3 July 2020

Subaru XV e-Boxer Hybrid Car Review 2020

The day has finally come when we can say 'Subaru' and 'economical' in the same sentence...

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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020
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Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid 2020

It’s been a long time coming, but Subaru NZ has finally been able to introduce Subaru Hybrid technology to New Zealand after years of trying.

The Subaru XV itself is a great small SUV/crossover vehicle which demonstrates everything that the Subaru name is renowned for - being sporty, capable and safe. Until now though, Subaru have not generally been known for good fuel economy, but now you can get all the benefits of the XV whilst being kinder to the environment.

The new XV hybrid features e-Boxer power - a 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine linked via Motor Assist to a high voltage lithium ion battery - offering fuel economy benefits, particularly in congested city driving. XV Hybrid offers over 14% improvement in fuel efficiency over equivalent petrol variants in the urban cycle, and over 7% improvement in the combined cycle (when tested in accordance with Australian Design Rules ADR81/02).

The electric motor produces 12.3 kW of power and 66 Nm of torque, and is self-charging via kinetic energy captured by regenerative braking and coasting. The direct injection petrol engine, Motor Assist and battery combination produce smooth, linear and responsive acceleration.

The e-Boxer logic adjusts the power split between petrol and electric to match driving conditions and automatically changes between four modes: Motor Assist EV driving, Motor Assist electric (EV) & petrol engine driving, Petrol engine driving and Self-charging. You can also select between ‘Intelligent’ and ‘Sport’ modes using Subaru’s powertrain performance management system (SI-Drive).

Embrace the adventure with X-Mode

Subaru’s smooth and efficient Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is mated to the e-Boxer system for ultra-smooth power delivery and torque, and Motor Assist enhances the X-Mode off-road capability through better low speed torque control. X-Mode makes it easier for drivers to safely navigate bad roads, slippery surfaces and steep hills with just one switch, its status is indicated visually on the Multi-Function Display (MFD) screen.

When X-Mode is engaged at 40 km/h or less, status information is displayed on the MFD and instrument cluster, including Hill Descent Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control. X-Mode centralises control of the engine, electric motor, All-Wheel Drive, brakes and other critical components to help ensure safe driving even on poor surfaces.

The car looks almost indistinguishable from the petrol model apart from some e-Boxer badging and the exclusive stunning new colour option Lagoon Blue Pearl. Just the one model of the XV e-Boxer Hybrid is available at launch, priced from $42,490 (just $5k over the current petrol XV Sport).

Inside the cockpit

Three sources of information are available at a glance, including the 6.5-inch infotainment display, which is Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ compatible and features a digital radio (DAB+). The XV e-Boxer Hybrid also has a six speaker audio with effective steering wheel controls. A plush sport interior finished in charcoal coloured cloth, leather finish steering wheel and gear shift add to the pleasant view from the driver’s seat. The windscreen houses multiple cameras to assist through safety features like Subaru EyeSight and Vision Assist delivers.

The Drive

The drive is fairly smooth, but you definitely notice the CVT operation under acceleration as the revs crept up and held as more power was demanded, unlike some other Subaru models where you’re barely aware the vehicle even has a CVT.

Our testing mainly took place around Auckland, and so the best fuel economy results we achieved was 8.1ltrs/100km. Once you get out of the city and onto the motorway, Subaru claim you can achieve a 6.5L/100km combined figure, which is great for a car this size.

For a capable AWD that uses a little less fuel than your average Subaru, the XV e-Boxer hybrid is definitely one to try.

At a glance


Subaru XV Sport e-Boxer Hybrid


2.0-litre DOHC Direct Injection


From $42,490

ANCAP safety rating



110kW (12.3kW electric)


Seven-speed Linartronic CVT

Fuel economy

Combined 6.5L/100km

Towing capacity

650kg unbraked, 1,270 braked



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

345-litres (all seats up), 919-litres (all seats down)

Safety systems

  • ABS with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Pedestrian Alert
  • EyeSight driver assist package
  • Rear seat reminder and door lock
  • Vision Assist package
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Rear view camera
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