All-new Subaru XV brings X-Mode and EyeSight safety tech

  • XV Crossover now on Subaru ‘global platform’
  • EyeSight driver assistance system available
  • X-Mode debut: for XV’s off-road ability and safety
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

THE SECOND generation of Subaru’s XV all-wheel drive small crossover with its two-litre Boxer engine is now in the brand’s showrooms across southern Africa.

It comes with a new X-Mode, a push-button system said to enhance off-road ability and, the automaker says, on the more expensive ES model a suite of “world-class” safety and hazard-avoidance features that includes Subaru’s EyeSight driving assistance system.

Overall length and width are bigger than the previous model by 15 and 20mm respectively though the hexagonal grille and the hawk-eye headlights continue. The shoulder and beltlines carry through to the rear and then there’s the black cladding and bumper components absorb scuffs and scrapes likely to occur off-road.

2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

Wheel-rims are either 17 or 18″ alloy combinations; up top there’s a “shark fin” antenna, roof spoiler and roof rails, and a wide range of body colours is available.

Subaru says the new XV “is testament to the significant improvement in Subaru interior styling” which won for the first time won the brand a place in the Wards Auto Top 10 Best Interior Design awards.


Interior panels are finished in mixes of black and silver, as are switches, steering-wheel and door inserts.

“It’s a fresh approach to design for Subaru and specific to the XV,” Subaru says. “The adventurous spirit is communicated with orange stitching throughout the cabin from the seats to the steering-wheel, gear-shifter and centre stack.”

The ES facia carries a new 20cm infotainment screen to access a number of connectivity and media options and applications – one of them TomTom satnav. Subaru added: “It’s a large, clear screen that responds to touch, swipe and pinch/ pull, much like most smartphones. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and Google Now or Siri Eyes-Free allows voice control.”

2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

The tilt/telescoping steering-column is turned by a leather-clad wheel bearing audio, cruise-control and cellphone controls. One-touch function operation includes windows and keyless entry. The ES adds a slide/tilt sunroof.

The XV is the second vehicle to be built on a new “global” platform which is said to enhance all-round safety, interior space, packaging and driving dynamics. It carries a new direct fuel-injection two-litre Boxer horizontally opposed engine that is 12kg lighter than the previous unit and now capable off 115kW at 6000rpm and 196Nm at 4200rpm.

READ MORE Subaru features on Carman’s Corner

Units sold in South Africa will be available only with a Lineartronic CV (constantly variable) transmission which has seven pre-set positions which can be chosen with a paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. The gearbox is 7.8kg lighter than its predecessor and its ratios have been amended for better acceleration and fuel economy.

2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

“Overall,” Subaru says, “the XV’s driving characteristics have been made sportier and more surefooted. Steering and pedal feedback have been refined and improved.”

The XV has adopted Subaru’s X-Mode transmission until now only available on the larger Outback and Forester. It’s intended to improve traction on varying terrain by optimising integrated control of the engine, AWD and brakes. It includes gradient-descent control.

Despite its small size, the XV has 220mm of ground clearance.

2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

The global platform has, Subaru says, lowered the car’s centre of gravity and improved torsional rigidity while the AWD also improves control under significant weight shifts such as a sudden impact-avoiding manoeuvre. Passive impact absorption has been improved by 40% through using high-tensile steel.

Other crash protection/avoidance features include swivelling diode headlights and EyeSight high beam that uses a camera to switch high/low automatically. Blind-spot, lane-drifting and cross-traffic alerts are also installed.


EyeSight has four driver-assistance functions intended to reduce the effect of or prevent crashes caused by driver error or fatigue by scanning for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other potential hazards up to 110m ahead. If a hazard is detected then braking, deceleration and steering, as well as cruise control, will be variously used.

Rear detection will prevent reversing collisions.

EyeSight has earned accolades from a number of independent crash prevention programs. In 2016 all Subaru vehicles equipped with EyeSight were awarded the highest safety ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In April 2017, just weeks after its world launch, the latest Subaru XV was declared the safest vehicle evaluated by the Japanese New Car Assessment Program. It also scored five stars in the Euro NCAP and Australian NCAP ratings. (Prices below the image.)

2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU XV: Image: Subaru

Subaru XV 2.0i CVT standard – R385 000.
Subaru XV 2.0i-S ES CVT Premium – R439 000.

Each is offered with a five-year or 150 000km warranty and a three-year or 75 000km full-maintenance plan, the latter extendable through the full warranty period at extra cost.


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