Published on October 2nd, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Subaru XV Review: Worth a Shot in 2017?

The Subaru XV has been the smartest launch in the brand’s history. For those not in the know, Subaru is a company that prides itself in doing things their way. As such, they’ve never really enjoyed the attention of the mass market buyer.

But with the XV, Subaru managed to tick all the right boxes. Today, the 1st generation XV is on its final legs with a replacement due any week now. But as the vehicle is still on sale at a hefty discount, we thought it might be a good time to revisit this stylish little Japanese crossover to see if still has the right stuff for a 2017 value buy.

The boxer engine and continously variable transmission are as buttery smooth as anything mechanical can ever get. Don’t buy this set up expecting sportiness, but there’s definitely enough power here for long trips on the PLUS highway. What you’re really getting out of the CVT is fuel efficiency and comfortable driving in any condition.

The XV has well tuned suspension that will offer great handling characteristics and acceptable comfort for a car of its class. On the whole, the car isn’t all out fun, but is very planted and confidence-inspiring.

While you can fit 4 or 5 adults in the XV, it’s really better for couples than those with large families. The biggest downside is that the boot isn’t really large. The rear seats do fold down, which helps. But there’s your trade: occupants for luggage space, you can’t really have both. But on the plus side, that boot is only small because you get a full sized spare tyre.

Despite its age, the first generation XV is still a rather fresh looking vehicle. It has a rugged, manly design that promises toughness and a sense of adventure. All the right cues are there – from the chiselled metal work to the roof rails. And the best part is that it’s one of the few compact crossover SUVs that can deliver off-road thanks to the aforementioned all wheel drive system.

The interior is a little drab, but like the exterior it has the look and feel of something very rugged. Interiors in Subarus tend to shy away from being overly flashy but last a lifetime. That being said, the XV’s does give you all the infotainment and convenience features you could ask for, including a reverse camera.

So, should you still buy the first generation XV in 2017? It’s overall, a decent crossover SUV. Great to drive, well built, refined and it still looks good despite its age. With the discounts Subaru are throwing, it really comes down to value, and for that the XV gets a commendation. Plus you get a bodykit thrown in for free.

Subaru XV 2.0 Specifications

Engine: Boxer 4-cylinder
Capacity: 1995cc
Gearbox: CVT
Max power: 148hp @ 6200rpm
Max torque: 196Nm @ 4200rpm
Top Speed: 187km/h
0-100 km/h: 10.7 secs


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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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