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2019 Subaru XV Review | carsales

2019 Subaru XV Review | carsales

There are some brands that just do what they
say on the box. Subaru nails this and the XV is perhaps the
best example of how and why Australians are rusted on. Even if it isn’t the best in class, it’s a
default choice for many Aussie buyers. Even though it’s sold as a standalone SUV
model, the XV is essentially an ever so slightly restyled and jacked-up Impreza and that’s
not a bad thing. SUVs get bad press for being overbearing and
overweight. The XV’s hatch origins means it drives and
handles just like a car, but its extra ride height delivers what some buyers seemingly
can’t do without, the high seating position and the road presence that SUVs promise. Mechanically the SUV features Subaru’s trademark
symmetrical all-wheel drive, so there’s the promise of go-anywhere ability or at least
the extra security all-wheel drive offers in slippery conditions. In rural areas and markets like Tasmania where
it rains 300 days of the year and drips out of the trees for another 60, the XV is a firm
favourite. Country people are often canny buyers. Here in the big smoke there’s plenty to endear
the XV to. Refinement is decent. The cabin is roomy for four. It’s comfortable and well-finished and connectivity
and infotainment work well. Subaru’s EyeSight system is a safety plus. It’s a full suite of driver assistance systems
that include blind spot monitoring, high beam assist, lane change assist and even reverse
automatic braking. The XV also has an excellent stop and go adaptive
cruise control system and autonomous emergency braking is a given. Under the bonnet is the latest version of
Subaru’s direct injected petrol Boxer four. It’s no powerhouse but it’s got a bit of Subaru
rally car soundtrack to it. Its output is maximised by Subaru’s CVT automatic
gearbox. While some buyers say this type of gearbox
can be slow to respond and a bit hard on the ear, the Subaru set up is better than average. Plus there’s a manual mode with seven predetermined
computerised steps. The XV’s real achievement is its ride which
is nicely balanced between comfort and control. It’s not soggy like some or as harsh as, say,
its Mazda CX-3 competition. Subaru’s chassis engineers should take a bow. The steering is good too; light and direct
around town and on the open road it firms up to be confident and stable. The reality is Subaru’s XV is never going
to win any beauty contests nor is it likely to be carsales Car of the Year, but it’s
a solid choice and one that I’m happy to recommend. And it seems there are plenty of Aussie buyers
that agree.

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