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Subaru XV

£20,215£26,795
4/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Neat styling, classic Subaru drivetrain, extremely well equipped

Against: 

Pretty expensive, overall drive lacks polish
After the BRZ, this is the most interesting car Subaru makes. But then that's not really saying much.

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Our choice

Subaru

2.0D SE 5dr

£23,795
N/A
52mpg
9.30s
147bhp
141g/km

What we say: 

Subaru moves into the popular small SUV sector. Pity the final product is so flawed and odd-looking

What is it?

Smart new Subaru is a welcome right move for the brand, although the XV isn’t as polished as it could be.

Driving

The XV has four-wheel driving running gear, plus stacks of ground clearance. Off-road, it’s very impressive for this breed of machine. On road, alas, it’s less great.

The ride can be tough and, despite a low centre of gravity, it can feel a bit vague. Something not helped, it has to be said, by the inconsistent weighting of the fuel-saving electric power steering.

The petrols are pretty gutless, so you really need the 2.0-litre turbodiesel to best enjoy the XV, for it combines similarly sweet running with a useful dose of turbo torque. Just don’t let the revs drop too low or expect much refinement when revved hard. The gearbox is a bit clicky too.

On the inside

Lots of hard plastic at work inside the cabin here, but it does feel immaculately well built. The boot is 380 litres - just 30 litres bigger than a Golf.

Owning

50.4mpg from the diesel and 146 CO2s mean it’s relatively frugal to run.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.0D SE 5dr
9.3s 141g/km 52.3 147 £23,795
The cheapest
1.6i S 5dr Lineartronic
13.8s 146g/km 44.8 114 £20,215
The greenest
2.0D SE 5dr
9.3s 141g/km 52.3 147 £23,795