The 2019 Subaru XV, the crossover that does nothing like everyone else, receives serious changes that benefit mainly from comfort and security. Can Japanese finally arouse the interest of the European public?
Like Mazda, BMW or Porsche, Subaru is a brand of purists. The Japanese manufacturer, a specialist in the flat engine and integral transmission, has built its reputation on efficient, reliable and highly versatile vehicles.
One of the main spearheads of Subaru, alongside the Impreza, is undoubtedly the XV, its declining crossover. Launched at the end of 2012, he was perfectly integrated into the American landscape with nearly 700 000 copies sold since its inception. In other words, the whole opposite of Europe where the XV, due to its special architecture (4 cylinders with flat petrol and full transmission) and the important ecological malus suffered, has not ever succeeded in drilling (40 000 copies since 2012).
This second generation takes the main lines of its predecessor but significantly improves the recipe. Indeed, the XV is the second model of the brand to benefit from the new global platform which will be declined over the entire range until 2028. This new chassis, in addition to receiving hybrid motors and 100% electric, is equipped with the “EyeSight” system which has enabled it to win the safest car title of Japan this year. In Europe too, the 2019 Subaru XV has won 5 stars at the crash test EuroNcap thanks to its very good level of active and passive safety.
If outwardly, it keeps its physique halfway between a high break and a crossover, the interior presentation, it, evolves. Indeed, the perceived quality (leathers and plastics) leaps forward, even surpasses some of its compatriots (Nissan Qashqaï and Suzuki Satara), and now sticks to European standards. This second generation is also taking advantage of its connectivity lag with the integration of Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto in the multimedia system. To live, it is not the best but not the least gifted either, with sufficient space to the rear seats to offer a comfort worthy of the name and a volume of the chest in the low average of the category (380 liters).
Its engine, the 4-cylinder atmospheric flat, more commonly known as “Boxer”, has also been revised. It lightens a dozen kilos and is marketed in here under two levels of power: 1.6 of 114 hp and 2.0 156 ea. The integral transmission, the other specialty of Subaru, maintains a 60/40 distribution on the front and rear gears and wins standard X-Mode driving assistance specifically dedicated to offroad. This marriage added to a raised ground guard (22 cm) and specific protections, testifies that the XV does not pretend. On paper, Therefore, the Japanese has the arguments to seduce those who seek great versatility, unfortunately, the construction of its range for Europe and especially here risks seriously curbing its ambitions. Firstly, on 1 January 2018, the 2019 Subaru XV will have at least a malus of 1 613 € on the 1.6 (145 g CO2/km) and 3 113 € on the 2.0 (155 g CO2/km) which represent the core range. Finally, both engines will be offered exclusively with the CVT “Auto” box, the mechanical box disappearing from the catalog.
2019 Subaru XV Driving: comfortable everywhere
It is above all the conduct that the 2019 Subaru XV stands out from the competition. Unlike its traditional competitors, the Nissan Qashqaï or the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Japanese offer real-field skills. Mainly thanks to its excellent and efficient integral transmission that takes it absolutely everywhere. Snow, ice, rut, Bridge Crossing, Ford Crossing, it performs extreme stresses in the manner of a true Wrangler or defender type Adventurer. Is it only limit? Its angles of attack, ventral and leakage, less important than those of a 4×4 pure and hard.
The transmission control system perfectly doses the torque on the wheels that have the most grip to bring more traction. Thus, the XV, if fitted with suitable tires, adapts to all conditions such as oily mud, snow or frozen roads. The X-Mode driving aid is operational under the 40 km/h. It targets its action on the brakes, the management of the box and that of the engine. When a pitfall is present, it is enough to switch on this mode and the XV takes care of everything.
On the road, the Japanese also progresses. The unreleased chassis with a stiffer 70%, improve the road behavior and particularly the control of the roll thanks to a new location of the stabilizing bars. The 2019 Subaru XV does not become a reference on asphalt, especially with this direction which lacks precision and feeling, but its damping has made us particularly convinced. The rather flexible calibration allows the 2019 Subaru XV to absorb the big shocks without ever having the driver suspect something and thus guarantee an excellent level of comfort. Comfort as physical as auditory since soundproofing also has undergone some improvements. As a bonus to be versatile, the XV is an excellent traveler.
Our test on the snowy roads of Latvia allowed us to appreciate the experience of driving to the joysticks of a “Boxer”. The 4-cylinder flat tried here in its version 2.0 156 CH, presents a certain approval and punch to provide the XV with all the necessary resources. Unfortunately, to exploit these resources, it will be necessary to go through a CVT box called Lineartronic which really does not like to be heckled. The “Boxer” experience is also of a financial nature since this version, in addition to suffering a penalty of more than 3 000 € in our country displays an appetite at the pronounced pump which runs around 9 L/100 km average.
2019 Subaru XV Interior and Equipment
the range of the new Subaru XV 2019 is simple, competitive and consists of three levels of finish. The entry-level “Premium GPS”, available only with the 1.6, from 27 990 €, is already complete. It offers standard EyeSight driving assistance system with adaptive speed controller, anti-collision braking, and support for track maintenance, 8 ‘ ‘ touchscreen navigation with Apple CarPlay compatibility and Android Auto, X-mode system, Directional front headlights, keyless start, automatic bi-zone air conditioning or even 17-inch alloy rims.
The second level “luxury”, also available only with the 1.6 and sold from 29 990 €, adds the leather upholstery, the sunroof, the electric driver’s seat, the photochromic interior mirror, the detection of vehicles in blind spots and automatic traffic lights. The “Exclusive” premium, reserved for 2.0 and marketed 31 990 €, adds 18 ‘ ‘ rims and pallets to the steering wheel.
2019 Subaru XV Review; Conclusion
The 2019 Subaru XV takes advantage of the “EyeSight” Safety System series which includes the precollision braking system, the adaptive Speed controller, the management of the Pre-collision acceleration, the line crossing alert, the deviation alert of Trajectory and support in the track, detection of blind spots and a rear traffic alert system that signals to the driver any approaching vehicle.