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Car reviews - Subaru - XV - 2.0i-S

Overview

We praise the Subaru XV’s life-preserving abilities – without activating any airbags

19 Jul 2012

SUBARU’S XV compact crossover has obviously struck a chord with the Australian car-buying public, consistently exceeding sales expectations despite not costing much less than the popular Forester from the next size up.

We were impressed with the XV after our drive at the launch in the summer, so we decided to live with – and almost in – one for a week during winter, including a trip to the bush to check out its mud-plugging ability.

But did the XV’s initial charm soon wear thin or is this the beginning of a beautiful relationship?

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 January 2012 to 1 May 2015

Previous model

Impreza XV

Released: June 2010
Ended: December 2011
Family Tree: XV

SIMPLY a jumped-up third-generation Impreza, the first XV was a toe-in-the-water exercise to judge the acceptance of an Outback-style crossover model within the small-car range – although Subaru was already at it almost a decade earlier with the chintzy RV variation.

Power was delivered to all four wheels via a 110kW/196Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam 16V horizontally opposed four-cylinder Boxer engine, mated to either a four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox.

Performance wasn’t exactly meteoric, but the Impreza XV’s safe handling, exceptional grip and reasonable running costs meant that the car garnered a small following – certainly enough to persuade its makers to take the concept a step or two further with the second version.

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