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Subaru XV: second generation is a far more enjoyable ride

Subaru revealed its second-generation XV SUV this week, more a high riding wagon re with a welcome 220mm of ground clearance. The precious XV never really appealed to me – tight in the cabin, noisy and with a rather annoying continuously variable automatic. Five years of development has provided a wider more accommodating cabin sitting on 30 mm longer wheelbase, a more refined and fuel efficient 2.0-litre engine and drive-train plus a lot more specification. On top of that the four model range kicks of $1,250 more affordable from 27,990 and runs to 35,240. Driving from Jindabyne to Merimbula in frosty conditions this constant all-wheel-drive Subaru XV excelled – safe on skittish surfaces, confident and noticeably more refined – power is up in a much lighter and improved drive-train but still a little underwhelming when pushed hard – the CVT transmission less buzzy but still not as good as a traditional stepped automatic. The whole package quieter and better insulated from engine and road noise. A far more enjoyable driver in this latest series the Subaru XV features the x-mode all-wheel- drive system from the larger Forester and it’s very accomplished. What’s called a vehicle dynamics control system also brakes the inside front wheel for improved turn-in.

Subaru have equipped the top three grades with its latest generation Eyesight technology featuring a number of active safety elements- it now includes reverse automatic braking on top of lane change assist, pre-collision assist and lane sway warning to name just a few. I’m David Berthon

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