What is it?
This is Subaru’s first-ever production hybrid, launched in Japan earlier this year, also on sale in the US and now under evaluation for the UK.
Subaru has taken the current shape XV crossover and converted it to hybrid duty by discreetly fitting an electric motor within the car’s Lineartronic CVT transmission.
At the back, beneath the boot floor, sits a Sanyo nickel-metal hydride battery pack and inverter all as one unit.
Anyone looking to make a visual statement with the ‘Hybrid’ badge may be disappointed as to look at the XV hybrid is pretty much standard issue.
In Japan, a new ‘Plasma Green Pearl’ body colour identifies the XV Hybrid, at a glance. So does a unique set of aluminum 17-inch wheels. But that’s about it. In the back, you’re getting just the same degree of luggage space as per a conventional XV so you could say this is a new green-themed XV without compromises.
Under the bonnet lies Subaru’s iconic flat-four 2.0-litre engine, here non turbo, and lightly fettled to reduce friction. It’s tuned for 148bhp and links to Subaru’s Lineatronic CVT which gets a 6-speed manual paddleshift, too.
Also included is Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical 4WD, thus giving the XV Hybrid a unique market edge on home turf.
The motor itself is good for 14bhp and the XV Hybrid clocks 54 mpg on Japan’s economy cycle.
That’s a 20 per cent improvement over a comparable non-hybrid XV in Japan and C02 emissions also reduce from 147 to 122 g/km, making this Subaru’s greenest model yet.