Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot

Shaun · Feb 28, 2021 09:44 AM

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 01

This is the second-generation Subaru XV, launched in Malaysia back in 2017. The Subaru XV is currently offered in 3 variants, priced at:

  • 2.0i - RM 117,788
  • 2.0i-P - RM 127,788
  • GT Edition 2.0i-P - 136,788

All variants are powered by 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Boxer engine making 156 PS/196 Nm, paired to a CVT. Power goes to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 02

Faced with strong competition from the Honda HR-V and Proton X50, the Subaru XV has its work cut out. If you’re in the market for one, here are its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Superb ride quality
  • Symmetrical AWD system offers superior traction
  • Buttery smooth drivetrain

Cons

  • Smaller boot than most in its segment
  • No rear air vents
  • No ADAS

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 03

Pros – Superb ride quality

The Subaru XV rides on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), featuring MacPherson struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear.

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 04

On the move, the difference in ride quality is almost night and day. The Subaru XV feels like a car from a segment above, or even two. There’s a level of sophistication in its ride that rivals like the Honda HR-V can’t match. Rotted tarmac are soaked up with ease, rarely upsetting the cabin ambiance.

Also read: 2020 Honda HR-V vs 2020 Subaru XV - Which is more comfortable?

Pros – Symmetrical AWD system offers superior traction

Subaru Symmetrical AWD

An AWD system gives you more grip than a 2WD car, should the tyres be of equal quality. Modern AWD systems are also assisted with additional technologies that make them even safer in less-than-ideal conditions.

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 06

Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system is combined with its VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) technology that brakes slipping wheels. It virtually replaces the need for an LSD in normal road cars to distribute power to wheels that have traction.

Also read: Can Subaru’s symmetrical AWD save you from aquaplaning?

Pros – Buttery smooth drivetrain

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 07

Boxer engines are perfectly balanced since both the primary forces and the secondary forces are balanced. While power from the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Boxer engine – with 156 PS/196 Nm – may sound underwhelming, it’s inherently smooth in its design.

With the smooth engine and well-calibrated CVT, the Subaru XV makes driving a seamless and pleasant affair.

Also read: Subaru's boxer engine and symmetrical AWD, worth paying more?

Cons – Smaller boot than most in its segment

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 08

Until the launch of the Proton X50, the Subaru had the smallest boot in its segment, rated at 345 litres. The rather shallow boot is due to the all-wheel drive system and sophisticated double wishbone rear suspension setup.

Cons – No rear air vents

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 09

The lack of rear air vents would typically suggest the air-conditioning system will take a longer time to cool the cabin in our Malaysian weather.

We wouldn’t consider the lack of rear air vents to be a deal-breaker but living in the scorching climate of Malaysia, we’ll take all the air vents we can get.

Cons – No ADAS

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 10

The Subaru XV does not come equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight system (it bundles AEB, ACC, LDW, RCTA, and BSM) regardless of variants.

However, it has been said that the facelifted Subaru XV will feature EyeSight when it arrives in Malaysia. There’s still no indication as to when the Subaru XV facelift will reach out shores.

Conclusion

Pros and Cons: Subaru XV – Love the AWD traction but not the shallow boot 11

In summary, the Subaru XV has a sophisticated suspension setup that rides beautifully, an all-wheel drive system that delivers greater traction, and a smooth powertrain. But its boot is rather shallow and there’s no rear air vents. A potential deal-breaker would the lack of ADAS.

If you’re looking for a relatively compact SUV that’s practical and comfortable, plus the occasional off-road excursions, then the Subaru XV will fit directly to your needs.

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2019 Subaru XV 2.0i

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