Lifestyle Boating & Motoring Subaru XV - Fun on Four Wheels
Subaru XV - Fun on Four Wheels
Monday, 06 August 2012

 

SubaruXV Aug12l
Drs Sousa and Bradley found the XV an appealing change from the boxy, chunky shape of most of its competitors, and it will appeal to the younger sportier section of the market..

Winding country roads and muddy dirt tracks were all part of a fun day’s motoring in the new Subaru SUV.

The SUV segment of the Australian car market has been the most popular section in the past few years. Subaru has joined the race with its recently released, compact SUV called the XV. As it is one of the main sponsors of the new professional Australian cycling team, Orica Green Edge, we thought it would be fun to load it up with a road bike, three adults and head to the Hills for a road/off- road test.

This car is smaller than the Forester and is based on the new Impreza wagon. It is all-wheel drive and comes with a revvy 2.0 litre Boxer motor and a choice of manual or automatic transmission.

There are three choices of model level. While we test-drove the high-spec model, even the basic variant comes very well equipped with reversing camera, blue tooth capability and numerous safety features.

Our car had electric seats, xenon headlights, satnav and even seat warmers! The comfort level, finish and spaciousness were more than adequate. We also really liked its appearance, thinking it made an appealing change from the boxy, chunky shape of most of its competitors, and it will appeal to the younger sportier section of the market.

The car had a reliable grip around corners with great road-feel and feedback to the driver. While the Subaru XV won't break any speed records, its performance was adequate and still enabled us to enjoy the drive in comfort. Despite excessive acceleration and off-road driving, we averaged 7l/100km which is outstanding, perhaps in part due to the stop-start technology which is supposed to reduce fuel consumption by 5%. The ability to stop the motor when not moving seems to alienate some drivers but we didn't find it a problem. When easing your foot off the brake the motor will start again in 0.35 seconds.

On the way to Serpentine Dam, we did an extensive drive through muddy tracks on a horse property in Mundijong and were pleasantly surprised with its ability to handle the very soft terrain. Its off-road ability would be more than adequate for most people.

After Devonshire tea with the various native birds at the dam, we put the car to the test on some winding country roads, where it again proved to be comfortable and fun. With its all-wheel drive, traction control and low centre of gravity, the car had good grip and impressive neutral handling around corners. Despite the highly treaded tyres, there was minimal road noise inside the cabin.

The XV is a fun car with lots of positive features in styling, safety and driving but it does come with one major fault. Our bottle of Knee Deep Chardonnay would not fit in the bottle holder in the door!

Subaru XB Crossroad Sport

Price: From about $28,500

Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km

Engine: 2 litre; 4 cylinder petrol Boxer

Transmissions: 6-speed manual, CVT; AWD

Economy: 7l/100km (manual) 7.3l/100km (CVT); CO2 168g/km (manual & CVT)

Safety: 7 airbags, stability control, ABS

Fuel: 60l tank, 90RON

 

Photography: Stephanie Robinson