Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
What does 2.0i-S mean? For some reason, it’s the top-spec model. Even higher than the Premium version. Don’t ask me how that works.
Confusing naming conventions aside, you’re looking at the most expensive XV you can buy. It carries an MSRP of $35,490, which is $3,100 more expensive than the 2.0i Premium that sits below it, and $5,750 more than its Impreza 2.0i-S hatchback equivalent.
That pricing is at the top-end of small SUV town and pits it against similar all-wheel-drive rivals like the $35,290 Toyota C-HR Koba, $32,990 Suzuki Vitara S Turbo, $39,000 Hyundai Kona Highlander or petrol-powered $36,790 Mazda CX-3 Akari.
If you’ve been paying attention, there is also now a remarkably similar hatch-based SUV called the Ssangyong Tivoli XLV, which is priced at $35,490 for the top-spec Ultimate.
It’s a crowded playing field, but the Subaru delivers with some good equipment at this price. Included is front LED lighting (with steering-responsive, dusk-sensing headlights), 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, heated and power-folding wing-mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with nav, digital radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support, leather trim on the seats shift-lever and steering wheel, heated front seats, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and exterior chrome accents.
All those bits certainly add up to a plush feel behind the wheel. Missing for a top model is the option of a holographic head-up display (available on the CX-3), or the option of two-tone paints (C-HR, Tivoli XLV).
The Subaru instead gets the decidedly more substantial addition of its signature ‘X-Mode’ off-road system and hill descent control to go with its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. These give the Subaru a rugged edge for the same money.