The boot will accommodate up to 380 litres of cargo with the 60/40 split seats in place (which is a little mean)
Ride and Handling
You cannot expect the XV to handle like a hot hatch with its high centre of gravity, if pushed hard you will soon find its limitations, but it is not designed to be driven like that.
It is very happy on smooth ‘A’ roads, with a reasonable degree of comfort. On twisty ‘B’ roads you will have to take it a little slower, with evident body roll and pitching and not much feel from the electric power steering. On the motorway you will notice plenty of road and wind noise but with the radio on it is fine.
In summary the suspension can be a little crashy but overall the ride quality is good on good road-surfaces but it does not inspire spirited driving and watch out for potholes.
Off Road Use
Apart from the permanent four-wheel system the XV does not have a high/low ratio gearbox which means it can’t venture too far off road.
Our off road use was limited to green lanes and some tracks that lead to our home in Devon – which to be honest in the dry most two wheel drive cars would cope with.
Getting in and out is a fairly easy affair although in the front there is a high sill and the roof line is quite low.
The front seats have a lever recline which is pet hate of ours, it is difficult to get that perfect driving position, but I guess once in place it is ok, just don’t adjust it on the move.
The driving position is good - as is all round vision, although drivers may find looking through the tailgate over their shoulder at little difficult, at the rear there is privacy glass.
The seats feature utilitarian fabric on the ‘SE’ model, go for the ‘SE’ Lux if you want leather upholstery and satellite navigation.
Access to the rear is trouble-free and rear seat passengers should be happy as there is plenty of room in the back for three children, adults might find it more of a squash with more room in the Nissan QASHQAI.
The XV has a fair amount of storage space and cubby holes; with two cup holders, big door bins and a glove compartment.
The instrumentation is plain but functional as is the switchgear but nothing feels as though it is going to break off; there is a handy information screen on the fascia which displays fuel consumption, outside temperature, a clock, passenger airbag status and a reversing camera.
The headlights are Xenon on the dipped-beam – the headlights are auto-on as are the windscreen wipers you also benefit from dual-climate control and cruise control. Both the audio and cruise control functionality are accessible from the leather bound steering wheel.
There is a reversing camera, which makes parking fairly easy but our test car didn’t have parking sensors, either at the front or rear which would have been handy.
The boot opens on a hatchback principal with easy access in part thanks to there being no boot lip but it is quite shallow. The rear seats fold down on a 60:40 basis but they do not fold completely flat.
The Subaru XV has a foot print of 4450mm (l) x 1780mm (w) x 1615mm (h) – which compares to its close competitor the Nissan QASHQAI which is 4330mm (l) x 1780mm (w) x 1615 mm (h).
The boot will accommodate up to 380 litres of cargo with the 60/40 split seats in place (which is a little mean) with them down it will accommodate 1270 litres which compares to the Mitsubishi Outlander’s 410/860 litres.
The diesel model we tested can tow braked trailers up to the weight of 1600 kg – the kerb weight is 1415 kg.
In summary the Subaru XV is a practical, family/country pursuit’s orientated vehicle, the interior is a little bland and full of hard plastics but it is functional with contemporary exterior styling.