Best cars & vans

Subaru XV - best small 4x4s

The XV's permanent 4WD system mean it can run rings around most other crossovers in the rough

Subaru XV front tracking

While the price might at first appear off-putting to anyone considering the Subaru XV against a Skoda Yeti, any requirement for serious mud-plugging with the family car could swing the balance in the Subaru’s favour. 

The XV is Subaru’s take on the trendy crossover class, but the firm’s engineers clearly didn’t want to compromise the brand’s legendary off-road capability in the name of fashion. The result is a slightly uncomfortable mix of funky design and styling, with suspension that will be too harsh and noisy for drivers coming straight out of premium hatchbacks. The interior too lacks the quality feel of many rivals, with cheap looking plastics spoiling the ambience.

But it’s still quite fun to drive, with direct steering and decent chassis control, and the petrol and diesel 2.0 ‘boxer’ engines are decent performers with reasonable economy. The optional CVT auto gearbox doesn’t add to the pleasure though, being noisy and feeling unresponsive. 

On the practicality front the Subaru XV is a little less roomy than a Qashqai, but still spacious enough for a typical family’s needs. So if you want to mix country living with a bit of crossover style, the XV could well fit the bill.

Recommended

Subaru XV SUV gets a facelift for 2021
Subaru XV
Subaru XV

Subaru XV SUV gets a facelift for 2021

Mid-cycle refresh for Subaru XV includes updated exterior styling and a few more driver assistance features
28 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers
Average speed camera
News

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers

UK drivers are in favour of average speed cameras on motorways despite the majority admitting to breaking 70mph limit
10 May 2021
Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5
Features

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke

Can the all-new Vauxhall Mokka make an impact in the small SUV market? We test it against the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke to find out
8 May 2021