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.
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 those of far more upmarket SUVs.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Subaru XV performance
The 145bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine pulls strongly and smoothly from low revs, so you don't have to work it hard to make decent progress. The 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol is quick enough in isolation, but it’s not a patch on the diesel because it needs plenty of revs before it really gets going.
Subaru XV ride & handling
All versions have four-wheel drive, so you get superb traction, and there’s plenty of grip in bends. Ride comfort, though, is a different matter: you feel too much of patched-up surfaces at low speeds, and there’s a constant, unrelenting tremor at motorway speeds.
Subaru XV refinement
The diesel engine stays hushed most of the time, but because the petrol often has to be worked harder, you hear more from it. You can also hear the suspension working away at low speeds as it struggles to soak up bumps. There’s too much road noise on the motorway, too.