Subaru is ready to take the fight to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 after revealing its new XV crossover.
The car is designed to broaden the brand’s appeal and move away from traditional performance models like the WRX STi. Subaru hopes the newcomer – along with the new BRZ coupe, sister car to the Toyota FT-86 – will help to more than double sales in the UK over the next few years.
The XV’s chunky styling reflects the company’s extensive four-wheel-drive pedigree, and sticks closely to the concept that debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show in April.
The wide trapezoidal grille and ‘hawk-eye’ headlights are both hints at Subaru’s latest family look, while the plastic undertray, roof rails and high wheelarches all emphasise the four-wheel-drive-only XV’s off-road ability. Inside, bosses have made a concerted effort to improve the design and quality – often a weak point of other Subarus.
There’s a simple dashboard layout, with three central knobs for the climate control. Higher-spec cars will come with a 4.3-inch colour screen; this will show key driver information, and monitor features like the ‘eco driving’ mode. It will also indicate which wheel the ESP is having an effect on in slippery conditions.
Three engines will be available when order books open in January – all four-cylinders arranged in Subaru’s familiar boxer layout.
Petrol fans can choose between 1.6 or 2.0-litre engines, but both will be equipped with a new stop-start system that Subaru promises can restart more quickly than rival systems.
The diesel is the same as that fitted to the facelifted Forester, and comes with 148bhp and 350Nm of torque. Plus, a variety of mechanical tweaks to the internals means this engine will be seven per cent more efficient than before.
Subaru has yet to release official fuel consumption figures and final prices for the XV. But it’s expected to undercut rivals like the X1 and Q3, with the range starting from around £23,000 for the base petrol model.