Subaru Core Technology involves the brand’s Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that comes together to provide a lifestyle of Safety, Sense and Versatility for its drivers and passengers. Here are the key points to Subaru’s new 2018 XV.
Subaru Global Platform
The new 2018 XV is built on Subaru’s new Global Platform that is the foundation for all Subaru models, which was debuted on the current fifth generation Impreza sedan and hatchback. The brand spent a billion dollars on the new platform and although it is a monumental figure for a smaller Japanese carmaker, the expense is showing on safety.
In a crash conducted by the National Agency for Automotive Safety and Victim Aid (NASVA) for the Japan New Car Assessment Programme (JNCAP), the XV’s crash safety results were so high that it set a new Japanese record for chassis integrity and safety. Scoring 199.7 out of 208, crash tests showed that A and B-pillars held up to impacts, with access to the passenger doors effortless.
With the Global Platform, Subaru has aimed for increased body rigidity that improves handling performance, quicker steering response that is linear and predictable with straight line stability, manoeuvrability, yet with comfortable ride quality.
The overall look of the new XV has been refined with the identifying hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights, before bringing the form to the rear combination lights that share the same motif as the headlights. As the XV is based on the platform similar to the Impreza, the XV shares familiar tail lamps that give the rear a wider look. Fender flares express Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive while matte-black cladding on the front and rear distinct the XV as a crossover.
Inside, the dashboard, lines and look has been completely reworked. Deep character lines accentuate a sportier and rugged look, while orange accents throughout the seats, door armrests, centre console and steering wheel give the new XV a nice contrasting appeal.
Buttons and the overall parts to the XV feel firm and made to stand the test of time. This includes hard plastics that cover the window switches, steering wheel controls and standard panelling. We like the use of mixed materials for the seats that also feel robust. Front passenger and driver seats are comfortable and the rear does have a good amount of legroom thanks to the increase in length. Cabin insulation is admirable even in harsher road conditions.
When it comes to driving, the new XV feels a little weighted in turning and the get go – one that we feel is due to the CVT transmission and all-wheel drive set up. The drive is very much sedan like, albeit for the higher seating position. Accelerator pedal feel is a little heavy to our liking, but once in motion, the CVT transmission does offer enough response to get the XV around and in speed. Despite the usual shuns about CVT transmissions, Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT here does its duties rather well, and much more admirably than the previous generation.
Thanks to the increased rigidity, the ride and handling has improved noticeably – with less body roll in corners. With the day’s test drive covering all-wheel drive, agility in slalom, cornering dynamics and torque vectoring, the XV did very well not only in the off-road areas (of X-Mode and Symmetrical AWD) but also in the driving aspects.
The XV does place itself in a very unique position thanks to what it offers for its current price. Although some might compare the XV with other crossovers priced around this range (RM 118,819 – 2.0i, RM 125,868 – 2.0i-P), none of the other brands provide enough driving balance based on the all-wheel set up and platform that is the current best for safety. The only thing that we’d like to change is that head unit though, cause it just seems like a lot of thought wasn’t put into making it cohesive with the Subaru experience. Is this the car for you? Well as with most CVT transmission based cars, if you are able to accustom yourself with the feel of a CVT and wouldn’t mind the ownership, the latest XV certainly warrants a closer look.
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