Subaru XV (2018) Review

Looking for a Subaru XV (2018 on)?
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Subaru XV (2018) At A Glance

Solid and well built interior. Very capable in poor conditions. Handling and ride much improved over predecessor. Five star Euro NCAP rating.

No manual gearbox or diesel option. Below par fuel economy. Expensive list prices alongside the competition.

New prices start from £25,000
Insurance Groups are between 21–23
On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure

Make no mistake, the new Subaru XV is a very capable car, but that’s going to be its biggest weakness – it’s totally overqualified. While the interior, ride and handling have improved, it’s not pretty (or cheap) enough to threaten rivals such as the Nissan Juke.

Its full-time four-wheel drive system means that, while you’ve always got plenty of grip, fuel economy and emissions are below par. Worse, buyers have zero choice – if you want an XV, it’ll be a petrol and it’ll be an automatic.

While most tests normally launch into how the car rides and handles at this point, we reckon there’s something more important to cover first - what it‘s actually like to live with a Subaru.

If you live in a remote part of the world where it’s hilly, muddy, and prone to difficult driving conditions, then the new Subaru XV with its full-time four-wheel drive and clever X-mode system should be on your shortlist – assuming you’ve got a dealer nearby (or you don't already own one).

Because if there’s one thing that’s going to hinder sales of the new model, it’s coverage. While the four Subaru dealers north of the border do very well indeed, sales slow up as you head south to a slightly more temperate climate.

As could the running costs. With no diesel available, or manual transmission on offer, drivers get to pick from the 2.0-litre petrol that’s going to be the big seller, or a 1.6-litre petrol. The former does around 40mpg according to the official combined figures.

It’s an expensive car, too – list prices start at £25k. For that, you could get top of the range versions of the Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V. You could say that the XV faces something of an uphill struggle.

Subaru XV 2018 Road Test

Looking for a Subaru XV (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Subaru XV (2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

31–40 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


What should I replace my Land Rover Freelander 2 with?
I currently have a 9-year-old Freelander 2 which limits the downhill speed in bad winter weather to about 3 mph down a narrow private country hill road where I live. I am considering replacing the Freelander but I don't really want to spend £35,000 on its current replacement. Can you suggest any cars that have a downhill limiter suitable for a 6'1" driver? I'd prefer new or nearly new I would keep the vehicle for quite a while.
Take a look at the Subaru XV. It starts at around £25k and all models come with hill descent control as part of its X-Mode four-wheel-drive system. It's excellent in the snow and tough conditions, and will be a very reliable car that should last for a long time.
Answered by Andrew Brady

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