Subaru XV

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer diesel, turbocharged
Transmission: six-speed manual
Power: 147 PS at 3,700 rpm
Torque: 350 Nm between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm
Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 50.4 mpg
CO2 emissions: 146 g/km
Top speed: 120 mph
Acceleration (0-62 mph): 9.3 seconds
Price: Diesel from £24,295 (1.6 petrol from £21,295)

The XV is supposed to be a new type of car for Subaru, but is probably more accurately thought of as a reincarnation of one of the company’s old favourites. It’s a crossover, a category of vehicle that straddles the boundary between normal saloons and estates on the one hand and more serious off-road vehicles on the other. Since Subaru has been more or less unique in equipping the majority of its cars with all-wheel drive, it is well qualified to develop such products and the XV can be seen as a spiritual successor to the second-generation Forester produced by the company between 2003 and 2008, which was also based on the Impreza chassis and had a raised estate car body. The latest version of the Forester is a much more orthodox SUV-style vehicle and that left a gap in the Subaru range for a small-to-medium-sized crossover which the XV now fills.

Subaru’s distinctive “symmetrical” all-wheel drive technology lies at the heart of what the company is all about. It’s a notably “pure” layout and as well as providing the obvious advantages that all-wheel drive offers in terms of traction, the Subaru system has another key element; it is always paired with a “boxer” style engine, an unusual type used by only a few car manufacturers. One of those manufacturers is Porsche, which puts Subaru in very good company indeed. The advantage of a boxer engine is that it lowers a car’s centre of gravity, making it safer and more stable. Subaru’s commitment to the boxer layout is such that it went to the trouble and expense of developing a diesel boxer, even though it would have probably have been much easier to buy in a cheaper (non-boxer) engine from another manufacturer for the comparatively small number of diesels the company sells.

My test XV was fitted with that diesel engine, and it was interesting to be reminded of its distinctive qualities. It’s smoother and quieter than most other diesels but still puts out an agreeable growl under acceleration. It also makes the XV feel quite lively, providing an echo of the fondly remembered, although much faster, “Porsche-bashing” XT version of the old Forester. Some rival diesels of similar size have edged ahead in terms of official CO2 emissions and fuel consumption figures since the Subaru engine first appeared a few years ago, although, on the other hand, the XV diesel’s official combined cycle fuel consumption of 50.4 mpg can, if its trip computer is accurate, be matched in real world conditions (albeit with a gentle driving style), something that’s not achievable in many other cars. The advantages of the boxer/all-wheel drive combination also make themselves felt in the XV’s handling, which is supremely safe and secure; the downside of that safety and security is a slight absence of excitement.

The Impreza-style body means that the XV is also roomy and practical. The interior trim is attractive in an understated way, and if past experience is anything to go by, it should, like the rest of this Subaru, prove very hard wearing as well. One drawback – prices of Subarus have been creeping up over the last few years. That’s not really the company’s fault but an inevitable by-product of the strengthening Japanese yen - and unlike rivals such as Nissan, Toyota and Honda, Subaru doesn’t have any production sites in Europe that could help off-set the problem. The prices of the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol versions start at £21,295 but the most expensive diesels are almost £30,000, which is Range Rover Evoque territory.

Overall, though, the XV still has plenty to offer – especially for drivers who fancy something a bit different.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

    Primary Teachers needed in Ely

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

    Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

    £60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

    KS2 Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 Teacher needed in Peterborough a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain