This is the latest XV, which was released in 2016 although you wouldn't know it if you owned the old one. When viewed side-on, in fact, both cars look absolutely identical. Even the wheel designs are similar. It's only when you get to the front and rear bumpers that you notice the difference in the tail lights and headlights as well as the signature Subaru grill.
Well, when you're on a good thing ... If anything, the XV has grown into its design over the years. When it was first released in 2012, a lot of people really didn't know what to make of the XV, but it's since grown in stature - and sales - to become one of the Subaru's most popular cars.
That external design really points to the XV's quirky yet practical nature with low overhangs at the rear and front, a decent ride height, and black plastic trim to help protect its extremities. The external language carries on through into the interior, which has been lifted from the all new Impreza, which shares its platform with the XV. Funky vertical vents in the centre while the outer vents mimic the design for the air intakes at the front.
The interior also echoes that of the new Impreza, with sweeping lines, well disguised cheaper plastics and a large multimedia touch screen, that's the heart of the car. This top-shelf version comes with leather seats which are offset with a well executed orange contrast stitch. Alternative stitching doesn't always work in more affordable cars, but in this case, it really gives the XV's cabin a lift.