For The Subaru XV handles pretty well, and the diesel engine is strong and flexible. There’s loads of legroom in the back, while child crash protection is exceptional.
Against Ride quality and refinement are poor at all speeds, and the interior feels cheap. The biggest problem, though, is the high price, which is on a par with far more premium SUVs.
The Subaru XV isn’t without its merits, but it’s difficult to make a case for it at this price. Cars like the Nissan Qashqai offer more comfort and more refinement for a lot less cash.
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The Subaru XV is available with three engines, a 113bhp 1.6-litre petrol, a 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol and a 145bhp 2.0-litre diesel. The diesel gives fast and flexible performance, and while the bigger petrol engine is okay in isolation, it’s not a patch on the diesel because you have to work it harder. We haven’t yet driven the 1.6.
All versions will have four-wheel drive as standard, which is good for all-weather traction, but not for CO2 emissions; even the diesel model emits 146g/km. The cleanest Nissan Qashqai, by contrast, creeps in under the 120g/km mark.
The diesel will be the biggest seller in the UK, and if you’re going to buy an XV, it’s definitely the one to go for. However, cars such as the Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi offer as much – more in some areas – for less than £20,000.
Alternatively, if you're prepared to spend this sort of money, there are some fine premium alternatives to choose from, including the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.