2018 Subaru XV review - verdict
The latest Subaru XV is new from the ground up, and it needed to be, because t...
Subaru fans should be happy; our time with the XV showed that it is a genuine step forward over its predecessor, with improved handling and a better interior. The trouble is that it's still far from perfect, with a choppy ride, a disappointing boot and worse interior quality than similarly priced rivals.
But it's cost that really counts against the XV. It may be well-equipped with its Eyesight safety system, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, an 8.0in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights and, of course, four-wheel drive, but an entry-level price of £24,995 is still pretty hefty in the family SUV class.
Not only that, but you'll have to opt for the top SE Premium trim if you want sat-nav, pushing the price up further. Indeed, an XV with the 2.0 engine and sat-nav is closer to £29,000.
Then there are the running costs. Company car users won't like the high tax bracket and fuel economy is unlikely to be that great – we averaged around 35mpg on our mixed test route.
So, although the XV has its own little niche as a seriously capable off-roader in a compact package, it still can't beat more conventional rivals on the road. We'd recommend sticking with the more practical Karoq or sportier Ateca unless you really need that mud-plugging ability.
What Car? says...
Rated 2 out of 5
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Subaru XV 2.0i Lineartronic
Engine 4cyl, 1995cc, petrol
Power 154bhp at 6000rpm
Torque 145lb ft at 4000rpm
Gearbox CVT automatic
Top speed 120mph
Official economy 40.9mpg
CO2, tax band 155g/km, 32% (est)
Release date February