First shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the XV again rides on the same platform as the Impreza, albeit in this case the brand's new Global Platform architecture, with the not-for-South Africa Impreza hatch once more serving as a base.
Measuring 15 mm in overall length and 20 mm in width more than the previous XV, the newcomer boasts a ground clearance of 220 mm with an improved suspension, recalibrated electric power steering and reduction in body roll by some 50%. In addition, torsion rigidity has been improved by 70%.
Aesthetically, the XV becomes first crossover to feature Subaru's Dynamic x Solid styling language, with changes consisting of a new hexagonal shaped grille, hawk-eye headlights, new taillights, a choice of 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels and black cladding on the bumpers and around the wheel arches. Two new colours have also been added in the form of Cool Grey Khaki and Sunshine Orange.
Befitting its Impreza origins, the interior has been extensively redesigned with a mix of black and silver finishes and in the case of the top spec ES, a new eight-inch StarLink infotainment display incorporating TomTom satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Siri Eyes.
In terms of new creature comforts, the XV now features one-touch electric windows all around, keyless entry, push-button start and a tilt/slide electric sunroof on the ES, with safety tech consisting of steering sensitive LED headlights, Rear and Side Vehicle Detection and Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assistance system made up of Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Reverse Automatic Braking and Active Torque Vectoring.
Underneath the bonnet, the XV again mirrors the Impreza in being offered only with Subaru's new lighter, by 12 kg, 2.0-litre FB Boxer engine developing 115 kW and 196 Nm, with an equally lighter (-7.8 kg) new CVT sending power to all four wheels via the brand's rally derived Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system. An X-Mode system with Hill Decent Control for more strenuous off-road use is standard.
Available in base and ES trim levels, the XV features a new five year / 150 000 km warranty and three year / 75 000 km full maintenance plan as standard with respective asking prices of R385 000 and R439 000.