2014 Subaru XV 2.0i-S – Long-Term – Week 12
Our 2014 Subaru XV 2.0i-S has had a week of schelpping up and down the highway between home and the office, and it loved it. Welcome to Week 12.
Run by: Isaac Bober
Fuel consumption: 6.8L/100km (7.0L/100km official)
List price: $36,990 (+ORC)
Service Costs: Nil
Week ending: 14 November
Read our full review of the Subaru XV
THERE’S BEEN SO many cars through the garage over the last few weeks that the poor old Subaru XV long-termer gets forgotten about. But this week it’s been hard at work getting me from my Blue Mountains eyrie to the office in the city and it hasn’t missed a beat, I’ve even managed to get the fuel consumption down to 6.8L/100km which I’m pretty pleased about.
The horrid metal on metal grinding noise from the rock that was stuck in the brakes has gone and the XV is as quiet as ever. I’ve taken the thing for granted, but this week made me appreciate what a great handling little package it is. After driving similar offerings recently from Nissan, Jeep and Skoda, I reckon the Subaru XV has the edge on all of the compact SUVs in terms of ride and handling both on and off-road. Indeed, I’d go so far as saying it’s the benchmark in this class – this thing is a whole lot of fun and overflowing with character, unlike its Impreza sibling.
The body control no matter how tight the corner, or the speed you’re carrying through it, is superb and even if the nose does start to wash wide of the apex a simple lift off the throttle sees the nose point pack in towards the corner. The steering is light, but its accurate and after a 30 min behind the wheel you’re dialed into how it feels. And thanks to long travel suspension and damping even those where-did-that-come-from potholes are dismissed without upsetting the ride.
Back-to-backing the Subaru XV and the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk recently revealed that despite an absence of terrain settings and trail-rating badges, the XV is actually better off-road than the Cherokee. It’s more compliant as the road surface becomes poorer, refusing to buck and bounce and, when it does lift a wheel it just keeps going, whereas the Cherokee takes a moment to work out where it needs to send drive. More than that, the XV seems to extract more grip from its road-biased tyres than the Cherokee does from its rubber.
But I’m not totally pleased with the XV this week, see, the multi-media touch screen has been playing up something awful, but only when it’s connected to an external device, like an iPhone. Playing audio through the car sees the screen go blank, refuse to go forwards or backwards through songs, and occasionally won’t show up the album button on the screen. Only turning the car off and then on again clears the glitch, only to have it come back later in the drive, or the next day. It’s an intermittent problem and, in the grand scheme of things a first-world problem, but it’s a touch annoying. Not so annoying that I don’t think the Subaru XV is the pick of the compact SUVs as far as ‘drivers’ are concerned.
Oh, and as you can tell from the picture, my first born gave the XV a much-needed bath this week.