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Subaru XV Black Limited Edition

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Subaru XV

Subaru XV Black Limited Edition

Geoff Maxted
November 27, 2013

Subaru XV Subaru XV Subaru XV
We tested the Subaru XV in October - here - and found that we liked it. There was a question mark over the inevitable compromise between on and off-road, however. We felt that whilst the car was great on the sticky stuff (It won a prestigious 4x4 of the year award in 2012) the XV lacked the finesse of some of its on-road rivals. The car in the images is effectively the same although it has been given a successful and very smart limited edition makeover.

Finished in Crystal Black Silica paint, the XV Black offers a number of visual additions unique to the special edition model, which are designed, according to the Company, to boost the car’s rugged, go-anywhere appeal. These include front, rear and side silver-resin underguards, front and rear mudflaps, a cargo step panel and a foldable cargo tray. Inside, the Black model is fitted with heavy-duty rubber floor mats.

Importantly, the XV enjoys a class-leading five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating and, at 90%, one of the highest scores for child occupant protection ever recorded, making it ideal for young families.

It features generous standard equipment levels, including Subaru’s standard-fit Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system, providing world-class hazard avoidance capabilities. Other standard features include front, side, curtain and knee airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, heated front seats, wiper de-icers, cruise control, folding door mirrors, dual-zone air-conditioning, rear view safety camera, Bluetooth, HID headlamps, and rear privacy glass.

So why test what is effectively the same car again? Well, the bonus features add value but more importantly this time, instead of a manual, the Black came with Subaru’s excellent Lineartronic automatic gearbox. It made all the difference.

There are some paddles behind the steering wheel for those occasions when manual gearbox control may be needed but otherwise we found the auto to be all we needed. The ratios are just right, good overtaking performance is available on kick-down and the business of driving became a very relaxed affair. We can’t explain it but the automatic seemed to us to improve the on-road manners we previously were unsure about. Anyone considering buying the XV would be well advised to try an automatic version; for us, it’s the one to choose. The Black is competitively priced at just shy of £25,000, depending on choice.

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