From £24,9957
The new Subaru XV is as practical and roomy as ever, and is now more inviting to sit in. Shame it isn't more athletic
Richard Bremner Autocar
2 November 2017

What is it?

This new XV is Subaru’s first billion-dollar car. That’s not what you’ll pay for it – the latest XV is expected to start at around £23,000 – but it’s what this admirably individual Japanese car company has spent developing its new Subaru Global Platform (SGP).

SGP will provide a solid foundation for all future Subarus. And very solid it turns out to be, with the XV achieving the highest-ever rating in Japan’s recently toughened NCAP tests, scoring 199.7 out of 208 points.

Among the many features contributing to this is a crash structure capable of absorbing 40% more energy than previously and the latest evolution of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance package of pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

Other SGP benefits include torsional rigidity gains of 70-100% over present models, an even lower centre of gravity (by 5mm) than the boxer engine layout already afforded, more rigid suspension mountings, a 50% bodyroll reduction and improved off-road ability. 

What's it like?

More obvious than any of this, however, is the substantial improvement in the fit, finish and ambience of the XV’s interior. There needed to be, admittedly, since this has long been a Subaru weak point, but the result is nevertheless pleasing. The XV’s interior is now an environment you can enjoy in its own right rather than as a black, plasticky place from which to access Subaru’s more physical talents.


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As a crossover, the XV aims to be big on the more down-to-earth elements of these physical talents than an Impreza WRX. And it immediately registers a few points with its exceptionally roomy interior for both rows of passengers and their luggage. You also get all-wheel drive as standard, an 8.0in infotainment screen, the aforementioned EyeSight features, torque vectoring and the same generous 8.7in ground clearance as before.

You also enjoy improved refinement (to the point that the direct injection 2.0’s four-cylinder boxer beat has almost been expunged, disappointlngly). But performance is decent rather than memorable. 

Should I buy one?

Hopefully, the new platform allows plenty of dynamic tuning, because in XV trim it produces safe, mild understeer and very little lift-off adjustability. But of confident stability, there’s plenty. Despite the XV’s shortage of dynamism, this is nevertheless an appealingly compact, useful and distinctive machine.

Subaru XV 2.0i Lineartronic

Where Tokyo, Japan; On sale February 2018; Price £25,000 (est); Engine 4 cyls, 1995cc, turbocharged petrol; Power 154bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 145lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox 7-spd CVT; Kerbweight 1920kg; Top speed 116mph (est); 0-62mph 10.2sec (est); Fuel economy 44.4mpg (est); CO2 rating/BIK 140g/km, 27% (est); Rivals Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca, Mazda CX-5

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2 November 2017

Good to see a reasonably sized petrol turbo boxer engine (tell your friend it's like a Porsche) making inroads into this sector. Looks a bit like a XC60 has mated with a Vauxhall from the front, but I wouldn't describe it as a mongel.

Await a full review with prices but I'd go for one over a Qashai just out of interest.

People might be worried about buying from a company with such low sales but in the US Subaru’s a pretty big name so they must be doing something right!

2 November 2017

Base model which includes HID lights, powered folding mirrors, auto lights, auto wipers, wiper de-icers, privacy glass, roof rails, heated seats, dual climate, reversing camera, cruise, 4 wheel drive, 2.0 tubo Boxer, 6 spd Manual starts from £22,500. Bargain in my book, I'm off to the dealers!!

Who'd buy a Kuga

2 November 2017

Hope it gets a more detailed review when it arrives in the UK. Autocar will give it an extra half star at least for 'premium' cabin surfaces. Way cooler than any other crossover.

2 November 2017

but 154 bhp suggests a 1.6 T as fitted to the Levorg not a 2.0T motor ? This XV also seems to be very heavy at 1920 kg for a compact car. Spec's all looks a bit odd.

2 November 2017

The car appears to weigh bit over 1400kg, 1420 may be the correct figure and it's got a reworked version of the 2l normally aspirated boxer of the previous model. It would have far more torque if it was a 2l turbo.

2 November 2017

The interior looks like it could be from 2012, so well done Subaru. Until recently, Subaru interiors looked at least ten to fifteen years out of date so they've come a long way.

2 November 2017

Subaru have made what was a nicely designed car look even better and brought the interior bang up to date. It now looks stylish and classy. 

2 November 2017
Heavy, expensive, slow, tiny output from 2L engine.

3 November 2017

Volvo do a 122hp 2.0 turbo, besides 10.2 is about right for this price/segment. "Expensive"- compared to what well built 4wd well equipted 2.0T SU?, good luck beating £22,500 base model!

3 November 2017

I think Autocar have it wrong, not for the first time, Subaru have the KERB WEIGHT as 1,400kg


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