April 24, 2014
Reliable and comfortable in all terrain
by Carlos A. Pefaur
The Subaru XV is one of those vehicles whose image conveys so much with just a look. The XV appears as a modern, sportive, robust and sophisticated crossover vehicle that awakens an immediate feeling of reliability and durability, all characteristics of the models bearing the stary logo in the front (Subaru is the Japanese name for the star constellation “Pleiades”).
Derived from the Impreza, the XV is a model that performs well in different types of scenarios. It has the classic Subaru AWD that provides great ride comfort and good off-road performance. It differs from a sedan or a sports car in its being more robust and because its equipment allows it to perform in areas where others wouldn’t even dare to enter.
With an elongated front-nose and a very stylish tail, the plastic moldings that run through the bottom of the nose, tail, and spoilers provide the car with a bold look. Plus, it features 16-inch alloy wheels and fancy rear spoiler.
The interior reveals a sporty spirit, based mainly on the rally type front seats with integrated head restraints, hard plastics, aluminium-look accents and finishes of good standard like all good Japanese cars.
I tested the 2.0 MT AWD with a six-speed manual gearbox, which is the entry-level version, as there are also two automatic transmission options.
Among its long list of comfort features we found: automatic climate control, cruise control with steering wheel commands, audio system with CD, MP3 and auxiliary input, height adjustable seats, height and depth adjustable steering wheel, electric windows, central-lock with remote control; fuel tank remote opening. Anyway, we have to point out the lack of controls on the steering wheel or satellite controls to command the audio system and disc magazine.
It’s powered with a Boxer engine with sequential multipoint electronic injection, four-cylinders horizontally opposed, 1,994 cc and 150 hp at 5,200 rpm with a torque of 196 Nm at 4,200 rpm. This engine provides a very reliable performance, ensuring ideal conditions to accelerate from low speed ranges. It reaches a max speed of 185 kph, and accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 10.5 seconds. The average gasoline consumption is 10 litres/100 km.
A distinguishing feature of the Subaru XV, is that it is one of the few vehicles of this type that has permanent four-wheel drive sending, ideally, 50% of force to each of the axes through a centre LSD differential. These differentials have several oil-bathed discs that when temperature increases due to the glide effect, the oil increases its viscosity, thus blocking the differential. In case there is a loss of traction on a wheel, the differential will progressively transfer power to whichever axle is in better conditions to transmit it to the ground.
Therefore, it’s not a front-drive model and not even one of those that are called 4WD vehicles but the rear-wheel drive only gets engaged whenever there’s a loss of traction at the front axle. This special feature of the XV is an important safety plus for times when conditions become really difficult as it helps largely to get away from congested areas.
In terms of safety, it features front, side and curtain airbags, ABS with electronic delivery of strength and emergency brake assist, stability control, ISOFIX and engine immobilizer, among others. A special mention for the Subaru AWD system (Symetrical AWD) that distributes power to the axes according to wheel grip, which is especially useful when travelling on the road and under the rain.
We must highlight two aspects of the Subaru XV: its boxer engine and the 4WD system. Another high mention goes to its generous five-year warranty or 100,000 kilometres, which does nothing but confirm the confidence that Subaru has in each of its products and conveys successfully to its users.