Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 20 Jan 2017
December marks the time of year in which we all look to wind down, ultimately look forward to relaxing and spending time with family and friends exploring the beautiful country, it also marks the perfect time to a drive a true crossover, welcome to the latest generation Subaru XV.
The Epitome of a Premium Crossover
This is the second generation of the Subaru XV, though changes seem subtle on the exterior, it overall now sports sharper looking lines and the interior has also been greatly modernised. The biggest change perhaps comes in terms of the platform which It has been built, Subaru’s new global platform, first seen on the brands latest generation Impreza.
The XV is powered by Subaru’s familiar Boxer motor, however, there is now a new flat-four petrol variant of the engine which is lighter and more powerful than the one offered in its predecessor. All of its naturally aspirated 115kW and 196Nm of torque is delivered through the vehicles CVT gearbox. While CVT gearboxes at times can be somewhat clunky, the one developed by Subaru works incredibly well and manages to deliver a smooth drive overall.
The XV rides with an impressive 220mm of ground clearance and features the likes of hill descent control and X-Drive, which makes tackling any road surface a breeze. During my vacation period, I varied driving along both smooth asphalt and rutted off-road trails, both of which offered impressive results combined with comfort for all passengers. The symmetrical all-wheel-drive system also ensures that the vehicle remains planted and levelled at all times.
New Levels of Technology
Perhaps equally as impressive as the quality of drive offered by this latest generation XV, is the technological advancements which it offers. To start things off, the cabin has had a complete makeover. Dressed and decorated in a culmination of cross-coloured stitching, perforated leathers and carbon style inserts, it remains both stylish, spacious and well put together.
To further compliment the premium interior, is a very intuitive touchscreen display at the centre of the dash. The overall media interface is a simple “smartphone” inspired layout, which feels natural and easy to navigate from the start. The media system also features everything from Bluetooth with A2DP support, USB, and Auxiliary port and even Apple CarPlay. Quick launch buttons along the media system and steering-wheel-mounted controls make navigating the entire very easy, even while on the go.
New Levels of EyeSight
Subaru clearly has set safety as an order of high priority with its modern line-up. Thanks to technology known as EyeSight, the vehicle uses a series of stereoscopic sensors “eyes,” to constantly monitor road conditions and mitigate possible collisions. As part of its safety offering, the XV features high beam assist, blind spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and a lane departure warning system also come as standard.
Priced at R439,000 in top level ES spec, the XV represents in my opinion true value for money and really does epitomise qualities of a good family crossover. The XV with a 5-year/150 000 km warranty and 3-yer/75 000 km maintenance plan.