The little man for the big things

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The little man for the big things-little

The little man for the big things-little

The little man for the big things-little

The little man for the big things-things

The XV is going to be electrified: the compact SUV is now available with an e-boxer.

GU

The little man for the big things

The XV does not want to be a lifestyle SUV. Its strengths lie in the terrain.

The Subaru XV does not want to be a designer piece: its principles are functionality, practicality and off-road capability. But the compact SUV can meet them?

For the first time there is the XV with Subaru’s “e-Boxer” hybrid drive. An electric motor delivers up to 16.7 hp and 66 Nm if required. It is integrated into the continuously variable transmission, and the compact 0.6 kWh battery is installed in the rear. The combined consumption is given as 7.9 l/100 km, in the test it was just under 8.2 l/100 km.

The continuously variable transmission spoils the driving pleasure

The center of gravity is very low thanks to the flat boxer engine. So the high-legged compact is surprisingly good on the road. Apart from that, however, long-distance is not one of its strengths. Despite its 150hp, which the XV has in the top version “2.0i”, the car seems a bit underpowered when accelerating, which is mainly due to the continuously variable automatic transmission: the engine is kept roaring at one speed while the XV starts moving. What is hardly noticeable in city driving quickly becomes annoying when driving on the freeway. After all, a lane departure warning system, which unfortunately sometimes reacts late, comes as standard together with adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assistant – that’s commendable.

The XV is at home off-road

The XV reveals its true strengths off-road. It’s not one of those SUVs that are ostensibly made for the “big city jungle”, quite the opposite. The permanent symmetrical four-wheel drive and the very well-tuned chassis ensure optimal progress in the field. 220mm ground clearance and the short wheelbase of only 2.7m make the small boxer suitable for off-road use. The active power distribution of the 4×4 system works excellently even on steep slopes, and if you go downhill again on the other side, the hill descent control supports you gently and safely in “X-Mode” with small braking interventions. The motor also seems to have changed in off-road mode: if you are still bothered by the slightly delayed start-up in the city, the power delivery from the boxer and electric motor is pleasantly direct and finely adjustable.

The XV also makes it clear what it was created for in other respects: wide plastic covers on the fenders protect the paintwork from stone chipping after driving in the mud.

The equipment also shows that the XV is more about “existence” than “appearance”. Although numerous driving assistants are available on request for a small surcharge, the front passenger seat cannot be electrically operated, even in the “Luxury” version tested adjust.

The base price for the 2.0i e-Boxer is 36,500 francs, but for less than 4,000 francs more you get the full equipment. Nevertheless, you don’t get a lifestyle SUV here either: the XV wants to be moved off-road. There is his home.

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