Subaru XV AWD Enters The Gladiatorial Crossover SUV Battle
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Quick Facts
Model spec: Subaru XV SE Price: £26,295.00 Engine: 2.0-L Diesel Boxer
BHP / Torque: 145 / 350 Max Speed: 120 CO2: 144g/km 0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
Economy/Range: 45mpg combined Tax: £145/year
Crossover vehicles, they mix SUV 4×4 practicality with car like handling. Subaru’s XV faces a tough market taking on the likes of Peugeot’s 3008, Volvo’s XC60, Skoda’s Yeti and Nissan’s Qashqai to name just a few. As a mere starting point the XV has to be good, and the starting point begins with a model range of seven offered in three trim categories and and three engine options. Subaru’s unique proposition are their Boxer engine powered cars, but has the XV got enough fight in the gladiatorial Crossover SUV arena? Lets start with the Boxer engine, the cylinders are canted at 90 degrees into the horizontal plane. The Boxer engines idiosyncratic properties allow for it to be mounted lower into the engine bay, lowering the center of a gravity in the auto world is seen as the holy grail of enhancing a car’s handling setup. On the outside the XV’s Impreza inspired exterior is very utilitarian in design, the functional but ‘Industrial’ look is actually appealing in its own way and resembles more of a Crossover Hatchback. Step inside the cabin you and are greeted with a fairly simply looking interior, the center console is modestly plain and is seemingly designed for functionality, yet its uncluttered, quick to access and easy to operate. The cabin space feels solid and the majority of materials used are soft to the touch. Its more robust premium than the high end premium interior offered by the likes of the Volvo XC60. Its also fairly comfortable and spacious up front and rear seated passengers wont be short on on knee or head room comfort.
“Like all cars the XV has plus and minus points one point being that its slightly more expensive next to its rivals, but that doesn’t make the XV less of a car”
The XV’s three engine Boxer range consists of the two petrol engines, a 1.6 and 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder line up and a single 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder diesel. The mid-range 2.0 Diesel SE trim costs from £26k and comes well specced with good levels of standard on board equipment and includes AWD, 17 inch alloys but no Sat-Nav, which is optional extra. The 2.0 Litre Diesel pumps out 145bhp and 350 Nm of torque, performance is quite smooth and strong through out the rev range though a little harsh sounding when accelerating however the XV never feels short of power in any gear. The six speed manual transmission doesn’t have the most smoothest of actions and it can be quite clumsy and notchy to engage primary gears. The XV’s handling is excellent, the steering may lack feed back but the chassis’s neutral front to rear balance allows for a predictable, stable and supple feel with minimal roll when cornering and AWD traction means grip is never in short supply. The XV features a front MacPherson strut and rear double wishbone with coil springs, combined with gas-filled shock absorbers which relays a firm ride. Initial low speed bump absorption is good but stiff on the rebound, overall its acceptable and isn’t too intrusive when covering motorway miles. Class leading ground clearance is good for cross country pursuits but means a less efficient aero profile and reduced mpg, however the XV returned an impressive 44mpg on a combined cycle. Boot space isn’t class leading but the standard 380 litre’s is useful and extendable to 1,270 litre’s with the rear seats folded flat. Overall the XV does everything a Crossover SUV should do, its spacious, practical, comes with AWD is well put together and is a decent drive. Like all cars the XV has plus and minus points one point being that its slightly more expensive next to its rivals, but that doesn’t make the XV less of a car and throw in a 5 year warranty then its no reason to be overlooked.  Subaru-XV-C
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