Reviewed: Subaru XV
For reliability in the SUV stakes, the Subaru has been top of the game when it comes to a family vehicle that handles on rough terrain and smooth, and maybe, apart from the BMW, it’s a multi-purpose vehicle that ticks all the boxes, but does it? Does the XV hold up to the previous models, and does it happily sit alongside its competitors?
The engine has a fair bit of power. The 145 bhp and 2-litre diesel engine has enough power to make the lowest revs ride nice and smooth, making it handy when negotiating up hilly terrain and you don’t need to work as hard to make a decent amount of progress in your journey.
The 148 bhp petrol engine (also 2.0 litre) is generally fast enough, but you need to rev it that bit more to get it going when compared to its diesel sibling. As for its handling, the four-wheel drive means you get plenty of great traction. When navigating around bends is when you really notice its ability to handle well.
The diesel engine is nice and hushed in tone, but the petrol one tends to have to work harder, so you will hear it much more! You can hear the suspension working hard when you’re driving at low speeds.
The features as standard on all XVs include alloy wheels and xenon headlights, but if you’re unhappy with these and wish to downscale or upgrade your features, there are Subaru parts suppliers you can make the most of. The vehicle is quite a complex beast, so make sure that if you decide to get new parts fitted to get it done with a professional! Other complexities found on the inside of the car include a reversing camera, making sure that you can park the large vehicle in as tight space as possible.
Looking at the cost, it’s priced similarly to the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1, which is difficult company to put yourself in. Looking at similar models like the Nissan Qashqai, they are cheaper, but if you are after a 4-wheel drive, the XV is a better bet.
Comfort-wise, the XV gives plenty of option for steering wheel and seat adjustability, and the driving position is elevated enough so you can have a good view of the road ahead. As a family car, it’s perfect because there is more legroom in the rear but not as much headroom, which is perfect for the younger members of the clan, and the XV is exceptional in its safety. There are seven airbags, stability control, and all the basics as standard. In the Euro NCAP child safety tests, it got a 90% score, making it an easy option if safety is your absolute priority.
As an SUV, this ranks somewhere in the middle. The features are nifty, and the leather seats make for a comfortable ride, but these are only available on the SE premium models. Weigh up your options before heading down to the showroom on this one!