2018 Subaru XV review - verdict

The latest Subaru XV is new from the ground up, and it needed to be, because t...

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Alan Taylor-Jones
14 Jul 2017 5:45 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

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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Skoda Karoq

Seat Ateca

Subaru XV 2.0i Lineartronic

Price £26,495

Engine 4cyl, 1995cc, petrol

Power 154bhp at 6000rpm

Torque 145lb ft at 4000rpm

Gearbox CVT automatic

0-62mph 10.4sec

Top speed 120mph

Official economy 40.9mpg

CO2, tax band 155g/km, 32% (est)

Release date February