Subaru XV review

Category: Family SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Subaru XV 2019 rear left handling
  • Subaru XV 2019 front tracking
  • Subaru XV 2019 rear left handling
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV 2019 rear tracking
  • Subaru XV 2019 front static on grass
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV 2019 front tracking
  • Subaru XV 2019 rear left handling
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV 2019 rear tracking
  • Subaru XV 2019 front static on grass
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
  • Subaru XV
What Car?’s XV deals
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The XV offers you a 1.6-litre petrol engine (badged 1.6i) and a 2.0-litre petrol hybrid with an electric motor, badged as the XV e-Boxer 2.0i.

The 1.6i produces 112bhp, providing acceleration that’s very sedate by class standards. The 2.0 e-Boxer is, unsurprisingly, quicker; its petrol engine produces 148bhp and its electric motor a further 17bhp. However, in reality, even this higher-powered engine isn’t enough to help the SV feel particularly quick; it can’t match the low-down pull of its turbocharged rivals.

When cornering, the XV resists body lean well and feels pretty agile. There’s plenty of grip and it always feels sure-footed, and the steering is well-weighted. As a result, the XV is more enjoyable to drive than the Nissan Qashqai, but it can’t match the Seat Ateca in this area.

As is the case with the Ateca, though, this tidy handling comes at a price. The XV's ride is firm and never fully settles, even on smooth roads. Go over a rough piece of asphalt and you'll be jostled around in your seat.

Where the XV stands out from these rivals, though, is in having a genuine off-road capability. In addition to four-wheel drive, the XV has a generous 220mm of ground clearance and X-Mode; a driving setting that optimises the four-wheel drive system over tricky surfaces at low speeds and includes hill descent control. Even on normal road tyres, it can take pretty hostile terrain in its stride.

Subaru XV 2019 rear left handling
New car deals
Save up to £803
Target Price from £27,740
Save up to £803
or from £339pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £29,790