The most recent Subaru XV was launched in 2017, constructed on the Japanese producer’s Subaru International Platform (SGP) that additionally underpins the all-new Forester. The automotive continues the model’s deal with security and go anyplace capability, however till now was solely out there with typical petrol energy; the brand new hybrid e-Boxer is the answer, following the model’s abandonment of diesel engines.
The e-Boxer makes use of a 148bhp 2.Zero-litre flat-four petrol engine assisted by a small electrical motor constructed into the most recent iteration of Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT gearbox. A small battery sits below the boot ground the place the earlier mannequin’s spare wheel was fitted. The XV’s new-found electrification permits for all-electric drive at speeds as much as 25mph, together with decreased emissions and – in concept – improved gas consumption.
Elsewhere, the most recent XV’s match and end stays stable and the supplies used within the inside really feel suitably hard-wearing however not overly utilitarian – the e-Boxer will get distinctive copper-coloured trim to set it aside inside. It’s simple to seek out a fantastic driving place within the comfy entrance seats because of a variety of adjustment. All-round visibility is great.
The XV e-Boxer isn’t probably the most sensible automotive on this class, nevertheless. Its 345-litre boot – although unaffected by the addition of the hybrid system’s battery – is smaller than nearly all of its rivals’, however there’s good house for passengers entrance and rear.
Commonplace equipment is nice on each SE and Premium trims, with all fashions getting a twin-screen infotainment system with eight and four.Three-inch shows. The bigger, decrease unit can run Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, making it simple to make use of your smartphone’s myriad features on the transfer. Premium trim provides a sunroof, leather-based upholstery, sat-nav and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Subaru’s EyeSight driver help and security expertise is commonplace, working by way of a trio of cameras within the XV’s windscreen – a system that helped the XV to realize a five-star score from Euro NCAP in 2017. Every of its on-board programs works properly in observe; adaptive cruise is intuitive to make use of, lane-keep help refined in its operation, and the automated emergency braking system – examined utilizing reassuringly tender obstacles – can deliver the automotive to a gradual cease ought to the driving force fail to brake for a stationary automotive in entrance. The system provides a warning earlier than it intervenes and proved intelligent sufficient to differentiate between stable, harmful obstacles and customary off-road options throughout our check – one thing the XV is greater than able to tackling, not like so a lot of its rivals.
The e-Boxer’s electrical motor is used to assist bolster the XV’s spectacular off-road capability, delivering additional low-down torque when ‘X-Mode’ is chosen by way of a rotary dial on the centre console. Mixed with Subaru’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the system makes brief work of steep inclines and descents, shuffling energy between the pushed wheels on the way in which up and stopping a lack of management on the way in which down. Our check additionally integrated a lean check – the XV can tip as much as 30 levels – and plenty of kilometres of Latvian gravel and sand tracks; even at larger speeds and on highway tyres, the XV feels planted and safe.
The XV’s powertrain will not be completely typical, and its CVT gearbox would be the greatest stumbling block to these not used to the expertise. Subaru has engineered in steps within the transmission, however giant throttle inputs are nonetheless accompanied by a flare in revs that doesn’t fairly match the automotive’s ahead progress; there’s extra torque and throttle response than you’ll discover in the usual inside combustion fashions, however straight-line efficiency is ample moderately than spectacular.
Low velocity driving is a really comfy expertise, nevertheless. Beneath mild throttle hundreds at low speeds, the e-Boxer drivetrain sticks with all-electric energy – nice for crawling in site visitors jams or making emissions-free progress in 20mph zones. Not like some rival programs, it’s simple sufficient to remain inside this window by being cautious together with your proper foot – though the engine will kick in to start out charging the battery after a mile or so.
The petrol engine mechanically assists (and expenses the battery) above 25mph, earlier than taking up utterly at motorway speeds; the system additionally recharges its battery when the automotive is coasting or braking. Subaru says it has labored to enhance pedal really feel throughout the regen course of – in observe the brakes really feel linear and pure however don’t supply a lot chew on the prime of the pedal’s journey.
Elsewhere, the XV’s trip and dealing with steadiness is well-judged for this class of automotive. Physique roll is ably managed regardless of the automotive’s sizeable 220mm of floor clearance, the well-weighted steering feels exact, and the suspension is remarkably supple but composed, absorbing bumps each on and off-road with out getting off form. It’s not a pure driver’s automotive, however the XV e-Boxer’s low centre of gravity and well-judged set-up imply it handles properly.
Official gas financial system and emissions figures aren’t notably spectacular: the XV emits 149g/km of CO2 and solely manages 35.7mpg on the WLTP mixed cycle. Accepting comparatively poor gas financial system continues to be a sacrifice to be made when selecting the XV over its cheaper, extra environment friendly rivals.