What is it?
Quite a rare sight on UK roads is what it is. Which is surprising, because the Subaru XV occupies a place in the booming compact crossover class, which is packed full of very impressive models such as the ubiquitous Nissan Qashqai.
Subaru launched the XV in 2012 against far less fierce competition than it faces now, but it has never managed to gather much momentum despite offering four-wheel drive and relatively conventional hatchback looks. So what we have here is another bite at the cherry for Subaru - a bit of a nip and tuck intended to turbocharge UK sales.
A concept of the next-generation XV was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but in the meantime, this update is much more modest. It features minor tweaks to the engines, chassis, interior and exterior as well as an improved infotainment system.
Subtle styling changes include new metal-tone front foglight surrounds and a new lower grille and bumper treatment. Tweaks to the headlight clusters also feature, along with a new set of diamond-cut black and silver alloy wheels and two new paint colours. The rear end remains largely unchanged, aside from revised LED tail-lights and a tweaked boot spoiler.
A simple engine line-up features 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol and diesel Boxer units. This facelift also means improved fuel economy and emissions figures for both petrols and diesels, with economy for the latter, driven here, rising to a claimed 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions falling by 5g/km to 141g/km.
Prices start from £21,995, with just two trims. We're trying the lower-level SE trim, which costs £23,995 in diesel form and is generously equipped with a rear parking camera and a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, voice control and sat-nav.