XV 2.0i e-Boxer SE Premium Lineartronic
a family-friendly SUV-
crossover bodystyle with hybrid
XV e-Boxer is not
all-terrain pretender but is seriously
capable of playing hardball off-
with the big boys...
IF YOU HAVEN'T looked at new cars for a while you may still associate
the Subaru brand with its World Rally-winning Imprezas. But while the sizzling
tea-tray-bespoilered Scoobies have long gone to the great car park in the sky,
their all-conquering essence lives on in the form of the symmetrical all-wheel
drive system underpinning the Japanese brand's current line-up.
One of which is their compact XV crossover. Along with a contemporary style
and some neat and well-executed SUV cues, it's got plenty of presence without
being in-anybody's-face. Interestingly, during our week with it we had quite
a number of people coming over for a closer (but socially-distanced!) look and
verbally liking the XV something that only usually happens with high-profile
machinery such as an Audi R8 or a trendy all-new MINI model. Clearly, Subaru
are doing a lot right!
the skin the other good news is that, unlike many similar-bodied but tarmac-restricted
rivals, the XV's all-wheel drive set-up endows it with meaningful all-terrain
ability. Broadening its appeal even further is the hybrid powertrain. Bottom
line, what you get for your hybrid money is a 2.0-litre, unleaded-drinking,
148bhp/143lb ft horizontally-opposed, flat-four 'Boxer' engine tag-teamed with
a 16bhp/49lb ft electric motor driving all four wheels through a CVT autobox.
Top speed is a perfectly capable 120mph with the benchmark 0-62mph coming in
at 10.7 seconds an 'ample sufficiency' for today's Big-Brother-is-watching-you
many tarmac-restricted crossover rivals, the XVs all-wheel drive
endows it with meaningful all-terrain ability. Broadening its appeal
further is the hybrid powertrain. Bottom line, what you get is a 2.0-litre
unleaded-drinking 148bhp Boxer engine
tag-teamed with a 16bhp electric motor driving all four wheels through
a CVT autobox...
Marking out the XV's contemporary cabin is a satisfying mix of easy-to-live-with
ergonomics interwoven with quality materials; flamboyant touches include some
unique copper-coloured detailing to the black leather seat upholstery and copper-finish
carbon-fibre effect door and fascia finishing.
With eight-way power the driving position is easily set and fine-tuned electrically
and both front seats offer a generous range of adjustability; visibility from
behind the logically laid-out multifunction leather-rimmed wheel is superb all-round.
Once you're moving you'll be quick to appreciate the supportive front seats
with their effective light grey leather bolstering and two-stage heating, each
set in a big bubble of personal space that includes a wide centre console with
padded armrest and long outer armrests on the doors. The result is sure-fire
comfort on all types of journeys, from popping out for a solo takeaway to a
200-mile family-inclusive trip.
True to it' family-orientated nature the XV provides decent in-cabin storage:
siamesed cupholders that can accommodate cups of all sizes while keeping them
steady with a lift out separator for dual-use, a slot for your mobile, a handy
'cave' at the base of the centre stack (with Aux jack, two USB ports and 12v
power point), a large bin under the central armrest (with two more USB ports,
one of which is a fast-charger), a pretty big glovebox, and bottle-holding door
and satellite navigation are ably served by an eight-inch touchscreen with integrated
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to support your smartphone. Hard buttons alongside
the touchscreen offer fast menu jumps. A neat secondary screen top-dead-centre
of the dash displays a raft of secondary information including the status of
the adaptive cruise control and hybrid powertrain along with climate settings.
off-road skills-set, the
XV serves up a smooth
the handling the
suspension soaks up
bigger bumps and
minimise the chatter
generated by badly
and its equally effective
taking the sting out of
the most important driving information (posted speed limit and digital current
road speed readout) the driver's display behind the wheel incorporates a third
4.3-inch screen between the slim chrome bezels of the pair of white-on-dark-blue
dials. All three screens have crystal clear graphics and figures that are easy
to take in when driving, plus the navigation and mapping are utterly foolproof.
You also get a CD player, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a voice recognition system,
and a reversing camera.
The XV SE Premium boasts a comprehensive kit-list. Included is keyless entry,
push button engine Start, two-tone leather upholstery, heated seats, dual-zone
climate control, full one-shot-op tilt 'n' slide glass sunroof with a blackout
sunshade, electric parking brake with autohold, auto-dimming rearview mirror,
powerfolding heated door mirrors, power windows (one-shot up/down at the front),
polished aluminium pedal set (including the matching left-foot rest), UV protection
glazing, privacy glass from the B-pillars back, and a set of eye-catching 18-inch
alloy wheels shod with 225/55-profile rubber.
The five-star Euro NCAP rated XV comes with a full suite of safety tech and
driver assists including Subaru's so-called 'EyeSight' system (incorporating
Adaptive Cruise Control,
Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Sway and Departure
Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lead Vehicle Start Alert) and Rear Vehicle Detection
that offers three main functions to improve visibility and to help minimise
common causes of accidents: Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist and Rear
Cross Traffic Alert. Additionally there's steering-responsive LED headlights
with high beam assist, pop-up headlight washers, auto lights and wipes, tyre
pressure monitoring, whiplash-reducing front seats with height-adjustable belts,
windscreen wiper de-icer, a full set of airbags including one for the driver's
knee and, of course, the 'always on' all-wheel drive with X-Mode.
XV's body occupies a compact 4.5-metre stretch of tarmac and that's enough for
it to provide roomy front and rear cabins. The back doors open to 90-degrees
(and shut with a solid, well-engineered thunk) so entry and exit, helped
by the higher hip-point you get in crossovers and SUVs, is über easy. There
are damped roof grabs although your passengers are unlikely to need them when
getting aboard; that said, lots of people seem to like strap-hanging on them
powertrain is muted and
you can run on pure EV
in traffic using a light
throttle. Press the
accelerator pedal harder
petrol engine to lend a
hand it joins the party
fluently, injecting a hit
of nippy acceleration
from lower revs
along with a likeable
by a relaxing backrest angle and adequate headroom, space in the back is good.
Decent knee- and foot-room means leg-stretching is on the menu even with six-footers
occupying the front seats. Fold away the wide and well-padded drop-down central
armrest and three can travel side-by-side. Storage-wise you'll find a pouch
on the passenger seatback, twin cupholders in the main armrest, and large bottle-holding
door bins. Long, deep windows ensure those in the back enjoy decent views out
plus a valuable degree of confidentiality courtesy of dark-tinted glass from
B-pillar to B-pillar.
The other essential that will satisfy not just your back-seat passengers but
those up front too is the XV's smooth and unexpectedly given its no-nonsense
off-road skills-set soothing ride. Without compromising the handling
dynamics the all-independent suspension is soft enough to soak up bigger bumps
and minimise the 'chatter' generated by badly pockmarked roads; and it's equally
effective taking the sting out of the worst of off-road tracks.
The mild hybrid system is a good fit with the 2.0-litre petrol engine already
found in non-hybrid XV models. The 'e' denotes the addition of a small electric
motor and battery pack but there's no plug-in recharging necessary because
in addition to delivering some all-electric, engine-off, zero-emission driving
at speeds up to 25mph, the petrol engine also charges the battery.
e-motor contributes a useful extra 16bhp and 49lb ft meaning the hybrid powerplant
gives your right foot command of a total output of 164bhp and 192lb ft. Around
the houses the XV's powertrain is muted and you can run on pure EV in traffic
using a light throttle. Press the accelerator pedal a bit harder and you'll
invite the petrol engine to lend a hand it joins the party fluently,
injecting a hit of nippy acceleration from lower revs along with a likeable
those who measure
everything by numbers,
zero to 62mph takes 10.7
seconds and the
top speed is 120mph.
Officially, the average
fuel consumption is
35.7mpg but a week of
mixed driving saw us
record an honest
acceptable given that the
XV is not only a family-
sized crossover but
one fitted with an
autobox and permanent
Lineartronic continuously variable transmission has six 'speeds' and comes with
a manual mode and wheel-mounted paddle-shifters should you wish to assert more
control. Most of the time, though, the easygoing autobox can be left to its
own devices to make your driving as hassle-free as possible.
those who measure everything by numbers, zero to 62mph takes 10.7 seconds and
the top speed is 120mph. Officially, the average fuel consumption is 35.7mpg
but a week of mixed (styles and routes) driving saw us record an honest 36.2mpg
perfectly acceptable given that the XV is not only a family-sized crossover
but one fitted with an autobox and permanent all-wheel drive.
These days drivers of even of the most mundane cars expect their cars to 'handle'.
However, no wishing is necessary with the XV because on the move it feels reassuringly
grippy with well managed body control and precise, nicely weighted steering;
throw in compact dimensions and excellent visibility and, fast or slow, placing
it accurately is a doddle (good news for parking, too!). The regenerative brakes
also deserve a mention not only do they feed the battery pack but the
vented discs front and rear provide strong linear stopping controlled by a natural-feeling
pedal. Blessed with an easygoing character, the XV e-Boxer makes a very pleasing
As already mentioned, the damping works well in ride terms but it also copes
with rocky off-road terrain as easily as tarmacadam. With a class-leading 220mm
of ground clearance, four-wheel traction plus an X-Mode drive setting that,
at the push of a button, optimises engine, transmission, all-wheel drive, e-motor
assistance (some extra low-down torque), brakes for maximum effectiveness on
tricksy terrain. A Hill Descent Control also makes negotiating steep descents
more predictable all you need to do is steer and let the XV take you
to the places many of its crossover rivals simply cannot.
As boots go the compact crossover XV's is, at 340 litres, par for the course
and will swallow the average family's staycation luggage it's a clean-sided,
regular-shaped boot and courtesy of a high-lifting tailgate is very easy to
load. The sill is set at a dog-friendly height; good news if Mr Pooch is coming
too! Fold the 60:40-split rear backrests and you'll create a seamless, flat-floored
loadbay that will hold as much as 1,173 litres of cargo. Naturally there are
lashing eyelets and bag holders and a rollerblind load cover. Plus you can tow
a braked 1,270kg.
Equally at home Mondays to Fridays on the school run as it is tackling Ben Nevis
at the weekend, the XV e-Boxer is a capable and comfortable 'can do' crossover
for those with a yen to tackle challenging terrain, the all-wheel drive
XV is the real McCoy. It's also satisfyingly undemanding to drive and a perfect
example of why mid-size crossovers have taken over most of the automotive world.
Subaru XV 2.0i e-Boxer SE Premium Lineartronic
Maximum speed: 120mph | 0-62mph: 10.7 seconds | Test Average: 36.2mpg
Power: 164bhp | Torque: 192lb ft | CO2: 180g/km