Funny how I proud myself as an “Out of the Box” thinker and “Individualist” but when it comes to cars I am mostly very conservative and always think of German made cars when I think of exciting cars.
At the Johannesburg Motor Show 2013 that took place at the NASREC Expo center during October 2013, I met one of the guys from Subaru South Africa. We talked a bit of cars and shop and then he said to me I need to test drive the all new Subaru XV it is an awesome car.
I thought yeah right, I am a Mercedes-Benz ML 4×4 man, and how are the Subaru XV going to impress me, so the next Monday morning I got the car from Subaru from the Subaru South African offices in Sandton South Africa. The guy who handed me the keys of the flashy orange Subaru XV did not tell me too much about the car, and basically said that he did not want to influence my opinion about the car and wants the car to speak for itself.
I got in the car and drove off with a full tank of petrol with instructions from the Subaru South African guy that I MUST do some off-roading with the Subaru XV. I had the car for 1 week and had several things planned for the car.
The moment I got into the car I was pleasantly surprised with the quirkiness and responsiveness of the car.
I got back to the office and thought I will check up on the Subaru XV to see what the fuzz about the car is all about. Unlike most cars on the market the Subaru XV Boxer engine is horizontally placed which places the pistons 180 degrees apart for a lower, flatter profile compared to other engine types.
The Subaru XV Engine configuration and placement gives the whole car a lower center of gravity and more balanced weight distribution which naturally leads to reduce vibration as a result of the pistons moving the way they do.
During my 1 week adventure driving the Subaru XV I placed more than 1000 Kilometers on the clock and took the Subaru XV for a game drive in Klerksdorp Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve where I had the opportunity to do some lightweight 4×4 driving. I were amazed at how smooth the overall driving were and could feel why the unique engine configuration on the Subaru XV reduced vibration and experienced the technology first hand.
The Subaru SUV is not a Mercedes-Benz ML and not even in the same class as the Mercedes-Benz ML but owning a Mercedes-Benz ML and driving the Subaru XV I could not help to compare their off-road driving experiences with each other, and I hate to say it but I wish the ML had the same smooth riding and responsiveness on the dirt road than the Subaru XV, with the Subaru XV everything just feels easy and not bulky!
It may also be because the Subaru XV looks small compared to most 4×4 SUV’s out there and it is almost hard to expect that this cute looking “Out of the Box” car is capable of doing and delivering such a responsive and smooth ride as it does.
I remember my thoughts when the Subaru South African guy said to me you MUST take this car off-road. I thought yeah right this car is too cute to be a REAL 4×4 and I must say after reviewing the car I “DARE” you to go and test drive the Subaru XV and take it for a 4×4 drive and experience it for yourself. It is simply AWESOME!
Images of the Subaru XV Test Drive
Subaru XV South Africa Technical Details
Here is some more information about the Subaru XV South African configuration. I grabbed these from the Subaru South Africa website to give you some technical information about the car.
2.0i Lineartronic CVT
2.0i-S Lineartronic CVT
|Bore x Stroke|
84 x 90
|Capacity (or Displacement)|
Sequential multi-port fuel injection, electronic throttle control
|Fuel tank capacity|
110 / 6200
196 / 4200
|Max speed (in top gear)|
|Fuel Consumption – combined|
|CO2 emissions – combined|
|Emission Standards Compliance|
Centre differential gear coupled with vicous LSD
Active Torque Split AWD system
|Dimensions and Weight|
|Minimum road clearance|
|Towing Capacity – unbraked/braked|
|Gearing and Drivetrain|
|D range (Lineartronic CVT)|
|Gear ratio 1st|
|Gear ratio 2nd|
|Gear ratio 3rd|
|Gear ratio 4th|
|Gear ratio 5th|
|Gear ratio 6th|
|Gear ratio Reverse|
|Final Drive axle ratio|
Rack and Pinion
MacPherson struts, lower L-arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Double wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
|Minimum turning circle ( at tyre )|
Ventilated disc brakes
Solid Disc Brake