Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Big improvement to XV’s cabin
  • Multimedia system not the best
  • Hard-wearing rather than fashionable 

The cabin of the Subaru XV is a perfectly acceptable place to spend time. It’s still not as stylish as an Audi or as futuristically high-tech as the Toyota C-HR, but it was never meant to be. Instead it’s intuitively laid-out (with one or two exceptions, such as the poor seat-heater controls) and built to last, with fabrics and materials that high minor scuffs and damage.

Subaru Forester 2019 dash

There’s a touchscreen in the dash that is quite slow to react – especially when connected to a mobile to use the mirroring function – and that can mean you risk getting confused at junctions as the sat-nav mapping struggles to keep up with itself. The built-in navigation system is only fitted on SE Premium cars, but is still slow to operate.

However, where Subaru wins against some of the competition is in retaining physical buttons for items such as climate control. Others have integrated this into the touchscreen, which makes the operation fiddly and in some cases dangerous. 


  • Cabin is quiet and refined
  • Ride firm but still comfortable
  • 1.6 engine can be noisy when pushed

Subaru’s engineers have done a great job with the suspension. It’s firm, but supple enough to absorb bumps very well indeed. Long distances are covered with little effort, and the overall impression is one of long-legged comfort and refinement.

The seats are firm enough to be supportive for long journeys with enough bolstering to keep you in place, but the pedals are a little too close for taller drivers, meaning their legs can feel slightly bunched up.

We found a little road and wind noise on the motorway, though the 1.6-litre engine can be a problem when you’re having to work it to try and hit 70mph in decent time. 

Subaru XV 2017 comfort