Subaru XV 2.0i-S Review
Off the beaten trek

Story by Joe Yeo Photos by Raymond Lai
13 Feb 2012

Subaru’s new crossover model has a tough task ahead to woo back car buyers to the brand. Joe Yeo finds out if the XV is up to this task.

Introduction, styling

Go to any major motor shows and you’ll be swarmed with concept cars. More often than not, these concept studies are nothing more but thinly disguised versions of upcoming production models.

While there are some concept cars out there that will look visually less exciting when they go into production, there are others that will go past the bean counters and into production virtually unchanged from the concept. The new Subaru XV falls into the latter category.

First appearing as a concept at last year’s Shanghai Motorshow, the production XV (XV is shorthand for crossover) is a crossover model based on the new generation Impreza. Crossovers are obviously not new to Subaru, the early generation Forester models were similar in concept to the XV but in its current iteration, the Forester has adopted a taller, more SUV like profile that is closer in concept to Toyota’s RAV4 among other models. The new XV is more similar in concept to the early Forester models and just like the Legacy, can also be considered the ‘Outback’ version of the upcoming, new Impreza.

Since the introduction of the last Impreza, Subaru’s styling efforts were mediocre and mundane to say the least. The Impreza lacked the purposeful look of its predecessors while the current Legacy just looked too clumsy and bloated, presumably the latter was styled to appeal to the American mass market. The XV’s styling on the other hand, looks more resolved than the Legacy’s and Impreza’s. Up front, the XV features design elements that are shared with the rest of the Subaru range – these include the hexagon grille, winged motif and the upswept ‘hawkeye’ headlamps. The chunky bumper and black lower bumper protectors further give the XV a purposeful stance when viewed from the front.

The XV’s steeply raked windscreen and curvaceous roof line are most obvious when viewed from the flanks while the black plastic wheel arch extensions, roof rails, slightly raised ride height and 17-inch alloy wheels give the styling a rugged feel. The rear looks a tad nondescript though – you can mistake the XV for a model from any other Japanese or Korean manufacturer, but the bumper’s underfloor protectors do complement the purposeful looking nose.

All in all, the XV’s looks are far from groundbreaking or revolutionary but it is at least a step in the right direction to resolve and put right Subaru’s previous design calamities.

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Engine Capacity 1995cc
Engine Type Flat 4
Power 150bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 196Nm @ 4200rpm
Power to Weight 104.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 10.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 187 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.4 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type F4
Steering Electric


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4450 x 1780 x 1615) mm
Kerb Weight 1430 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs