Review - Subaru XV

By Alexi Falson on 11 Feb 2022
image for Review - Subaru XV If you’re looking for a fresh take on the compact SUV that is ready for some weekend adventures, the Subaru XV might be calling your name. 

Introduced back in 2013, the Subaru XV has been impressing owners with its comfort, equipment and even off-road abilities, cementing itself a reputation as a go-to option for those looking for a more rugged take on the compact SUV shape. 

Far more than a high-riding hatchback, the Subaru XV offers some real-world adventure with its adapted platform and all-wheel drive system. 

The question remaining, though, is just how capable is the latest-generation Subaru XV, how does it stack up against its competitors, and which XV is the pick of the bunch? Let’s find out.  

Starting Price: $29,690

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Subaru XV (MY21) Specifications

2022 2022
Model XV
Series MY21
Variant 2.0i PREMIUM AWD
Drive AWD
Engine DIRFI
Engine capacity 1995
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 4000
Cylinders F4
Torque 196
KW 115
Fuel tank size 63.0
Fuel usage specs 7.0 / 0.0
CO2 159
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Subaru XV car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Subaru XV lineup kicks off from $29,690 for the entry-level XV 2.0i, with prices rising to $31,990 for the 2.0i-L, and up to $34,590 for the 2.0i Premium. 

From here, the range moves to the XV Hybrid L, which is priced at $35,490, with the 2.0i-S priced at $37,290. Finally, the Subaru XV range tops out in the form of the Subaru XV Hybrid S, which is priced at $40,790.  

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Subaru XV Have?

The entry-level Subaru XV 2.0i comes riding on a set of 17-inch wheels, and receives halogen headlights, fog lights and LED tail lights, air conditioning, roof rails, keyless entry and start, power-folding mirrors, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear-view camera and cruise control.  

Stepping up to the XV 2.0i-L adds dual-zone climate control, an upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment system, premium cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped gear lever and steering wheel, as well as Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warnings and lane keep assistance. 

The 2.0i Premium comes packaged with a panoramic sunroof, front-view camera, satellite navigation upgrade for the infotainment system, as well as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and reverse pre-collision braking. 

Stepping up to the 2.0i-S adds a set of 18-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, leather interior upholstery, a side-view camera, chrome door handles and some black interior accents. 

Opting for the entry-level XV Hybrid L adds 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, power-folding mirrors, a puncture repair kit, leather steering wheel and gear lever, premium cloth upholstery and an upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment system. 

Finally, the range-topping XV Hybrid S receives 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and a host of safety upgrades including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, reverse pre-collision braking an a front-view camera. 

Range Features: 

  • 17-inch alloy wheels 

  • Rear-view camera 

  • Roof rails 

  • 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Power-folding mirrors 

  • Cruise control 

  • Keyless entry & start 

  • Leather steering wheel and gear lever (2.0i-L)

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system (2.0i-L)

  • Premium cloth upholstery (2.0i-L)

  • Satellite navigation (2.0i Premium)

  • Front-view camera (2.0i Premium)

  • Rear cross-traffic alerts (2.0i Premium)

  • Blind spot monitoring (2.0i Premium)

  • 18-inch alloys (2.0i-S)

  • Side-view camera (2.0i-S)

  • Alloy pedals (2.0i-S)

  • Leather upholstery (2.0i-S)

  • Panoramic sunroof (XV Hybrid L)

  • LED headlights  (XV Hybrid L)

  • Front-view camera  (XV Hybrid L)

  • Heated front seats  (XV Hybrid L)

Subaru XV Colours 

The Subaru XV range is available in a range of colours, including Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Magnetite Grey Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Cool Grey, Horizon Blue Pearl, Dark Blue Pearl, Pure Red, Plasma Yellow Pearl and Lagoon Blue Pearl. 

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

One of the main things that separates the Subaru XV from its competitors is just how comfortable and competent it is on a variety of surfaces. 

While a number of the XV’s main rivals feel like nothing more than a high-riding hatchback, the XV takes a step ahead of the pack when it comes to its confidence-inspiring chassis and Subaru’s now-iconic symmetrical all-wheel drive platform. Around town, this translates to a silky-smooth ride quality that few of its competitors can match. 

Power is supplied by a flat four-cylinder unit in the non-hybrid variants, producing 115kW/196Nm, which is actually a significant amount of power for the segment. Hybrid variants receive a 122kW/262Nm powertrain while reducing their overall fuel consumption. 

Regardless of your engine option, the power delivery is perky, yet smooth thanks to the CVT automatic transmission that works away in the background without you noticing. This makes the process of daily driving a particularly smooth affair, with the Subaru XV more than capable of providing you with a smooth, comfortable daily driver around town. 

Combined with the compact turning circle and the relatively lightweight steering, the XV very much matches the ease of daily driving on offer from its main competitors, while outpacing them when it comes to driving on country roads. 

Long distance road trips and country driving are two areas that the XV absolutely excels, giving drivers the confidence of an all-wheel drive platform combined with a suspension system that is more than capable of handling what Australian road conditions can throw at it. 

On that note, the XV offers some genuine performance when it comes to off-road driving, so long as you know its limits. The XV features a significant amount of ground clearance which, combined with Subaru’s all-wheel drive platform translates to some effortless light off-roading that will get you to places that its competitors simply can’t. 

All up, the Subaru XV should be considered far more than a high-riding hatchback, something that a number of its key competitors are guilty of. The XV is smooth and comfortable on both city streets and rough country roads, making it perfect for Australian families looking for an adaptable crossover SUV.   

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

Stepping inside the front of the XV, the driver and front passenger are greeted by a simple, sleek and ergonomic interior design with a host of practical elements. The seating position and steering wheel are adjustable, while the view over the dashboard gives the driver a sense of elevation over the road surface. 

The front seats are comfortable, with a heap of head and shoulder room for those up front to stretch out and get comfortable on long journeys. Practical touches in the front of the cabin include a set of large door bins either side, storage in the folding armrest with two USBs hiding inside, a smartphone holder and two cup holders, as well as a small storage tray behind the gear lever that houses a pair of USBs and a 12-volt outlet.  

Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a comfortable bench seat that features a folding arm rest, and a comfortable seating position with compact windows to add to the sense of space. Rear cabin space is on par for the segment, with just enough legroom on offer for adults, while headroom is somewhat lacking due to that sloping roofline design. 

All up, though, the rear of the XV’s cabin is more than capable of comfortably accommodating kids of all ages, while tall teenagers and even adults will be fine for short to medium journeys in the rear. For the parents out there, ISOFIX anchors are easy to access beside the seatbelts, with the rear of the cabin able to swallow up even in the bulkiest of child seats. 

In terms of boot space, the XV offers cargo capacity of 310L in the boot, which is on par for the segment, if not slightly lacking. This expands to 765L with the rear seats folded down, though, if you need somewhere to transport large, bulky objects. 

Overall, the XV offers enough size and practicality for growing families and those looking to escape into the great outdoors for the weekend with all their kit.  

Is it Safe?

The Subaru XV has been awarded a five star ANCAP safety rating, returning scores of 16 out of 16 for side impacts, 14.80 out of 16 for front impacts, and scoring 35.80 out of a potential 37 for its overall ANCAP score. 

Unfortunately, the entry-level XV 2.0i misses out on Subaru’s EyeSight safety package, but does receive seven airbags. The rest of the range receives blind-spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear-cross traffic alerts, forward and reverse autonomous braking, with some variants receiving a front and side-view monitor. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The XV range returns fuel economy figures of 7.0L/100km on a combined cycle in the petrol-powered variants, while the hybrid lineup is rated at 6.5L/100km. 

Our Verdict: Is the Subaru XV Worth it?

While a number of its competitors feel like a high-riding version of the hatchback that they’re based on, the XV feels like a standalone product reminiscent of a baby-version of the fan-favourite Subaru Outback. 

As a result, it offers performance on and off-road that its rivals can only dream of, which is a sign of the XV’s well-engineered and rugged platform. 

If you’re looking for a comfortable compact SUV that is impressive on city streets and rough country roads alike, the Subaru XV is well-deserving of a spot on your shortlist. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty with capped price servicing available 

  2. 12-month/12,500km service intervals 

  3. Five star ANCAP safety rating 

  4. All-wheel drive platform across the XV range 

  5. Fuel economy between 6.5-7L per 100km 


  • Comfortable suspension platform, even on rough country roads 

  • Smooth powertrain and transmission combination

  • Constant all-wheel drive stability and confidence 


  • Some road and tyre noise at speed 

  • Compact boot volume 

  • Engine noise when pushed hard 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Subaru XV Competitors

Subaru XV

Mitsubishi ASX
Toyota C-HR
Hyundai Kona
Honda HR-V
Ford Puma 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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