2017 Subaru XV 2.0i-S Review

2017 Subaru XV 2.0i-S road test and review…

There’s no denying the increasing popularity of the small or crossover SUV, but equally no refuting my aversion to the category.

I’ve always said they’re kind of unnecessary, sitting between a sedan and a proper sized SUV, neither being one nor the other and my week in the Subaru XV proved my point, in particular about space.

Most make a small SUV purchase for that little extra ride height and supposed added storage but, in many cases, this is a misconception.

The rear space was tested on two different occasions and failed to accommodate two large suitcases and other bulky items, with some needing to be relocated to the cabin.

In fact, there’s more storage capacity in the boot of a small sedan or a station wagon.

The boot is not so deep while the air space is cut down because of the sloping rear windscreen with Subaru opting for style rather than pragmatism.

However, this is the only downside to an otherwise decent offering and you can be assured of the great Subaru drive and fit and finish.

Under assessment was the top spec Subaru XV 2.0i-S priced from $35,240.

The latest XV update gains X-mode (Subaru’s off-road mode) bringing it in line with larger cousins like the Outback and Forester. It controls the engine, transmission, AWD and traction control.

For more on the XV’s off-road capabilities check Joel’s model launch drive.

Also making a debut is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and Subaru’s renowned safety tech such as lane departure, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert but only in the 2.0i-S.

Though the visual highlight for me were the leather trim seats in black and grey with contrasting orange stitching.

To the road and the 2.0L petrol boxer engine is slightly more powered than its predecessor but is startlingly noisy both inside and outside the car.

This is more evident as you accelerate through the lazy constantly variable transmission.

Any reasonable go-forward  is hampered by the CVT as is quick gear changes to reverse and back.

Petrol consumption is at a reasonable rate of 8.4L/100km helped along by the auto start/stop.

You can be assured of a direct steer, quiet, sturdy ride and a compact turning circle.

Despite my misgivings, the Subaru XV is a spunky, fresh city SUV and will certainly continue to be an attractive option for anyone in the market.

NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Subaru XV 2.0i-S

  • Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 115kW/196Nm
  • Transmission: CVT auto
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Safety: Five Stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $35,240

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