It is convenient for Subaru that the XV’s rugged character and off-road ability push it out of the standard crossover equation, because our preferred models in that class – the Kia Sportage and Skoda Yeti – are noticeably cheaper to buy and run, regardless of whether you go for the diesel or petrol-engined cars.

Pitched instead against compact SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the new Volkswagen Tiguan, the diesel-engined Subaru’s high price looks more reasonable.

The semi-premium VW Tiguan crushes the Subaru and Jeep Compass on residuals – by about 20 per cent over three years

In fact, thanks to the 2.0-litre boxer engine’s comparatively low CO2 emissions of 141g/km (and considering the cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning and rear-view camera that are included with SE trim), it almost looks like a decent investment.

We even managed to better the 145bhp 2.0D XV’s 50.4mpg combined economy claim on our touring run, recording an admirable 51.3mpg, though the facelifted models improve on that front further, with the official figure now sitting at 52.3mpg. Our 39.6mpg all-round score is an indication that keeping the car in its economical comfort zone isn’t always easy, but it’s nevertheless a respectable result from such a tall car.

The depreciation forecast for the XV – often a thorn in Subaru’s side – no doubt makes for uncomfortable reading for wannabe owners. But crash performance is good; Euro NCAP claims this is the safest new car you can buy for child occupant protection.


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