're drifiting out of your lane and will even automatically apply the brakes if it feels you're distracted or getting too close too quickly to a vehicle ahead. 

Engine 

The XV is powered by a gutsy 2.0-litre normally-aspirated engine with direct injection which according to the automaker is 12kg lighter than the previous engine used in the SUV. 

It produces a modest 115kW and 196Nm and is mated to a continuous variable transmission (CVT) that does an okay job of swapping through the infinite gears. Subaru says the gearbox is just shy of 8kg lighter than the previous CVT. 

Some CVTs, in fact most, can feel as if they're 'slipping' but the team admittedly felt the XV's transmission performed admirably.  

We averaged around 7.8l/100km during our fortnight test with most of the distance covered in the city. Subaru claims the 2.0-litre engine uses 7.1l/100km. 

It drives well with light steering albeit lacking in feedback. But then again it's not meant for the enthusiastic driver. The ride quality however is extremely composed in its application. 

Exterior

The XV shows off its off-road characteristics with roof rails (standard) and black-cladding on the wheel arches. 

Subaru quotes a 220mm ground clearance which gives the hatchback a decent stance in traffic. Practically it means you won't have to worry about hitting the middle-mannetjie when venturing off the beaten track. 

Its rugged appearance perhaps doesn't justify the smoothness of the car when driven in the city. 

Verdict 

At just shy of R440 000, the XV makes a compelling argument for a family looking for a vehicle that does a wonderful job of blending into a city slicker and able to tackle the beaten track. 

It offers a spacious package complete with a host of safety features. Subaru owners tend to retain their vehicles for a long period and it makes sense when the XV is offered with a five year or 150 000km warranty as well as a three year or 75 000km maintenance plan. 

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Read more on:    xv  |  subaru  |  sean parker  |  south africa  |  road test

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