Subaru XV: The premium compact SUVThe car brings its own muscle and elegance to the segment.
Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head. However, this murky picture is not always a somber scene for those who love taking their vehicles out for a drive. If you would agree, the dark clouds above and a slight drizzle is next to perfect weather for a pleasant drive around the city or in the countryside.
I couldn’t ask for more when I test drove the Subaru XV 2018 in Kathmandu and this is my impression of the vehicle after a drizzly day spin.
The XV is the latest compact sports utility vehicle in offer from Subaru in the Nepali automobile market. Although it’s a new model, the XV borrows heavily from the Subaru Forester for its exterior design but the details are extensive as can be seen on its striking grille and headlights.
All in all, the XV, which is the size of a large hatchback, looks chic. It is an indication of where Subaru is headed with the dawn of hybrids and electric cars globally.
For a compact SUV, the XV brings its own muscle to the segment. It has a good ground clearance, is more than capable of tackling off-roads and wears just the right looks. It also maintains this personality on the inside where the interiors do not feel loud.
Elegance meets the eye when you step inside the XV. The colour tone complements the smooth plastic surface and feels soft to touch including its switches. The door bins aren’t big but will hold a small bottle of water and other small items.
Behind the wheel, it is hard not to notice how Subaru has prioritised the comfort of the driver. Both the height of the seat and the steering wheel can be adjusted as per the driver’s needs. Upfront, there is ample legroom and headroom too but the backseats take a hit. They feel a little tight.
At the centre of the XV’s dashboard is an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system which comes with Bluetooth and a DAB radio. The sporty icons and crisp display make the system easy to use and it’s also Apple CarPlay and Android ready.
The adjustable steering wheel also gets a high-quality leather grip which adds to the pleasant driving experience. Subaru’s improved steering system also makes the handling near perfect and easy. You could even feel the XV’s exceptional agility on the bends; its ground clearance combined with a sound suspension system delivers a smooth ride.
Even at low speed, the car maintains its performance and accelerates smoothly. And there’s that feeling that will surge as the power of Subaru’s trademark boxer engine kicks in when you press the accelerator.
Featurewise, the XV offers the standard electronic braking and hill-descent control besides regular features of the segment but do note that the car scored a full five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test. It also performed well in the adult and pedestrian safety sections and scored 94 percent and 84 percent respectively.
Subaru’s XV has two petrol variants—1.6 litre and 2.0 litre, which churns 112bhp and 154bhp respectively. At Rs1.06 crore, the XV is straight off the premium SUV list.