Subaru XV: Underrated?

I spent some time with the Subaru XV and to be frank, I loved it. Not the conventional car I would go for but, it has some amazing strong points.

This is my second stint in the Subaru XV and initially, I was not impressed much, maybe I was still a rookie in this business back in 2019 and now I’ve grown, because my stance on it has changed.

The XV is an outlier is it’s segment, with more off-road looks than a car that is meant for city driving or aesthetics. There are cool features such as Subaru’s Intelligent Drive or SI Drive which allow the driver to toggle between a sporty or comfortable drive mode. I was in a normal drive mode for most of the week, and I found the car to be insanely comfortable, quiet and pleasurable to drive. It handles and retains power well, and for a car that produces 115kW/196Nm, it is really impressive.

On to the interior you are met by an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is also a memory seat feature, so you can save your driving position, you get a lovely sunroof too. The quality is unmatched – there is this yellow stitching across the dashboard which was surprisingly calming to look at. The feel of the steering wheel and other bits in the interior are great, so there has been no compromise on quality here. The sound system is good, and what I’m elated about is that they fixed the glitching infotainment system because with the outgoing model, it used to freeze.

The Subaru XV has a 2.0l engine that produces 115kW/196Nm, mated to a CVT. Journo’s are not huge fans of CVT’s, myself included, but this one actually did not feel jerky at all. I did 8.0l/100km more or less during the week with it, and I can forgive the consumption because of the engine size. I did feel that it is a bit of a guzzler and honestly, I’d get this car as a weekend companion. It’s cute, unsuspecting and very practical and spacious. Perfect for a long distance trip, a camping adventure or for moving things (I say this because I helped my friend get his dining room set with it – seats folded down, it worked seamlessly).

Ultimately, The Subaru XV has grown and it is such a fantastic car. I think it is highly underrated in the country, which is not much of a surprise as most South Africans are brand snobs. It has everything one will need and more at such an amazing price point. I love testing vehicles and the memories they bring to me weekly. The Subaru carried me during the week of my older brother’s death, and awkwardly enough, comforted me. I fetched my niece and nephews from school with it, they were excited for “the blue car”, which will forever have sentimental value to me.

The XV is great. I’d highly recommend it if you want something attainable and different.

Pricing starts at R445 000, and for R509 000, you get the 2.0i-S ES model. The Subaru XV is sold with a 3-year/75 000km maintenance plan as well as the 5-year/150 000km warranty.

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