We like Subaru. Precisely why we like it though, has become harder to say. The brand’s recent efforts have been as mixed as a bag of Revels, both in quality and direction.
The XV is a case in point, being the right car for the moment and not without charm - yet outclassed, outthought and outperformed by the opposition in myriad ways.
Subaru’s solution, as idiosyncratic as ever, was to turn up to Geneva with two new XV’s: the current model’s facelifted replacement, and an entirely new version, due in around 18 months. The former is promised to have some of the chassis polish missing from the original, and has had a brush-up inside - but in appearance, is much the same lumpy prospect it was before.
The new one though, dressed up with exotic lights, mirrors and wheels to look like a concept, is an entirely different prospect. Where the scent of agribusiness special lingers over the current model, the show car honestly wouldn’t look out of place on a VW Group stand. It is raked, tapered and chiseled into shapeliness; a modern, handsome crossover from nose to tip.