The first-generation Subaru XV is a crossover that goes against the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR.
I first drove the Subaru XV in 2012 when the car came to Singapore and again when the facelifted model was introduced last year. With its vault-like build quality and rev-happy engine, the car left a positive impression.
The second-generation Subaru XV, with an all-new platform (shared with the current Impreza), eye-catching exterior colours and good interior finishing, is an excellent upgrade from its predecessor.
At the Taipei launch event, a carpark about the size of a soccer field was converted into a test- drive circuit.
While I did not have the chance to drive the new XV on Taipei's city streets to gauge the car's on-road behaviour, the makeshift circuit managed to highlight the XV's handling capability and overall refinement.
Paired with a continuously variable transmission, the XV's 2-litre 4-cylinder boxer engine allocates its 154bhp power and 196Nm torque to all four wheels in a seamless manner.
The XV displayed little body flex over different off-road surfaces, had good body control that belies the "high-hatchback" appearance and was accurate when changing direction. The steering's response was speedy too. The all-wheel- drive car also gave ample grip on the slippery sections of the circuit.
SPECS / SUBARU XV 2.0
Price: To be announced
Engine: 1,995cc 16-valve flat-4
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 154bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 196Nm at 4,000rpm
0-100kmh: 10.4 seconds
Top speed: 194kmh
Fuel consumption: 7.3 litres/100km (combined cycle)
Agent: Motor Image
Its composure was maintained even when executing evasive manoeuvres, making high-speed lane changes and charging through the slaloms. I could throw the car around with confidence.
The XV's cabin, like the styling, is pleasant. The dashboard's plastic is solid and the door panels have soft- touch leather trim. The orange stitching of the upholstery suits the outgoing character of the vehicle.
The new Subaru XV will come to Singapore in August.
•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.