View all Subaru XV reviews
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0


  • Economical diesel engine
  • Good off-road
  • Quick paddleshift changes on CVT


  • Pricey
  • Bouncy ride
  • Low quality plastics
  • Weak petrol engines
  • Poor visibility


The Subaru XV is the company’s first foray into the every-growing ‘crossover’ segment, a place where off-roaders crossed with hatchbacks reside.

In this respect the Japanese car maker, best known for producing high performance saloons with a rallying pedigree, is way behind the curve. The five-seater, five-door XV is up against the Nissan Qashqai that was launched in 2007, and that model set a very high standard.

The Nissan has proved extremely popular worldwide and sells in huge numbers – and is now in its second generation – so it is no surprise then that Subaru has decided it wants a slice of the crossover pie with a more rugged approach, much like the Skoda Yeti and Jeep Renegade.

Four-wheel drive as standard

Subaru isn’t completely fresh into this arena because it is well used to producing all-wheel-drive vehicles, the current Outback, Forester and Levorg all come with it as standard. As such, all versions of the XV follow suit and have all-wheel drive capability.

Unlike the Qashqai, there’s no two-wheel-drive version, so effectively the XV has to compete with the traditional 4x4s as well as the ‘soft-roader’ crossovers fitted with optional four-wheel drive.

One petrol and one diesel engine

There is one petrol choice for the XV: a 2.0-litre with 150hp available with either a manual transmission or Subaru’s ‘Lineartronic’ CVT automatic transmission. In manual form the 2.0-litre will return 40.4mpg, while the auto versions are slightly more frugal.

There’s one diesel option, a 2.0-litre unit with 147hp. This is available with a six-speed manual gearbox only and returns 52.3mpg.

Carbon dioxide emissions across the range vary from 141g/km for the diesel to 160g/km for the 2.0-litre manual petrol.

All engines are in the proven ‘Boxer’ configuration, which sits horizontally rather than vertically and is something of a Subaru hallmark, so its powertrain already has credibility.

Long warranty

From early 2013, together with the rest of the Subaru range, the Outback’s warranty was extended to five years or 100,000 miles. This replaced the previous warranty of three years or 60,000 miles.

In 2014 the XV had a minor facelift which included some suspension changes, interior enhancements and some extra equipment added to the SE Premium trim (previously called Lux Premium) while the pricing remained unchanged.

Does this all-new crossover have what it takes to take on both the crossover kings, including the mighty Qashqai, as well as more premium models at the higher end of the class like the BMW X1 and Audi Q2 and rugged alternatives like the Jeep Renegade, Suzuki Vitara and Skoda Yeti? Read on for the full Subaru XV review to find out.

What owners say about this car

Few electrical problems , then 10 weeks after purchase the steering locked solid whilst being driven possibly fatal... Read owner review

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