2013 Subaru XV SE 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A rough diamond of an SUV

Faults:

Nil far - 2 months in.

General Comments:

My requirements were a sporty, reliable and family friendly 4x4 that did not force me in to the one-upmanship game associated with certain marques.

The XV won the SUV of the Year segment in 4x4 magazine's 2013 awards, and this was what drew it to my attention. In contrast the mainstream press's reviews were somewhat more mixed, but after a couple of test drives the XV 2.0D SE won me over with its styling, lusty drivetrain and solid character.

I opted for the diesel model just after the 2013 Summer price-drop kicked in, making an expensive proposition much more feasible. Wanted the fuel economy and torque that the diesel would give me, and have not been let down on either front. On A roads it is such a fun drive - responsive, glued to the road, gear-ratios that make you enjoy briskly working the notchy gearbox - yet on motorways it cruises effortlessly along and chews up the miles. Getting 45 MPG for mixed driving; 50 MPG for long motorway journeys at 2000 RPM or thereabouts.

The ride is definitely sports-car firm, bordering on the twitchy, although this is only notable at slower speeds (and then only to my passengers). Have driven a few muddy, potholed country tracks and it is a lusty, enthusiastic performer up hill and down-dale, engendering huge confidence in its AWD system, robust suspension and ground clearance. Corners very well with no body roll of note; the steering is precise, although feedback is a little late.

Inside, and even without a spare wheel - the boot is on the small side - enough for a family weekend away, but you'd need a roofbox if you were driving 4 adults for a week's skiing somewhere. Plenty of passenger space, though. Reports of the cabin being spartan are off the mark - it is comfortable, functional and hard-wearing, and I don't consider it a let down at all. The add-ons: Bluetooth, stereo, rear-view camera etc are all fine and do what they are supposed to with a minimum of fuss.

It's early days, but the more I drive this car, the more I enjoy it, and the more I look forward to driving it. The SUV market is certainly crowded, but if you are looking for a distinctive, capable vehicle with bags of personality - then check out the XV.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2013

2013 Subaru XV Boxer petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

The car is okay, zero warranty is the concern

Faults:

Some of the instrumentation on dashboard has not worked since delivery; neither the dealer nor Subaru Aust. will respond to letters/calls to have the matter rectified.

GPS system is at least five years out of date; states 2011 on the copyright, but is older than this.

Fuel consumption per 100 kms is higher than with my 5 year old Holden Vectra, averaging more than 9.8 l/100 km; I have a fuel log over 8 years to support this.

The car was badly prepared pre delivery, with a body part missing.

General Comments:

For old persons like myself, the total lack of warranty or service backup is of major concern; the reason for buying a new car. I have written to the local dealer and Subaru Australia, and after six months of trying to communicate with them, have realised they are not going to reply. People depending on the warranty should investigate the likelihood of being denied warranty before purchase.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th August, 2013

1st Sep 2013, 12:47

Have you tried taking the car into the dealer and refusing to leave until they fix it? My experience of my dealer in Leeds UK is they are very helpful and this situation would never happen there. My XV - reviewed here is a fantastic fault-free car. Hope you get yours sorted.

17th Jul 2014, 03:58

Bought an XV 2014 new. Had no problems at all. Warranty is excellent. Capped price servicing. My only area of concern is that the vehicles are not top coat painted under the bonnet or in the engine bay. Pretty cheap really. Even the cheapest car in the world has paint there - the Tata Nano! We pay more than 33% premium over the cost of these vehicles in the USA.

Your experience is unique. Write to Nick Senior personally and explain the situation, which for you is very unsatisfactory.

Best wishes with this.

2013 Subaru XV SEi Premium Lux 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Fun to own and drive

Faults:

The battery was faulty and failed to start the car the day after I got it. The Subaru dealer came out to the car and fitted a new battery, and it is perfect now.

General Comments:

The car seems very sporty compared to my previous Outback. It is the top of the range model with CVT transmission and all of the boys toys.

The auto start stop function takes a bit of getting used to, but I think it will save fuel and emissions.

This is my fourth new Subaru, and each one has been completely reliable and enjoyable to drive, and my local Subaru dealer offers superb customer service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2013

9th Aug 2013, 11:12

I have now had this car for over four months. It still makes me smile when I drive it. Fault-free as I would expect from a new Subaru, I've only driven 2300 miles due to illness, but expect to drive it a lot more in the coming months. So far a pleasure to drive.

29th Aug 2014, 17:40

This car has now covered 9000 miles up to August 2014. A trip to Scotland and back returned 44 MPG, which for a two litre Automatic with four-wheel drive is amazing to me.

I did take it into the dealer because of a problem with the tailgate not latching and having to slam it several times to get it to close; they explained that the electronically controlled lock takes about ten seconds to reset itself after opening the tailgate, otherwise it will not latch. Since learning about this, I have had no further problems with it. The car is still a joy to own and drive, and I love it.