Subaru XV (2016)
Subaru has announced details of a series of upgrades to the XV compact crossover, designed to refresh the car's exterior styling, raise cabin quality and improve refinement. In spite of the range of upgrades across the full model line-up, pricing for the Subaru XV is unchanged for the 2016 model, which went on sale across the UK from £21,995 (OTR).
Since its introduction in 2012, the Subaru XV has stood out in its sector with Subaru's legendary permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard. The XV boasts higher ground clearance than most rivals and is among the lightest vehicles in the compact crossover segment, aiding the car's genuine off-road ability. Its centre of gravity and low-mounted four cylinder Boxer engines make it one of the most agile compact crossovers on the market.
Updates to the 2016 model follow hot on the heels of a range of upgrades made in 2015 which included a raft of suspension modifications and a quicker more direct steering rack, resulting in more engaging and assured handling and smoother ride.
Higher-quality cabin with new connected infotainment system
Among the most important changes to the upgraded XV is an upgraded interior, finished in higher quality materials and featuring Subaru's new factory-fit 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system. Changes include the adoption of new metallic and piano black trim as well as new contrast stitching throughout the cabin. The driver's TFT LCD instrument binnacle has also been redesigned, now emitting a soft, contemporary blue glow.
The overall result of these changes is a cosseting ambience with a higher-quality, more modern look and feel.
Subaru's all-new 7.0-inch touchscreen display allows smartphone-style control of the advanced navigation and infotainment features, with a swipe and pinch control function for map displays. Consistent with other updates to the cabin, the infotainment system echoes the new blue glow of the driver's instrument binnacle. The infotainment system houses a standard-fit rear view camera, offering a super-wide 160-degree field of view behind the car when reversing.
Other functions of the car - such as changing navigation settings or adjusting the power or temperature of the climate control - can be controlled though the company's latest-generation voice control facility, allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road ahead. The system also enables Apple iPhone users to activate Siri® Eyes-Free functionality, providing full voice control of their iOS mobile device when linked with the new infotainment system.
The smartphone functionality extends to a range of apps, which pair users' mobile devices with the vehicle via Subaru StarLink, making the XV one of the most connected cars on the road. StarLink enables occupants to display weather forecasts and traffic reports, access wireless audio, receive the latest news updates and check their calendar while on the move.
The 2016 Subaru XV is fitted with an extra USB port in the front of the cabin, allowing passengers to listen to music from one USB device while charging another at the same time, reflecting the evolving needs of today's motorists.
Lower running costs and improvements to fuel efficiency
The upgraded Subaru XV continues to offer UK buyers a choice of two horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder Boxer engines - a 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel - and two transmissions (six-speed manual and six-speed CVT automatic). For 2016, both engines in the XV line-up offer improved fuel economy over the existing model.
The 2.0-litre turbodiesel, equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, features a range of updates and longer gear ratios to improve fuel efficiency by 4%. The modified engine - which still produces 147 PS and 350 Nm of torque - achieves 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions fall from 146 to 141 g/km, placing the car in a lower BIK tax band (25% for 2016/17). In spite of the longer gear ratios, driveability hasn't been compromised, with the car still able to accelerate from 0-to-62 mph in 9.3 seconds.
Subaru has also introduced a series of updates to the 150 PS 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine which produces 196 Nm of torque. Fuel efficiency increases by 2% to a combined average of 43.5 mpg when equipped with Subaru's smooth-shifting Lineartronic transmission (CVT) and emissions fall to 151 g/km. Longer gear ratios for models fitted with the six-speed manual transmission promote greater efficiency at motorway speeds.
Rugged appeal: modernised exterior styling and new paint finishes
As part of the updates for 2016, Subaru has revised elements of the XV's exterior styling to further enhance the cars rugged appeal. Subaru's signature identity can be found in the upgraded 'face' of the XV, which now features updated 'hawk-eye' headlights and a redesigned front grille and bumper.
At the rear, the 2016 Subaru XV features a discreet new boot spoiler and LED combination lamps. A stylish new black and silver diamond cut aluminium alloy wheel design completes the revised exterior.
Two new colour options are available to UK buyers: Hyper Blue and Dark Blue Metallic.