On the last Bank Holiday weekend I was given the new Subaru XV 2.0D for an extended test-drive from Unity Subaru in Peterborough. I have to admit that Subaru are a brand which I have never really considered or even followed before. For me Subaru has always been the car which has passed me at speed with a throaty roar with the likes of the Impreza and the WRX, I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t looked any further to their other models.
At first sight I didn’t feel the XV was the prettiest car around but that could also have been the sign-writing all over it, I really quite liked the XV in Satin White and Tangerine Orange Pearl, those colours mixed with the strong lines, 17inch aluminium two-tone wheels and the flared wheel arches gave it a sporty feel. Stepping into the vehicle the cockpit was functional and easy to navigate but lacking in luxury. I found the multi-function display a little too busy with information for me but I’m fully aware that for some people this level of information would be their ideal. Scrolling through the screens using the multi-function steering wheel I did find a display I was happier with which was far easier to read. The XV had all the mod cons you would want from a vehicle in today’s market including cruise control, bluetooth (hands-free) calling, front heated seats, enhanced rear vision camera for reverse parking and aux/usb ports which link up to the 6 or 4 speaker premium audio system.
In the driving seat I felt comfortable and well supported by the firm seats with plenty of space for legs and elbows. Looking into the rear seat I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough room for two car seats and Curly too but I was proved wrong. He didn’t exactly have space to roll around but he did fit and he STILL managed to fall asleep so he must have been comfortable. The extended wheelbase also meant that Hubby and I didn’t have feet pushing into our backs every 5 minutes so that was definitely a winner for us. There are plenty of pockets and cubby holes too which is great for storing all of those bits and pieces that families just have to take EVERYWHERE with them.
Starting the engine my driving experience was about to begin. I managed to pull away from the forecourt without any kangaroo jumps and quickly felt very relaxed behind the wheel. The ride was extremely smooth and the steering much lighter than I expected. Initially I felt that the engine was lacking any oomph until it hit 2500rpm and then it sprang into life and delivered great performance and good handling at speed. The manual 6-speed gearbox did not have the smoothest transition but the overall drive was light and pleasurable. I felt in control at all times and most importantly safe on the road.
When looking at family cars there is one area which needs much consideration, safety is all important when carrying your most precious cargo. The Subaru XV is THE class leader in safety scoring a 5-Star Euro NCAP rating in 2011, that’s the highest possible for a motor vehicle. Subaru’s smart engineering, rigid construction and advanced technologies mean that you can drive with peace of mind that in the event of an accident the dangerous impact energy is directed away from everyone on board.
Safety features include:
- High tensile-strength steel has been integrated into critical areas of the body structure
- Ring-shaped reinforcement frames strengthen the passenger cabin from the roof to the doors, pillars and floor.
- Boxer engine and gearbox are designed to absorb impact and break away underneath the cabin for your protection
- Shock-absorbing space between bonnet and engine helps to reduce pedestrian injuries on impact, as do the energy-absorbing front bumper and specially designed area around the windscreen wipers
- Pretensioners on the height-adjustable front seatbelts hold passengers firmly in place
- Whiplash-reducing front seats and energy-absorbing head restraints will protect in the event of rear-end collision
- Rear seats are specifically designed for protection – the seating position has been moved back to reduce the effects of side impact
- Front, front-side, curtain and knee SRS airbags are standard
- Tether and ISO-FIX anchors are easily accessible and make it easy to install compatible child safety seats.
It’s always nice to drive a new car, especially when it’s a brand that I haven’t had any dealings with in the past as it means that it will be totally new to me. On the whole I was extremely impressed with the Subaru XV. As a Mum it had plenty of space to fit the whole family in, tons of leg room and a boot big enough to house my rather large buggy as well as a stack of shopping, all cleverly hidden by the retracting boot cover.
Over the weekend I managed to drive a fair few miles and I was very pleasantly surprised by the fuel economy. We averaged around 49.2MPG which was really good efficiency, far better than my car.
The longer time I spent behind the wheel the more I liked the car and when returning to my own car I couldn’t believe how heavy it felt in comparison, dare I say I actually missed the XV which I didn’t think I would.
Prices start at £21,295 OTR for the 1.6i S rising to £29,995 OTR for the 2.0D SE Lux Premium which for a smaller Sports SUV some might think is a little steep but as far as I am concerned you can’t put a price on safety and this car is safe with a capital ‘S’.
For the full technical data then click here to find out more.
When you’ve finished checking out the car, Subaru’s attempts to impress don’t end there. The Subaru ETC (Everything Taken Care Of) Program is the perfect Aftercare for people that live life. Things don’t always go to plan with cars (and life) so with Subaru ETC you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
Unity Subaru have a good name in Peterborough and a history of good customer service. They understand that a customer really needs to ‘drive’ a car before making the right decision and even have their own ‘off-road’ course where you can see what their AWD vehicles can really do.
- Monday:08:30:00 – 18:00:00
- Tuesday:08:30:00 – 18:00:00
- Wednesday:08:30:00 – 18:00:00
- Thursday:08:30:00 – 18:00:00
- Friday:08:30:00 – 18:00:00
- Saturday:08:30:00 – 17:00:00