Subaru XV 2021 Review
If you’re not familiar with Subaru products, the Subaru XV is one of their hottest sellers – and it also happens to be one of the youngest products in their long and storied line-up. When the XV came out, it showed that Subaru was willing to adapt to rapidly changing consumer expectations – more specifically, we’re referring to the crossover. While the regular variants of the Subaru Impreza never proved particularly popular in Malaysia, the Subaru XV had an overwhelmingly positive reception when it was first introduced.
This comparison is important, because the Subaru XV is effectively built upon the same platform as the Impreza – just raised and reinforced in a variety of ways. The powertrains, interiors, and a number of components are shared – and this continued over into the second and current generation of the Subaru XV.
While it didn’t seem like Subaru made more than cosmetic changes to the XV between the two generations, the underpinnings of the second generation are entirely different, based upon the Subaru Global Platform that also forms the backbone of the Impreza (that we don’t get here). There is but a singular powertrain on offer, but over time Subaru grew the local range from two variants to three.
Subaru XV 2021 Specifications
When you talk about a Subaru, you can’t get around the boxer engine and the symmetrical all-wheel drive system – both of which are present in the Subaru XV. The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre flat four engine that powers the XV sings to the tune of 156 PS and 196 Nm of torque – not the most earth shattering figures, but healthy enough for a crossover of this size and weight.
Between the engine and the wheels sits a CVT-type automatic transmission – chain driven for durability – with a manual override that provides seven virtual ratios. The symmetrical all-wheel drive system helps to distribute that power evenly across all four wheels, shuffling power when possible to the wheels with the most grip. Also present is X-Mode which adjusts how the system reacts for better traction on loose surfaces – and also something adopted from the larger Subaru Forester SUV.
Subaru XV 2021 Exterior
Both the first and current generation of the Subaru XV managed to stay away from the trope of aggressive, rugged design as a matter of pretense – instead being something that looks at home in a cityscape. This is a touch ironic when you remember that the Subaru XV is also the most capable model if you have to head off the beaten path, compared to its rivals. There is a touch of black body cladding here and there, but 17-inch alloy wheels are common across the range.
The range-topping GT edition model gets slightly different elements on the outside to add an element of sportiness – a front bumper with a silver garnish lip extension and integrated canards, side skirts with silver garnish, a roof spoiler, and a rear bumper extension. Both this and the XV 2.0i-P variant get LED headlamps and daytime running lights as well.
Subaru XV 2021 Interior
Time has resulted in a bit of an odd change to the specifications of the interior across the Subaru XV range. 2021 brought a more luxurious Leather Suede Deluxe material combination specifically to the interior of the XV 2.0i-P, being a mixture of gloss black, matte black, sleek silver, and orange stitching. This hasn’t been offered with either the XV 2.0i or the GT Edition model.
Beyond this, not much has changed – and unfortunately for Subaru that means the XV is a little less cutting edge. The infotainment system is front and centre of the dashboard, not a free floating setup, but above it lies a trip computer that displays relevant driving data. The instrument cluster is a traditional analog setup with a colour display in between the dials. On the whole it feels modern, though not necessarily groundbreaking.
Subaru XV 2021 Safety Features
For the time being, the Subaru XV only comes with electronic safety aids that you expect – stability control, traction control, ABS with EBD and the like. Unfortunately EyeSight, Subaru’s stereoscopic camera-based active safety systems found in models like the Forester, hasn’t yet made it to the XV – although Subaru has said that they will eventually add it to the facelifted XV when it’s eventually due for local launch.
Subaru XV 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses
Value for money used to be the strongest thing to shout about when it came to the Subaru XV, but a number of price fluctuations have positioned it more realistically among its rivals. That being said, it still has a number of tricks up its sleeves – the handling is arguably one of the better among its rivals, and it also happens to be the only vehicle with all-wheel drive at this price point.
Subaru puts a fair amount of effort into chassis tuning and setup, and they managed to strike a good balance between comfort and performance. Throw it around a set of corners and the XV will happily react to your inputs – just as it will happily soak up the undulations of a slightly rough patch of road that is all too common in our country.
If there is a downside to state, it’s that the XV isn’t as chic or cutting edge as some of its rivals. It’s practical to a fault, functional in the ways you need it and a vehicle that just works – but it doesn’t necessarily possess any surprising character traits or substance beyond its core functions.
Subaru XV 2021 Price
The entry level Subaru XV comes in the form of the XV 2.0i which goes for RM 117,788. The premium variant of this, the XV 2.0i-P takes the price up to RM 128,788, while the XV GT Edition 2.0i-P tops out at RM 137,788. This is with current sales tax exemptions in place, which may or may not continue after the end of June 2021.
Subaru XV 2021 Features
The feature list for the Subaru XV isn’t necessarily the most extensive, but it is far from meagre. The entry level XV 2.0i variant gets active torque vectoring, an 8-inch display audio infotainment systems, paddle shifters, power folding door mirrors with LED turn signals, a multi-function steering wheel with cruise control, power-adjustable driver’s seats, keyless entry and start, an electric parking brake, a rear view camera, and roof rails.
Going up to the XV 2.0i-P variant adds on things like dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, auto-levelling headlamps, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, steering responsive headlights, headlamp washers, and aluminium pedals. Specific to the range-topping GT edition variant of the XV are GT edition carpets, and a more extensive version of the reverse camera that offers better coverage to the left and right of the rear – though not one that offers a bird’s eye 360-degree view.
Subaru XV 2021 Fuel Consumption
It’s not something that’s often mentioned, but the second generation Subaru XV saw a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency over the first generation – both with tweaks to the powertrain and the overall driveline. This results in a manufacturer quoted fuel consumption of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres, or 13.7 kilometres per litre. This does vary depending on driving style – though not as wildly as the engine is naturally aspirated.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1995 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 117,788 - RM 130,788
02 Mar 2018
Subaru XV 2.0 AWD – Ingenuity Advanced
Dark silver trim pieces are strategically placed to uplift cabin ambience to a more premium feel. Orange coloured double-stitching on the dashboard and door panels does not seem overwhelming, and the high quality fabric seats are a welcome inclusion to the market segment that seem to favour dark, single tone interiors.View full review
User Review of Subaru XV
overall a good car
Family, Safe & Reliable
Subaru XV Gt
Overall very comfortable car to ride in
Compact Perfomance SUV