Subaru landed on a winning format when it turned an Impreza variant into a small SUV.

A simple and elegant solution to its small-SUV problem, the XV slots so naturally into the Japanese brand’s chunky SUV line-up, you’d be forgiven for thinking it has existed since the ’90s.

Now in its second iteration in Australia, the XV has its own fleshed-out four-variant family. But does it have enough of that unique Subaru charm to set it apart from a crowded field of competitors? I spent a week in the top-spec 2.0i-S to investigate.