The armadillo of crossovers, Subaru’s refreshed, XV

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Japanese car maker, Subaru are known for a number of diverse and somewhat juxtaposition motoring achievements. Thought of by some as an Asian car with big fins, making lots of noise and which go really fast. Loved by aficionados through their appreciation for Subaru’s engineering prowess. Perhaps somewhat misunderstood - they aren’t just big-finned cars. Rather, they are well-engineered performance vehicles.

As part of Subaru’s contrasting personalities, the brand is also entrenched in making family adventure vehicles - with models like their XV, Forester and Outback. Borrowing from Subaru’s rallying experience all Subaru’s are made with the same principles – all-wheel-drive, Boxer engines, a low centre of gravity and built to be extremely safe.

With the trend of buying down these days, the VX is Subaru’s entry-level crossover from the brand and a good place to start your elevated driving experience. Originally launched in 2012, 2016 marks that point at which a facelift is required - enters the facelifted 2016 VX. Still modern and visually up to date, the VX has only had a nip & tuck rather than an entire eye and jowl lift. The XV now features revised hexagonal front grille that has been tweaked with a larger chrome split wing. The shape of the front bumper has also been revised to include accented chrome plating that now surrounds the fog lamps and gives the VX a refreshed look. The headlamps include white indicator bulbs, bringing the XV more in line with the rest of the Subaru line-up. A highlight feature of the XV is the 17-inch dual-tone mag wheels with black inlays and silver spokes that have now been slightly turned to convey a sense of movement to the overall design and look like ninja stars in motion.

At the rear of the car, the taillamps now make use of LED lamps. The shapely roof end spoiler has also been extended, adding to its sporty character.


Subaru has smartly blended robust body-cladding that surrounds the entire vehicle. Think of it as body armour that leaves you feeling more confident to go wherever the adventure takes you.


Avant guard looks aside, the Subaru is driven by the brand's 2.0-litre mainstay Boxer engine, which is good for 110kW and 196N. Mated with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a Continually Variable Transmission that Subaru refers to as Lineartronic™. This will get you hitting the 100 km/h mark in around 10 seconds. I’m not a big CVT fan, albeit Subaru does make the best version of this type of gearbox. Driven in manual mode via steering wheel mounted flappy paddles allow the driver the option of shifting through 6 faux gears. The sensation is somewhat realistic but like a spray tan - close to the real thing - so too is the sensation of real gears…close but no cigar. As a result, I’d go with the manual gearbox.

The interior is clean, modern and simple. Leather abounds with funky stitch detailing in a burnt orange hue. A touch screen infotainment system allows for a collective point of the car's electronic systems. Working as a touchscreen, it is easy to use and navigate through. 



Unique design

Comfortable ride

Alternative option to the mainstream available



Average performance from the combined 2.0l and CTV gearbox

Niche brand

Small dealer network



Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Mazda CX3, Totoya RAV4, MINI Countryman and Nissan Juke



2.0i 6MT – R 360 000.00

2.0i Lineartronic™ CVT – R 381 000.00

2.0i-S Lineartronic™ CVT – R419 000.00

Service and Warranty

The new XV is now on sale countrywide, with Subaru Southern Africa offering the XV with a 3 year / 75 000km full Maintenance Plan.


My choice

2.0i 6MT – R 360 000.00


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