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Subaru XV 2.0i-S – Long-Term – Week 8

Okay, so the Subaru XV 2.0i-S has a reversing camera but no reversing sensors and thus, no audible warning for when you’re about to bump the car behind. Bugger. Welcome to Week 8.

Run by: Isaac Bober
Travel: 2728km
Fuel consumption: 7.0L/100km (7.0L/100km official)
List price: $36,990 (+ORC)
Service Costs: Nil
Week ending: 5 September.

Read our full review of the Subaru XV

OKAY, FIRST UP, apologies for missing last week’s deadline for posting this article. Life got in the way. Anyway, here we are and while I’m still very impressed with the way our Subaru XV rides and handles, particularly in the wet, there are a few things that are starting to annoy me about it.

And those things revolve around the infotainment unit and reversing camera. I’ve mentioned before how I’ve struggled to find a way of turning on some kind of audible warning for when you’re reversing. Yes, I know the Subaru XV 2.0i-S doesn’t have reversing sensors and so doesn’t have an audible warning, but I’d hoped there was a sensor associated with the camera. There isn’t.

Sure, the XV has a camera and that’s very nice… it means you can see what’s behind you. Great. The only problem is that the camera shows objects being closer than they actually are and, so, because you know that you tend to reverse just a little bit more than you probably should. And that’s where an audible warning would help.

However, in lieu of warning beep when I’m about to touch park someone, I’ve now memorised, sort of, the parking distances indicated by the lines on the camera image. You can see the lines in the image at the top of the page, and you can see, in the image below, what those lines correspond to in actual distance.

Subaru XV long-term review

That said, the camera does offer a good view of what’s going on behind you. And, even when its raining the camera seems to remain relatively clear of water drops forming on the lens.

The other thing that’s beginning to irritate me is the way the unit syncs with your phone. I’ve got no problem with the Bluetooth, I should add, it’s fast to connect and works just fine. But what is frustrating is the USB connection and playing music from my iPhone via the iPod function rather than Bluetooth audio streaming.

The connection can quite often take up to five minutes to sync correctly and can often be caught out displaying the wrong album image for the track that’s playing. I also find the navigation back and forth through the track listing function and selecting a new album to be incredibly fiddly and requires that you pull over to scroll through albums, or have a passenger do it for you.

And it’s that fiddliness of the XV’s infotainment unit, and I’m including the sat-nav function in this rant, that knocks, for me at least, some of the shine off what is truly a class act, and I’m referring to the XV in general. I know that I’ve got sausage-like fingers, but even my wife’s dainty digits struggle to hit the right button, sometimes collecting two buttons at once resulting in nothing at all happening. It means you’ve got to take your time and really focus on touching the right button and when you’re driving that’s not necessarily a very good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, the above isn’t a fault of the car, but it is irritating and I’d suggest Subaru for the next-generation Impreza/XV looks at sourcing a new infotainment unit. But the Japanese car maker isn’t alone in offering a sat-nav, infotainment unit that’s outdone by a smartphone; Jaguar Land Rover systems are woeful, although the new XE looks set to change all that.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober