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2014 Subaru XV 2.0i-S – long-term – Week 13

It’s been a few weeks of frustration with the Subaru XV… not a week has gone by in the last three where it hasn’t picked up something in the brakes, and I haven’t been off-road with it once… Welcome to week 13, or thereabouts.

LIST PRICE: $36,990 (+ORC)
WEEK ENDING: 05 December


IF THE SUBARU XV had of been a horse I might have considered taking it quietly out behind the shed and putting it out of its misery. See, leaving home the other day for my 100km commute into my city-based office a rock somehow found its way up into the brakes on the passenger’s side. That side is the recurring victim… And the thing squealed like it had been cut open; scraping and screeching and wailing like a banshee.

Like someone stopping to shake a rock out of their shoe, I pulled over, stopped. Then selected reverse (I was well off the road) and drove backwards as this sometimes does the trick of dislodging a rock or a stick from the brakes. Then, back into D for Drive and the thing kept screeching. Grrr. Again, into reverse and then back into Drive. And it still squealed. It was only on the fourth, or maybe fifth attempt that I managed to dislodge the thing and continue on my journey without waking the dead.

That was about three weeks ago. A few days of trouble-free motoring were then met with the same thing happening the next week, and so on the following week. I’ve put it down to some loose bits of gravel that sit in the gutter outside my home… I think that after the XVs been run for around 100km, it’s picking up the odd stone, because the tyres are hot and the gravel is loose, and dropping them into the brakes. Maybe. I’ve been parking the XV in the driveway and it hasn’t happened since.

So, that was the bad news. The good news is that I’m still madly and deeply in love with the XV, and I’ll tell you why. Just the other day, the speaker of the house decided we’d be donating the leftover bits and bobs from our mini-mes to some friends who are about to have a mini-me of their very own. Great. Means I get some room back in my office. Nice.

But, given the donation was going to be a family affair I needed to work out a way of fitting everything in: nappy change table, gigantic pram that’s a definite throwback to Victorian England pram designs, and plenty more besides. Now, the XV doesn’t have the world’s largest boot, or so plenty of motoring writers have bemoaned, so I thought I’d put that to the test in the most practical way possible. By actually using it to store more than the proverbial overnight bags that motoring journalists seem to think we all measure the carrying capacity of a boot by.

As you can see in the photo above, everything fit neatly inside the boot and I still had room to see over the top of the stuff in the boot via the rear vision mirror. So, let’s put this nonsense about boot sizes to bed right now… if your car’s boot is big enough to carry the things you want or need to carry then, well, it’s more than big enough. It’s only when B doesn’t go into A that you need to worry, but then you should have worked that out before you bought a new car. Yes?

Until next week… And I promise, this thing is finally back on track.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober