What is it?
Subaru’s rugged XV crossover returns for 2018 with plenty of promise. Built on all-new Subaru Global Platform underpinnings, it comes packed with safety technology and a five-star Euro NCAP rating that ranks it, in terms of passenger protection, top of the compact family car class.
It also retains core USPs of its predecessor including proper permanent all-wheel drive and 220mm ground clearance, ensuring it remains a hardier option than segment alternatives like the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai.
But the new car has lost a diesel option and so comes available exclusively with petrol power and a CVT gearbox – which is quite the contrast to the class norm for vast powertrain line-ups and something that you might expect to hamper its chances of making a mark in such a congested segment.
The thing is, Subaru’s not concerned with taking on mainstream models such as the Ateca, but rather, more interested in growing its faithful customer base so that it achieves a targeted 3500 sales overall in 2018. It expects the XV to account for about a third of that, so the real question is, will it be able to draw in new buyers, or is it destined to remain a car for Subaru’s loyal but small customer base?