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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
You don’t need me to tell you that crossovers defy reason and rationality, but here’s proof anyway. Subaru says the XV is its first compact...
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.