2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

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After an unplanned leak by a Japanese magazine, the 2018 Subaru XV has finally been revealed at the on-going Geneva motor show. There’s nothing really surprising here, of course, as it’s essentially a jacked-up Impreza that we’re already familiar with. Still, it’s our first real look at the next-generation XV, an update to model that has been reasonably successful here in Malaysia.

2018 Subaru Xv Crosstrek First Drive

Looks wise, the new version has all the XV’s trademark SUV-inspired add-ons, namely matte black plastic cladding over the base Impreza. The second-generation model brings on more shapely headlights, a bolder grille and a set of bigger, chunkier, dual-tone wheels (now 18-inch items).

It’s now based on the new Subaru Global Platform, which promises enhanced safety, ride comfort and agility compared to the original 2012 model. The new platform is 70-100% more rigid than before, and the new XV manages to have a lower centre of gravity despite maintaining the same ground clearance of 220 mm. Rear stabilisers that are now directly mounted to the body also reduce body roll by 50%.

Inside, the entire dashboard is new, fully adapted from the latest Impreza. As before, the XV’s “active” character is emphasised by the use of bright orange contrast stitching and varying shades of grey throughout the cabin. Subaru claims that refinement has been significantly improved too, while an electronic parking brake takes over from the old XV’s handbrake unit.

2018 Subaru Xv Crosstrek First Drive

The steering wheel size has been reduced to for a more snappy feel, to go along with the quicker steering ratio (from 14:1 to 13:1). Active Torque Vectoring further enhances the XV’s driving dynamics, together with Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical AWD system. The latter is now equipped with X-Mode for better control in loose surfaces, bringing it in line with the larger Forester.

Under the hood is a revamped engine and gearbox combo. The engine remains a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four unit, but Subaru says around 80% of its parts have been updated. The new direct injection motor makes 156 PS and 196 Nm of torque, and it’s said to be up to 12 kg lighter than before.

20 Photos of the 2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

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