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The Top Gear car review:Subaru XV
For:Neat styling, classic Subaru drivetrain, extremely well equipped
Against:Pretty expensive, overall drive lacks polish
2.0D SE 5dr
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.
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.
50.4mpg from the diesel and 146 CO2s mean it’s relatively frugal to run.