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All-new Subaru XV – Tweaked and improved

Subaru sells the XV as a crossover, but it is really more like a car with SUV-like attributes. Similar in concept to Subaru’s Outback wagon, the smaller XV hatchback features an elevated ride height, an off-road-ready suspension and rugged looks. The Subaru XV also comes with a four-cylinder “boxer” engine mated to an available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). That combo delivers decent performance, solid fuel economy and a distinctive growl on acceleration that is characteristic of Subaru’s horizontally opposed engines. Add a nicely equipped passenger cabin and ample cargo capacity and you have a go-anywhere vehicle that should appeal to active outdoorsy types who find Subaru’s other offerings too pricey or thirsty. Subaru has launched an all-new version of the XV. For the first re-design since launch in 2012, XV will be built on the completely revamped Subaru Global Platform architecture, significantly enhancing the body and chassis rigidity and strength.



The all-new Subaru XV’s wide and low stance provides a sporty impression and adds to the Subaru family look, from the hexagonal grille to the hawk-eye headlights. The design flows from the grille through to the rear, providing a united scheme. The grille design and matte black cladding on the bumper elude to all-new Subaru XV’s rugged character and SUV functionality.

A character line runs from front wheel arch to rear shoulder and rises energetically; adding dynamism to the side profile. The extended wheel arches are finished off with matte black cladding. Subaru has smartly blended robust body cladding that surrounds the entire vehicle leaving you more confident to go wherever the adventure takes you.

The wide and low stance applied to the front design carries over to the rear combination lights. The shoulder silhouette with black roof spoiler are contrasted against the rugged matte black cladding on the rear bumper, playing up to all-new Subaru XV’s versatile character.

Newly designed alloy wheels embody the Subaru XV’s sporty, casual, and rugged character. A standout trait of the all-new Subaru XV is the 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels with black inlays and silver spokes. The centre hub of the wheel now boasts the Subaru Six-Star emblem in a clear cap. The wheel designs alone leave you in no doubt as to the Subaru XV’s all-terrain capability.


The all-new Subaru XV features a revamped version of the award-winning 2.0-litre Boxer 4-cylinder DOHC (Double Over Head Cam) petrol engine. This economical yet responsive unit boasts 113 kW (152 hp) of power and 196 Nm.

Mated to the revamped 2.0-litre engine is the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The transmission too has been revamped and now features a seven-speed manual mode.

A class-leading 220mm ground clearance, Constant Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive and advanced Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control leave you in no doubt that this Crossover is more capable than its 2WD rivals.

In addition to Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, all-new XV is equipped with X-MODE. X-MODE is designed to increase drivability by optimising integrated control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive system and brakes to provide additional control when tyres slip and lose traction on a slippery road surface, including when descending hills.


The all-new Subaru XV now boasts interior appointments more in line with its larger and more expensive siblings. The steering wheel has changed to match the one found on Legacy and Outback models with satellite controls for audio, voice recognition, cruise control and use of the Multi-mode trip computer. A new visual tweak of the wheel and dashboard and is matched with the addition of bold orange stitching into the rest of the interior. This youthful touch extends to the seat and headrest sides, the central and door armrests as well as the gear shifter boot giving the roomy interior a fresh appeal. The body-hugging seats have been revised for improved quality and feature grey trim to enhance XV’s character.

Subaru has re-introduced the silver paddle shifters on the steering wheel on the CVT models for easier use of the manual transmission mode. To enhance the previously silver palette on the doors, instrument panel and dashboard, the all-new Subaru XV is finished in high gloss black panels also more in line with other newer models in the range. Also awaiting Subaru XV drivers is a revised Entertainment interface. The interface now features an 8-inch touchscreen display. Offered as standard on the all-new Subaru XV is a variety of connectivity options including Bluetooth integration, USB and auxiliary ports.


Active safety features include Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Passive safety features include, a number of reinforced areas that protect against the rearward movement of the pedal in a case of collision. A full complement of seven airbags including a driver’s seat knee airbag are standard on the Subaru XV.



The off-road-ready all-new Subaru XV is worth a look if you are seeking versatility in a small package. The all-new XV also feels more carlike than most rivals do. That is because it really is a car, a Subaru Impreza wagon, to be precise, but with some beefed-up suspension components, a higher ride height and tougher-looking styling. Subaru Kenya, a division of ECTA (Kenya) Limited, are the franchise holders for the brand. They are located along Addis Ababa/Athi River and Mombasa Roads in Nairobi Kenya.


Value: 3

Presence: 2

Interior: 3

Styling: 3

Equipment: 3

Overall: 3


Quote: The all-new Subaru XV features a revamped version of the award-winning 2.0-litre Boxer 4-cylinder DOHC (Double Over Head Cam) petrol engine.

What we like    

  • Spacious seating
  • Generous standard features
  • Standard all-wheel drive

What we dislike

  • CVT transmission
  • Sluggish acceleration