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Subaru XV (2016 - 2017)

The independent definitive Subaru XV (2016-2017) video review
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    X-CELLENT? (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Introductionword count: 56

    The first generation version of Subaru's family-sized XV Crossover model looks a better secondhand crossover prospect in this improved post-2016 guise that delivered a smarter interior, additional technology and extra efficiency. As before, its major strength lies with the capable Symmetrical permanent 4WD system fitted to every model. Does it make sense as a used buy?

    Modelsword count: 11

    5dr Crossover SUV (2.0 petrol. 2.0 diesel [S, SE, SE Lux])

    Historyword count: 288

    The Crossover. Arguably, it's the motor industry's fastest growing market segment and in Subaru's XV, that's exactly what we have here. By now, you're probably familiar with the concept behind this kind of car, but even if you're not, you're probably well acquainted with the end result. Whether packaged as Ford Kuga, a Peugeot 3008 or, most successfully, as a Nissan Qashqai, the idea's the same. A family hatchback with SUV attitude and none of the clunky connotations associated with Freelander-style small 4x4s. Virtually none of the off roading capability either - or the solid toughness. Some Crossovers don't even bother with a 4WD option and those that do limit it to ridiculously pricey derivatives. Crossovers, in other words, are these days more about fashion than substance. But what if you could get one with Qashqai-like style matched to Freelander-like off road capability? What if this class of car, in other words, could actually walk the walk as well as talk the talk? That'd be quite something. That'd be unique. And that's exactly what this XV claims to be designed to deliver. If any brand was going to be able to create a car able to do this, you'd put money on Subaru to do it. They were building models of this kind way before the concept became fashionable, with a history going all the way back to 1995 and the launch of the Legacy Outback, a chunky all-wheel drive estate then followed by more overtly SUV-like Forester and Tribeca designs. None of which really caught the imagination of British buyers. But this car did. The version we're going to look at here is the last of the first generation versions and was sold between 2016 and 2017.

    What You Getword count: 438

    The XV's basic shape is a fairly faithful representation of the crossover norm but it's got a purposeful, chunky stance and some very interesting details that were subtly developed as part of the minor '16 model year facelift. Changes included the adoption of shaplier 'hawk-eye' headlamps and a redesigned bumper featuring more distinctive 'L'-shaped fairings around the foglights. The grille was redesigned too but remained recognisably Subaru in its design, positioned above a huge air intake below the numberplate. Moving back, you get Audi allroad-style wheelarch extensions that look agreeably rugged and at the back end, a tidily finished rear bumper with dark cladding extending back from the rear wheel arch. You lose a lot of the contrast if you go for a dark paint shade, so choose your colour carefully. A more important part of the '16 model year update package related to the changes that Subaru made inside. Previously, many potential XV buyers had admired the exterior looks, only to find themselves a little disappointed when they acquainted themselves with the dark, rather plasticky interior. So Subaru stepped things up a gear with this late-series MK1 model, with higher quality materials and nice touches like the orange stitching applied to the top spec version's part-leather-lined interior. In this variant, you'll find it on the seats, the steering wheel and the door armrests. The key cabin change was the smart 7.0-inch colour touchscreen that dominated the centre console and came complete with Subaru's 'StarLink' infotainment technology. This is the portal from which you access the six-speaker stereo and the usual 'phone and informational features, as well as the satellite navigation set-up you'll find fitted to plusher variants. The screen offers a smartphone-style 'swipe and pinch' control function for map displays and houses a standard-fit rear view camera. This offers a super-wide 160-degree field of view behind the car when reversing. Accessibility to the back is helped by doors that open wider than those fitted to many competitor models. Once inside, Subaru talks of room for three adults, but the high centre transmission tunnel will make that difficult to achieve on all but the shortest journeys. It'll be fine for three children though. On the plus side, the XV's comparatively long wheelbase gives a decent amount of rear legroom, the space available helped by front seats that you can get your feet comfortably under. Out back, the 380-litre boot capacity is less than most rivals offer, but there is a small under-boot floor compartment and of course you can extend the capacity by pushing forward the rear bench - to 1270-litres, though the seats don't fold totally flat.

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    Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    80%
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