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Subaru revamps XV with more kit, new hybrid

Subaru doubles down on XV Hybrid range and adds more gear to petrols

22 Oct 2020

SUBARU has treated its XV compact SUV to a mid-life update ahead of the 2021 model year, one that ushers in new styling, more tech, revised suspension and the addition of a second hybrid offering.


Priced from $29,690 plus on-roads, the entry price into the XV range has risen by $450 for the base model 2.0i, largely setting the trend for the rest of the range with all prices rising by between $380 and $1170 depending on the variant.


New features across the range irrespective of variant includes two SI-Drive modes (Intelligent and Sport) as in the related Impreza, redesigned front suspension springs and optimised damping, redesigned variant-specific alloy wheels, tweaked front bumper and radiator grille designs and some new colourways.


Beyond these range-wise changes however, each variant scores its own list of new goodies and unsurprisingly, the lists get bigger the further up the range you go.


At the bottom of the range, the aforementioned 2.0i picks up power folding door mirrors for the 2021 model year and that is it – everything stays the same as before.


On the topic of as you were, the second-tier 2.0-L’s ($31,990) standard equipment list goes completely unchanged for 2021 save for the changes mentioned above.


Sitting above the 2.0-L is the $34,590 2.0i Premium, which for 2021 gains Subaru’s Vision Assist suite – blind spot monitor, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, front-view monitor – and heated door mirrors.


Once again topping out the petrol range is the 2.0i-S ($37,290) of which the biggest news is the inclusion of the two-mode X-Mode off-road system.


On top of that, the petrol flagship also gains a dual memory driver’s seat, Vision Assist featuring a front and side-view monitor, gloss black climate control panel, stitched multi-function display visor, auto dipping passenger side door mirror and auto power-folding door mirrors with memory function.


All petrol XVs are powered by the same 2.0-litre flat-four ‘Boxer’ petrol engine which has been left untouched in the update, resulting in all variants sharing the familiar 115kW/196Nm outputs with power sent to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).


As for the hybrid range, Subaru has opted to restructure the now two-variant line-up to align with the petrol versions in terms of nameplates.


Priced from $35,490, the Hybrid L kicks things off and will wade into the small SUV market boasting SI-Drive, X-Mode, Eyesight driver assist, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, DAB+ digital radio, rain-sensing wipers, premium cloth seat trim, single-zone climate control, leather steering wheel and gear shift, puncture repair kit, 17-inch alloy wheels, dusk-sensing headlights, LED foglights, power-folding door mirrors with indicators, silver front and side under guards and updated e-boxer badges as standard.


Paired with the SI-Drive system – exclusive to the hybrids – is a new feature dubbed ‘e-Active Shift Control’ which for all intents and purposes elevates the sportiness of the transmission when in Sport mode.


According to Subaru, the system activates and deactivates automatically based on throttle position and measurements taken by the G-meter.


When sporty driving is detected, the system will ‘down shift’ the CVT to increase the engine revs for better cornering stability and a faster corner exit – essentially mimicking what a spirited driver would do with a manual override.


Likewise, the system will also raise the engine revs when going downhill to utilise engine braking rather than the driver needing to constantly modulate the brakes themselves.


In addition to everything listed as standard on the L, the $40,790 Hybrid S ups the ante with the two-mode X-Drive system, Vision Assist, satellite navigation, leather-accented seat trim, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with dual memory, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, sports pedals, dual-zone climate control, stitched multi-function display visor, premium interior accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling, dusk-sensing LED headlights with steering response, LED daytime running lights, auto-dipping passenger side door mirror, auto power-folding door mirrors with memory function and an electric sunroof.


Motivating the green XVs is a slightly detuned version of the 2.0-litre mill found in the regular models (110kW/196Nm) although in this instance it has been paired with a 12.3kW/66Nm electric motor.


Subaru Australia general manager Blair Read said the new update had added even more features to the “already feature-packed” XV.


“We are also delighted to offer additional choice within the XV Hybrid range, which has drawn considerable interest from both existing Subaru owners and prospects since the initial variant launched early this year,” he said.


“Certainly, these latest changes demonstrate our commitment to offering greater choice within our respective ranges, while adding features that can enhance everything from efficiency to responsiveness and safety – underlining our common theme of driving fun.”


Subaru Australia has shifted 5991 new XVs so far this year ending September, accounting for a solid 9.0 per cent of the increasingly crowded and popular sub-$40,000 compact SUV market.


2021 Subaru XV pricing*

2.0i (a) $29,690
2.0i-L (a) $31,990
2.0i Premium (a) $34,590
2.0i-S (a) $37,290
Hybrid L (a) $35,490
Hybrid S (a) $40,790

*Excludes on-road costs

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