ALL-NEW SUBARU XV CROSSOVER A HIT!
Previewed to the public at the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) in October 2011, the all-new Subaru XV crossover has arrived in SA and all indications are that this new car is proving to be a hit. With the successful sell-out of the initial stocks within the first month of active sales (February 2012), this newcomer’s combination of sophisticated design, versatility and go-anywhere practicality is appealing to a segment that wants something trendy, stylish and also able to meet the requirements of an active lifestyle.
Like so many other new cars entering the market, the XV is very definitely a crossover vehicle – while it offers the practicality and athletic looks required of a vehicle in this segment, the all-new XV’s party piece is class-leading ground clearance of 220mm, which in combination with the signature Constant Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system and Boxer Engine layout, offers a driving experience that has been reserved for full-fledged, larger SUV’s.
The brand positioning for the new XV has evolved to align with the Brands’ core philosophy ( Confidence in Motion) to that of Confidence on all terrain – which sums up the XV’s personality perfectly – because it’s the ideal car in which to explore and enjoy city life. Young-at-heart trendsetters want a stylish vehicle in which to cruise the boulevards; and the XV certainly fits the bill in this regard. Furthermore, they desire a car that boasts superior driving dynamics – and, once again, the sporty XV certainly does not fail to deliver.
One of the car’s most obvious features is its sleek yet muscular exterior; its powerful design blends a uniquely Subaru profile with a sporty, energetic overall presence.
The XV features a number of typical Subaru design traits – such as the grill and headlights, for instance. The front grille features a hexagonal design – one of the hallmarks of Subaru vehicles. With a bold look reminiscent of the eyes of a hawk, the headlights (which are HID Xenon units) provide outstanding illumination. The fog lamps blend seamlessly into the front bumper.
The XV’s innovatively designed 17” dual tone aluminium wheels convey a real sense of depth while remaining fashionably urban. Thanks to the contrast between the silver spokes and black surrounds, the vehicle portrays a different impression when moving and when stationary. Rounding things off are the body cladding on the sides of the car.
But the car doesn’t only look good; it’s practical too. For instance, the doors open wider than ever before to ease entry and egress. There are also ladder-type roof rails finished in silver with black accents that highlight the practical nature of the car.
The distance between the floor and the top of the side sill has also been reduced, meaning that the driver and passengers do not have to lift their legs as high as before when entering or leaving the vehicle.
The corners of the front and rear bumpers have been redesigned to enhance the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. Naturally, this contributes to better fuel efficiency.
The XV comes in a particularly striking new colour called Tangerine Orange Pearl. It is also available in Satin White Pearl, Obsidian Black Pearl, Camellia Red Pearl, Ice Silver and Deep Cherry Pearl.
The interior is both roomy and luxurious; experts agree that the XV’s interior is one of the most stylish to ever emerge from the Subaru stable.
It’s also surprisingly spacious. The designers did not want to increase the length of the vehicle too much; the XV is intended to be a maneuverable, nippy city car. Instead, they moved the A-pillars forward, increasing interior space in this manner. As a result, there is considerably more knee room for rear-seat occupants, who can now also place their feet inside the large open areas underneath the front seats. Thanks to these enhancements, the new XV has more rear-seat knee room than any other vehicle in its class.
There is more shoulder and elbowroom than before, thanks to improvements in the internal structure of the doors. Once again, the XV is best in class in this area.
In typical Subaru fashion, all-round visibility is nothing short of superb. This was bolstered by the inclusion of triangular windows in front of the rear-view mirrors. The rear-view mirrors are now mounted on the front doors and they have also increased in size by 20% to improve rearward visibility.
The cargo area, which has been completely redesigned, is considerably more spacious and accessible. There is a sunroof fitted as standard with both tilt and slide options – structural reinforcing has been added to ensure that the roof maintains the same level of integrity as that of a normal roof.
Like so many other features in the XV, the seats are completely new. The front seats feature a higher hip point, and the driver’s seat comes with height adjustment. Not only can the headrests be raised and lowered; now they also feature a tilt adjustment mechanism. The backrests have been raised to provide more support. The cushions now feature a low resilience urethane, which absorbs small vibrations. Leather is an option along with XV logo stitching on the seatback.
Thanks to the wheelbase having grown by 25mm, the rear seating area is much more spacious in the all-new XV. Notable improvements regarding rear accommodation include the concave surfaces at the back of the front seats and larger open areas underneath them; both of which improve comfort for passengers in the rear seat. A multitude of storage areas can be found throughout the cabin.
The XV boasts an advanced information and entertainment system. The high-grade Multi-Function Display (MFD) provides the driver and passengers with a host of information such as the usual time, temperature and fuel consumption information but also a new, innovative drivetrain layout that gives the status of each wheel and the direction of the front wheels. This information allows the driver to know exactly what the car is doing whether in an urban environment or in an off-road situation. A reverse camera is standard on both models. A further plus is the ability to set reminders for things like birthdays, anniversaries and service intervals using the MFD interface.
This audio system features improved audio quality and a new speaker configuration (6 in total) for surround sound quality. It is compatible with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectable devices. A Satnav replacement unit is an option, further enhancing the entertainment experience.
A large LCD monitor provides important at-a-glance information, located in the centre of the instrument cluster. Speaking of instrumentation, the much-loved Subaru sweep has been retained.
While the interior is decidedly sporty, it also has a premium feel to it. For instance, the steering wheel and shift lever are covered in leather. The dashboard is now of the soft-touch variety enhancing not only the visual quality but the tactile quality as well. The controls for the MFD, audio, Bluetooth and cruise control have all been ergonomically placed on the steering wheel.
The air-conditioning system incorporates a new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant while additional insulating material has been added to the engine compartment to reduce the amount of heat entering the cabin. This also reduces the load placed on the air-conditioning system, particularly when the engine is idling, thereby improving fuel efficiency. The front passengers can independently adjust the required temperature as the system is now dual zone, operated by dials that are not only easy to use but also feature indirect lighting for improved night-time visibility. The MFD shows the climate control status for safe and easy viewing whilst driving.
ECONOMICAL YET POWERFUL ENGINE
The XV is powered by a 2,0-litre four-cylinder DOHC petrol engine, which delivers class-leading fuel efficiency. This highly responsive powerplant, which boasts lots of low-down torque, delivers 110 kW of power at 6 200 r/min and 196 Nm of torque at 4 200 r/min.
This engine is part of the new FB range of engines, which also powers the revised Forester. This new powerplant line-up retains Subaru’s proven benefits of the horizontally-opposed engine while enhancing fuel efficiency (fuel economy is 10% better than before).
The new engine incorporates a number of significant design features, including a more compact combustion chamber, enhanced intake ports and valves, optimised injector positions and lighter pistons and connecting rods. Friction was reduced by overhauling the cooling system and by adding roller rockers to the moving valve train system.
Subaru’s engineers achieved a longer stroke while maintaining the same overall engine width as the previous engine, by modifying the layout of the valve driving system and its drive mechanism, and redesigning the cylinder block and cylinder head mechanism.
A Cooled EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) function has been added to the water pipe, which means that a larger amount of gas is redirected. This reduces pumping losses and improves fuel efficiency. The adoption of roller rockers for the valve operating system has led to improvements in terms of both friction and fuel efficiency.
The new engine employs a chain type cam drive, which allows for a maintenance-free compact design. The use of a chain system has also permitted a size reduction for the crank and cam sprocket, which contributes to limiting enlargement of the total width. The adoption of high-strength chains contributes to reduced friction.
The 2,0-litre Boxer petrol engine is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or Lineartronic CVT. Based on the six-speed manual transmission as equipped in the Legacy, its gear ratios have been adapted so that newly-developed FB engine can handle urban driving conditions as easily as high-speed motorway travel. The CVT model comes with paddle type shifters on either side of the steering wheel allowing for greater control in manual mode.
The XV has an independent strut suspension up front, which has been completely redesigned to improve driving comfort and handling. For instance, it includes new valves, which ensure rapid damping control and provide better overall responsiveness. A rebound spring has been added to the front strut, and body roll has been reduced as a result while stability has been improved.
At the rear, the XV has independent double-wishbone suspension, which has also been redesigned to offer better overall responsiveness, improved straight line stability, enhanced occupant comfort and a stiffer chassis.
The XV features disc brakes all round. A spring-type pad return mechanism was added to front-brake pads in order to reduce friction as a result of brake drag, contributing to better fuel efficiency.
OUSTANDING SAFETY FEATURES
Subaru has long been famous for engineering safety into its vehicles –the new XV is no exception to this rule – its safety credentials are nothing short of exemplary, having achieved 5 Star safety ratings for both ANCAP and EURO NCAP.
A number of features help to prevent an accident happening in the first place – active safety features include outstanding all-round visibility, a full airbag compliment and the Constant Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system. Subaru’s legendary Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system is, of course, standard – as is ABS with EBD and BAS.
Despite the vehicle’s full arsenal of active safety features, accidents can still happen – and that’s when the XV’s passive safety features come into play. The XV is vastly improved in this regard; for instance, the toe board has been thickened for greater strength to protect against the rearward movement of the pedal in a case of collision. A reinforcing member has been added at the base of the A-pillar to strengthen the joint between the pillar and the upper frame. This ensures that impact energy produced by a frontal collision is efficiently passed from the frame to the pillar.
There is a new double-beam structure for the rear-door beam, which helps to limiting panel deformation around the outer-door handle in the event of a side collision.
The seats have been redesigned to limit the severity of neck injuries and minimize whiplash through improved torso and head support in the event of a collision.
The airbags have been improved – a collision is detected faster while the passenger-seat SRS airbag now has a fold in its centre. This means that the neck of the passenger is exposed to less impact force upon deployment – but safety is in no way compromised. A driver’s seat knee airbag has been included. There are 7 airbags in total.
TECHNOLOGY TO THE FORE
In inimitable Subaru fashion, the new XV boasts an arsenal of leading-edge technology – not least of which are the Constant Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system and advanced Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept.
Thanks to these two core Subaru technologies, the XV feels incredibly safe and stable out on the road. In keeping with the Subaru credo of offering “Confidence in Motion”, the new XV is as sure-footed as a mountain goat (but a whole lot prettier).
The new Subaru XV Crossover is now on sale countrywide, with pricing on the models as follows:
XV 2.0 Manual: R329,000
XV 2.0 CVT: R339,000
Included in the price are the Full Maintenance Plan of 3Yrs/75,000kms and Warranty of 3Yrs/100,000kms. Service intervals are every 15,000kms.