10 February 2021

Subaru XV 2021 Car Review

The Subaru XV is a fine example of the latest Subaru technology, style and handling all wrapped up in one colourful package, and it's not afraid to get dirty either!

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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021
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Subaru XV 2021

Boasting a very confident AWD drivetrain, highly regarded Lineartronic CVT transmission, and perfectly laid out cockpit, there’s not a lot missing in the Subaru XV.

Like the Impreza, the XV is built upon the new Subaru Global Platform which translates into positive handling, and a smoother, roomier ride as a result of extensive development to the body structure. Also aided by the Active Torque Vectoring system, which uses the VDC (vehicle dynamics control) system to gently apply the inside brakes when corning. This directs more drive torque to the outside wheels, which helps the SUV turn better and improves steering response and control. It sounds very technical but it all maximises vehicle safety and works seamlessly as part of the vehicles operation system.

What’s new?

The 2021 update to the Subaru XV benefits from several new tweaks, including new alloy wheels (17” Subaru XV/e-Boxer Hybrid, and 18” XV Premium). The front of the car has also been refreshed with new fog lights and a more stylish grill.

There’s also another hue available - Plasma Yellow Pear - which is bound to make a statement if that’s what you want. The XV and XV Premium retain their quintessential Subaru qualities, including an All-Wheel Drive and the 2.0-litre Boxer engine, however, they also gain from SI Drive (Subaru Intelligent Drive).

It’s an advanced engine management system with driver-selectable modes tailored to suit different conditions and moods. It is the perfect solution for those who want the best of both worlds, whether it’s a sporty response or economic fuel consumption.

Another feature new to all models is the auto door lock function. This feature automatically locks the front and rear doors once the Subaru XV begins moving. Once stopped and is placed in park, the doors auto unlock again.

Premium models also now receive front and side view cameras, along with auto dipping side mirrors and, if things get slippery, the new dual function X-Mode can tackle deep snow and mud.

Safety first

The Subaru XV’s mid-life updates should ensure this model continues to appeal with a more enticing design.

The interior cockpit is very well laid out and you can never have too many informative screens! The steering wheel controls were very easy to access and not too complex to understand. Subaru EyeSight® is a fantastic safety feature that now includes Lane Keep Assist, which guides the cars steering to keep you in your lane. Another interesting feature added to the Premium model is Reverse Automatic Braking. In a nutshell this system uses the vehicles reversing sensors to spot any potential hazards, and will panic stop when required. All of these safety enhancements helps the XV achieve a 5-star ANCAP rating.

There is 310-litres of well-placed cargo storage with all of the seats up, which you’d normally find in a hatch-sized car. If the seats are dropped down things improved significantly at 765 litres.

Entertainment in the cabin comes from an impressive 8.0-inch colour touchscreen that connects seamlessly to your smartphone allowing you to stream the music you love straight into the impressive sound system.

Two variants of the XV are available - Sport and Premium. The Premium model boasts 18 additional features over the sport such as 18” alloy wheels, sunroof, automatic headlights, power driver’s seat, and heated front seats, just to name a few.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is included, while the Premium picks up Satellite Navigation by TomTom featuring Traffic. This system gives real time traffic information while using navigation in New Zealand’s busiest cities such as Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton.


The Subaru XV is a well-priced choice for those looking for a small SUV. It’s fun to drive, has the ability to take you off the beaten track and is full of the latest safety features.

At a glance


Subaru XV Sport, Premium


2.0-litre DOHC Boxer


From $39,490

ANCAP safety rating



115kW, 196Nm


Seven-speed Linartronic CVT

Fuel economy

Combined 7.0L/100km

Towing capacity

650kg unbraked, 1,400kg braked



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

310-litres (all seats up), 765-litres (all seats down)

Safety systems

  • Seven airbags
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Rear view camera
  • Blind-spot detection, Rear cross traffic alert (Premium only)
  • Eye Sight

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