The compact 2019 Subaru XV crossover is back at Subaru, for a second generation improved in all respects. On the other hand, this one conforms less and less to the European standards, with a strongly reduced offer.
The XV, a crossover derived from the Impreza, naturally follows the movement initiated by the compact and is completely renewed on this second generation. If the overall silhouette remains quite similar, the underwear has been completely revised, with the adoption of a brand new platform. More rigid and light, it greatly improves the agility, comfort, and safety of this car.
Although the Crosstrek XV is currently the most sold model by Subaru in France, it is still a part of an international range, whose sales are mainly in Japan and North America. As the time has now come for line rationalization and cost reduction, supply has been significantly reduced. Thus, while the first generation left the choice between the gasoline engine and diesel but also between mechanical and automatic gearbox, the new 2019 Subaru XV now imposes gasoline as well as continuously variable transmission (CVT).
That Subaru now wants to do without diesel engines on its new models, like his fellow Toyota, this can be easily understood. On the other hand, it is truly surprising that the European market is deprived of a manual gearbox, when the American model Crosstreck has them in series, in a market more favorable to automatic gearboxes. Find the mistake.
Subaru XV price
Starting at € 27,990 with the small 1.6 engine, the new entry-level XV is more expensive than the previous model. Except that it is now equipped with the standard Lineartronic CVT box, which generated an additional cost of € 2,000 on its predecessor. In addition, the standard equipment is already well supplied on this first level Premium GPS, including the self-adaptive cruise control, anti-collision braking and maintenance assistance in the track (the three included in the system Eyesight) as well as dual-zone automatic climate control or navigation with an 8-inch screen.
The Luxury finish is charged € 2,000 more expensive and mainly adds leather upholstery and sunroof. Finally, the third and last Exclusive finish allows access to the 2.0 engine, differentiated only by 18-inch wheels and paddles on the steering wheel.
(€ 31,990). Of course, all versions have the AWD as standard.
The range is therefore extremely simple and it is not the options that will complicate the choice of the customer since the metallic paint is the only supplement possible (610 €). Unfortunately, this very good price to performance ratio is penalized by relatively high ecological penalties (1613 € for versions 1.6 and 3113 € for 2.0), because of the atmospheric engines used, rather greedy. This does not prevent it from being one of the cheapest 4×4 vehicles in the segment.
2019 Subaru XV Test Drive
In the first place, the installation aboard this new 2019 Subaru XV really surprises, as the presentation has progressed, with a modern style and quality finish in sharp progress. The start and the first meters traveled in the city also amazing, by the softness felt. Indeed, the four-cylinder gasoline flat emits virtually no vibration and is generally silent. That, as long as you do not rush it … Because as soon as you press the accelerator, you will remember that you have a CVT type automatic transmission with continuous variation.
We then hear the poor block 1.6 in an unpleasant noise, while the 115 ch without overeating struggling to bring with force this crossover more than 1 400kg. The performances are indeed very average (0 to 100 km / h in 13.9 s) while consumption climbs easily. On our test course combining city and country roads, we obtained an average of 8 l / 100 km (6.4 l / 100 km announced in the mixed cycle), without having really had a heavy foot. And if the block 2.0 and its 156 hp improve a little approval with better times and thus greater flexibility, his appetite is logically even higher.
With its atmospheric blocks and its CVT box imposed, the XV seems like, like his sister Impreza, scoop double punishment: a poor driving pleasure when you really ask the mechanics and performance and consumptions that seem to be 20 years delay. Suffice to say that regulars who remained loyal to Subaru for the relatively sporty, or at least pleasant of its cars, may be at their expense with this new generation of vehicles. Too bad, because for the rest, the XV has a road behavior of a very good level, offering both rigor and accuracy, while being generally comfortable.
Finally, Subaru’s expertise is fortunate in terms of off-road capabilities. With a really good ride height (22 cm against 18 cm on a Nissan Qashqai) and especially an all-wheel drive of great efficiency, the XV can get out of almost any pitfalls. As we have been able to test it, it is not afraid of the steepest slopes, nor the most tricky ruts, allowing moreover a few decent bridge crossings. And this, even with the snow and ice almost ubiquitous on our test site.
2019 Subaru XV Interior
The presentation has made great progress on the XV as the Impreza, including a more modern dashboard design but also a quality of finishing up. Colored topstitching or carbon-like veneers compensate for the few hard plastics still present. GPS navigation with an 8-inch screen is standard from the first level. By cons, the finish on the entourage of the screen could be further improved. The beautiful leather upholstery with contrasting stitching incorporates the standard equipment from the second finish and participates in the rather opulent atmosphere of this cabin. The rear seats offer generous space and two tall people will feel perfectly at home. On the other hand, the trunk shines less by its capacity of loading of 385 liters, a little just for the category.
Subaru XV Rivals
Although the XV ranks in the category of compact crossovers, it is very difficult to find direct competitors. By their equivalent size, the Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca or even Jeep Compass could be compared to this new Subaru. But on most models in this segment, the AWD is reserved for the highest finishes and the most powerful engines. Thus, a four-wheel drive gasoline Jeep Compass starts at € 37,250 with the 1.4 MultiAir 170 hp and Limited trim.
A Seat Ateca is however much more accessible in its version 1.4 TSI 150 4Drive Style finish, certainly less well equipped than the XV 2.0 Exclusive, but claiming “only” 29 600 €. However, it may be the Suzuki S-Cross that could ultimately be the fiercest competitor of the XV, offering the all-wheel drive on its two gasoline engines of 111 and 140 hp, from € 23,890. And despite its 16 cm shorter in length, the latter can display a larger trunk and offers almost as much space for rear passengers, while its small turbo engine associated with a mechanical gearbox offers better driving pleasure.
While the XV could have hit the heart of one of the most disputed segments currently, it will be confined to the role of a niche vehicle, because of a very limited supply and its CVT box imposed. And if in our market, Subaru currently relies more on loyalty than on the conquest to sell its models, it is not certain that the regulars of the brand find themselves with this new XV.
However, it has no shortage of assets, with road behavior in the high average of the segment, a rich equipment compared to posted fares and off-road capacity above the average. This 2019 Subaru XV, therefore, represents an attractive offer at first, but which requires making sacrifices, drawing a line on the pleasure of driving while revising upward its fuel budget.