Car Finder 247 Subaru XV

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Subaru XV Electric Cars

Subaru XV

Date posted: April 30, 2013

Subarus. The world used to be full of them; from the road versions of the maniac World Rally Championship winning Impreza Turbos to the all-wheel drive Forester estate I once took on a ski trip to France and the Legacy estate popular with Welsh hill farmers.

But sales in 2011 collapsed to just 2,600 cars as running costs for petrol performance cars rocketed, other car makers came out with four-wheel drive cars and the strength of the yen against the pound forced up prices.

So it’s odd with the Japanese company’s strong off-road history that it took so long for Subaru to come up with a challenger to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and Kia Sportage.

Having done so with the new XV; still a rare sight on UK roads, Subaru’s importers, the IM Group, says it’s their best selling model until the new Forester arrives in a few months’ time.

As befits its rugged styling the XV has a proper four-wheel drive system for serious off-roading and plenty of ground clearance, more in fact than a Land Rover Freelander.

Every XV is fitted with symmetrical all-wheel drive and a ‘flat’ Boxer engine, two Subaru core features. The low, flat engine design helps weight distribution but is more noticeable in the low slung sporty models.

XV prices start at £21,295 for the 1.6 litre petrol, with the 2-litre petrol and turbo-diesel versions both starting at £24,295.

The £26,495 SE spec road test car was fitted with Subaru’s unusual 2-litre Boxer diesel.

The engine’s horizontally opposed cylinders punch out plenty of power and it revs so freely you would almost think it was a petrol motor.

The ‘let’s get on with the job’ enthusiasm of the 147bhp engine gives the XV some real character and a mechanical involvement missing with many modern cars which could have a paraffin stove under the bonnet.

With 258 lbs ft of torque from 1,600rpm the trick is not to let the revs fall too low so you have some turbo boost to hand.

That meant plenty of use of the notchy six-speed manual gearbox.

The XV is based on the Impreza hatchback but has been strengthened for a harder life and rides firmly, or positively, depending on your point of view.

Subaru XV Electric Cars

In the cause of saving a few fluid ounces of fuel most car makers are turning to electrically assisted power steering which usually gives the driver less consistent information about the grip under his front tyres.

That in the XV is typically vague.

As usual the Subaru feels very well put together but some of the materials in the cabin aren’t very appealing.

There’s plenty of headroom but taller drivers and passengers will find headroom a bit tight and the XV’s boot isn’t much larger than that of ordinary family hatchbacks.

The dashboard and steering wheel have plenty of buttons to keep the driver busy and there are even some, for the heated seats, by the handbrake lever.

Colour graphics show how the vehicle is performing off-road and other displays help with a more economical driving style.


During the test the car averaged 37 to 46.6mpg, with 42.6mpg most common which means lowish everyday running costs. Carbon dioxide emissions of 146g/km denote annual road tax of £140.

Top speed was 120mph and 0 to 62mph took 9.3 seconds.

The SE trim test car had colour folding door mirrors, dual zone air conditioning, rear view camera, Bluetooth phone and USB connectivity, HID headlamps with washers, leather steering wheel and gear knob, colour multi-function dashboard display with average speed, average fuel consumption, journey time, clock, cruise control, privacy glass and CD player with six speakers

Subaru XV Electric Cars
Subaru XV Electric Cars
Subaru XV Electric Cars
Subaru XV Electric Cars
Subaru XV Electric Cars

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