In a nutshell:
- Revised new Subaru XV improves on rugged 4x4 with better grip and more comfortable ride quality.
- Powered by a 2.0 petrol engine with e-BOXER hybrid technology.
- Subtle tweaks to exterior styling.
- Available from March 1st this year.
If you’re in the market for a rugged, bullet-proof crossover that can tackle the rough stuff, the updated new Subaru XV should be high up your list.
With a reputation for reliability combined with all-wheel-drive as standard and a powerful hybrid engine, the XV was always a safe choice for those inhabiting the UK’s wilder parts.
And now, thanks to improvements to the XV’s handling and grip, as well as tweaks to the exterior design, it’s a vehicle that’s even more tempting.
Lease customers can choose from two trim levels - SE or SE Premium - with prices beginning at £31,665.
All the XVs are powered by a 2.0 litre horizontally-opposed petrol engine with ‘motor-assist e-BOXER technology’ - that’s Subaru speak for ‘self-charging hybrid’.
With power of 150 PS it can reach 62 mph in 10.7 seconds while returning a decent 35.7 miles to the gallon and emitting 180 g/km of CO2 - which isn’t too shabby for a 4x4 crossover.
What’s new for 2021 is the way that power is transferred to the road… or mud.
Both SE and SE Premium models come with an enhanced ‘X-MODE’ and ‘SI-Drive’ functions, to give drivers reliable control at the push of a button.
With the X-MODE button you can select ‘SNOW/DIRT’ mode for slippery surfaces covered with snow, dirt, or gravel, or you can flick it to ‘D.SNOW/MUD’ mode for ‘especially treacherous road conditions where vehicles can become easily stuck, such as deep snow or dirt’.
Meanwhile the Intelligent ‘SI-Drive’ allows the driver to select engine and transmission characteristics according to their driving style.
Hit ‘Sport Mode’ for immediate throttle response or dial it back to ‘Intelligent Mode’ for more fuel-efficient power delivery and money saved at the petrol pumps.
Subaruhas also improved the comfort and handling on the previous model by developing new Coil Springs and Dampers which reduces the amount of body movement for a much smoother ride.
It’s clear, then, that Subaru isn’t sitting on its laurels, with the XV having already been awarded 4x4 Magazine’s ‘Crossover Estate of the Year 2021’.
And then there’s the way the XV looks.
It’s safe to say Subaru hasn’t exactly torn up the rule book with the facelift - it looks very similar to the outgoing vehicle.
But there is a redesigned front bumper and front grill, plus a subtly reshaped front fog lamp bezel which surrounds the LED fog lights.
Subaru says the XV has a ‘more sporty and rugged look’, and that’s largely thanks to new 18-inch alloy wheels, while two new paint jobs have been added to the mix - Plasma Yellow and Horizon Blue.
The XV is also reassuringly well-specced as standard, with equipment including Subaru’s ‘EyeSight’ driver assistance safety technology, automatic LED headlights equipped with high beam assist, heated front seats, an intuitive 8” multifunction colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Keyless Entry & Push Button Start System.
The SE Premium, which costs from £33,665, ups the ante with leather seats, 8-way power adjustable driver seat, satellite navigation and sunroof.
A Subaru spokesperson says: “XV brings together Subaru’s legendary off-road capability with superior on-road comfort, athletic style and state-of-the-art technology. With permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive you can expect superior road-holding and handling, on and off road, and in any conditions. Perfect for outdoor sports and hobbies, weekends away, or even just the school run you know that with the maximum 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating you will be offered the very best protection for you and your family wherever you go.”
It’s available from March 1st.
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