The Subaru XV

 With the options of aesthetics and performance, can one actually have it all? The Subaru XV is trying to have its cake and eat it too.

The Taipei heat did nothing to dampen the excitement for the regional unveiling of the Subaru XV. It was eye-opening, in more ways than one. First: the colour. It’s showcase hue is orange. Like the colour representation of the day’s weather in thermal imaging. (The model comes in other colours.)

Second: it is fitted with the Subaru Global Platform (SGP); the only other car to have this is the Impreza. With the SGP in place, the XV has increased rigidity and a reduction in vibration and body roll when navigating roads. The vehicle also has a lower centre of gravity and responsive steering, which proved useful in the test drive.

The Subaru XV-1

The carpark behind the event hall was transformed into a drive circuit to demonstrate the XV’s handling (we drove the XV and a competitor’s car for comparison). Housing a revamped 2l 4-cylinder boxer engine, the XV proved its mettle on the off-road tracks; its steering was responsive and had good body control through the slaloms, especially when it came to traversing the oil-slicked surfaces of the circuit.

While mud, oil and dirt made theirmark on the XV’s exterior after the drive, we could still see the Subaru’s signature hexagonal grille; its sharp lines framing the headlights. Inside, the cabin offers more legroom with plush leather that’s trimmed with orange stitching. Passengers who are not into watching the world go by will be entertained with the infotainment system and its 8in touchscreen display that offers Apple CarPlay.

As they get busy deciding which favourite track to play next, safety features like headlights that automatically switch between high and low beam, or respond when you round a curve, ensure a smooth ride. Radar sensors at the XV’s rear also warn of collisions or alert the driver to obstacles in his or her blind spot.

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