Car News

All-new 2018 Subaru XV revealed

The all-new 2018 Subaru XV has been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show showing off improved infotainment and technology.

IN THE FIRST major update since it was launched in 2012, the Subaru XV has been revealed overnight at the Geneva Motor Show. The new XV, like the recently launched Impreza, is built on Subaru’s new Subaru Global Platform (which will underpin all Subaru models going forward). The XV was leaked to Practical Motoring in February.

New Subaru XV

Beyond the new platform which is between 70%-100% more rigid than the old car’s platform, the new XV offers Eyesight driver assistance and borrows X-Mode which tweaks key car controls, like the all-wheel drive system, gearbox behavior, engine and throttle response to improve traction in low-grip situations. The new XV also adds hill descent control and maintains the current car’s 220mm of ground clearance.

The XV doesn’t look radically different to the car it replaces, which is a good thing, and is an evolution of the design rather than a revolution. Clearly based on the Impreza, the XV continues with Subaru’s Dynamic X Solid design language.

2018 Subaru XV revealed

The new XV, in pictures, looks sharper than the old car but retains its signature elements, like the hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlight design, and matte black cladding on the front bumper, wheel arches and side sills. The new XV gets new-look alloys and two new colours, “Cool Gray Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange”.

On the inside, the new XV gets an updated dashboard design that follows the look of the Impreza, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, offering both Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity. Like the Impreza, the new XV gets newly designed seats intended to be more supportive and comfortable on long drives.

New Subaru XV

The short release that accompanied the images on this page, revealed the XV will stick closely to its Impreza stablemate, offering similar improvements to steering gear ratio (which is now shorter for quicker steering), chassis and suspension improvements and, if the dynamics of the Impreza are anything to go by, then the new XV should be a standout in the compact SUV segment. An electronic parking brake is added, replacing the manual unit on the current car.

New Subaru XV

Under the bonnet is the same engine as the Impreza, which is a re-worked version of the old car’s engine. This means there’s been a small jump in power (from 110kW to 115kW) while torque is steady at 196Nm. This engine is mated to a new CVT that offers a “seven-speed manual mode function, allowing the driver to accelerate as desired”. This unit and engine has been criticized by some media outlets, but in my opinion this is a perfectly suitable unit, with Subaru’s CVT the best in the business.

2018 Subaru XV revealed

Despite maintaining its 220mm of ground clearance, the new XV’s centre of gravity is 5mm lower than before. Indeed, Subaru says it has the “hazard avoidance capabilities on the same level as high-performance sports car”.

The XV will offer a raft of active safety features, not the least of which is Subaru’s Eyesight system which offers Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist. The XV will also feature high-beam assist, automatically switching from high to low beam based on what is happening ahead of the vehicle. It will also get steering responsive headlights which move the headlight right or left when turning, illuminating the direction of travel. The XV will also offer Subaru’s Rear Vehicle Detection which offers blind spot detection, lane change assistance and reversing assistance to enhance all-round preventive safety.

The new XV will arrive in Australia later this year, with preview drives in April. Subaru hasn’t announced pricing, but given the level of equipment available on the XV, it’ll be priced at a slight premium over equivalent Impreza variants.

Find the best demonstrator car deals for Practical Motoring readers around Australia on our Live Deals website. 


  1. Vins
    March 8, 2017 at 8:49 am — Reply

    Was hoping Subaru would tweak the engine output to something like 120Kw 200Nm to compensate the added weight. Anyway, knowing it would be slim. No regret for my Impreza purchase. It’s a nice car to drive.

    • DEVILTAZ35 .
      May 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm — Reply

      I had hoped they would use the new platform for the new Liberty Sedan in 2018 but again no. It will have the new features of the top of the line Imprezza , same audio head unit, Active cornering headlights, C shape DRL’s and LED Foglights , more leather and stitching in the 3.6R along with reinforced sound deadening and accoustic windshield and front side windows with reshaped mirrors which should help to make the Liberty much quieter in any case. The US model offers auto dimming side mirrors too which hopefully will be added to Australian Liberties for 2018. The drivetrain and steering and suspension are all overhauled too apparently so it sounds like it will be worth a test drive in 3.6R form.

  2. Fred
    March 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm — Reply

    I don’t see it as a totally new replacement , just proper good facelift. To close the previous model. But then again Subaru is a small player who have to make the best they can with a small budget.

    • Lee
      March 11, 2017 at 12:58 am — Reply

      Actually Subaru invested a billion dollars into the redesign of the Impreza on which the new XV is based on. Within the next five years Subaru is going to gain a much larger market share which is already visible with Impreza sales up 149% over the previous generation.

      • DEVILTAZ35 .
        May 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm — Reply

        Still needs rear air conditioning vents in the Imprezza sedan at the very least and that engine is still rather gutless for it’s sporty advertised nature.

  3. Jonathan Attard
    March 14, 2017 at 9:54 pm — Reply

    Does anyone know if the boot size is larger in this new model??
    The only reason I am hesitant in purchasing an xv is the lack of boot space, can barley fit a prom so if forces us to look at either the forester or even other makes such as the Hyundai or Kia Sportage etc…
    I’m a big fan of Subaru and am hoping the new xv has more boot capacity.

    • March 15, 2017 at 11:03 am — Reply

      Hi Jonathan, the new Impreza has a bigger boot and I’d expect the XV’s boot to grow too, but by how much will be hard to say. See, the XV will likely get a full-size spare while the Impreza only runs a space saver. I’ll be able to tell you more in April after I drive the thing in Japan. Cheers Isaac

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober