June 04, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2021 Subaru XV 2.0i-S EyeSight

Urban Renewal

The new 2021 Subaru XV 2.0i-S EyeSight featuring an updated grille and front trim, accentuating its purposeful and athletic stance has arrived. The 1st generation Subaru XV (also known as the Crosstrek in other markets) was a standout subcompact crossover since 2012 because it genuinely ran its active all-wheel-drive system, albeit still with a front bias torque split of 60:40, all the time while still achieving 26 mpg City and 34 mpg Highway fuel economy, unlike the rest of the competition which would engage the rear wheels either electronically only at low speed or during traction slippage. This made for an inspiring all-weather drive for buyers who desired a taller compact hatchback with authentic versatility.

Despite being very conservative in the power department, (practically every Subaru fan wanted a turbo installed in the excellent chassis) the outgoing XV was a very good all-around vehicle with strong values and a healthy and very usable 8.7-inch ground clearance. With the all-new 2nd generation model released in 2017, the overall experience was improved with more capacity and features combined with a livelier and lighter direct injection 2.0-liter flat-4 engine from the current 5th generation Impreza, which has a higher compression ratio that had a minute power increase of 4 hp at 200 rpm less engine speed and the same 145 lb-ft of torque as before but also at 200 less revs. The new engine combined with the updated CVT, which now had a greater ratio spread with virtual 7-stepped (up by one) predetermined ratios via paddle shifters, actually made up for the roughly 60-pound weight increase and allowed the XV to perform marginally better than before with a touch more enthusiasm.

With the mid-cycle model refresh, that same engine was carried over but now the XV has a 2-stage SI-DRIVE mode combined with a mild retuning of the CVT so now the driver has a choice whether to remain conservative or drive with a smidgen more aggression resulting with better acceleration and overall drivability. Another key improvement applied to the attractive updated Subaru XV are new coil springs and dampers for an even more composed ride without compromising agility. The ride is much better than before in a quieter cabin. The brakes were carried over.

The mild off-road dual-function X-Mode is carried over with a more acute engagement that can be activated at speeds below 40 km/h but will engage at 30 km/h and below, and also Hill Descent Control which is operational up to short of 20 km/h among other new features. The 18-inch alloy design is also new wrapped with excellent Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport 225/55R18 98V tires. Other notable new equipment includes the better full LED headlight lighting with LED Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH), signature DRL and washers, nicer contrasting carbon and perforated leather interior panel trim, front fog lamps which are LED now while the mirrors auto-tilt on reverse, and the doors finally have speed-sensing auto locks. The 8-way power driver’s seat has memory settings if you intend to share your adventure vehicle. Other good carry overs are the aluminum pedals, rear LED lights, smart key with push start ignition, High Beam Assist, rain-sensing wipers, rear trunk tonneau cover, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind-spot detection, multiple SRS bags, moonroof, and the EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology which manages the adaptive cruise control and the automated pre-collision braking system.

The interior was already a strong feature before so almost all of the treatment has been retained. The great seats are still good looking, supportive and comfortable especially at the rear with a wealth of orange stitching that is also applied nicely on the dashboard, center tunnel, steering wheel, and shift boot. The 8-inch high definition infotainment head unit still uses a 6-speaker 180-watt system with rear camera but now it also has Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity. The multi-function display found top and center on the dashboard as before now has an even wider array of data with crisper graphics.

Our test unit came in the new Plasma Yellow Pearl which is great but other markets have yellow color matched trim which would have been more appropriate. The other two new colors available are Horizon Blue Pearl and Magnetite Grey Metallic. Yes, we hoped for more improvements and additional equipment like the more powerful Harman Kardon® 432-watt 8-speaker audio system and the new 2.5-liter 182 bhp / 176 lb-ft flat-4 engine found in other markets but Subaru Philippines was very concerned about the final pricing which may have made the new XV too expensive for its target market. As it is though, the new Subaru XV is a solid product that just got better for pretty much the same money. In fact, if you buy one now, until the end of June 2021, the new model is actually priced less than the outgoing pre-facelift model.


Specification – 2021 Subaru XV 2.0i-S EyeSight

Engine: Flat-4

Location: Front, Longitudinal

Displacement: 1995 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS)

Fuel Injection: Direct Injection, Normally-Aspirated

Max power: 152 bhp @ 6000 rpm

Max torque: 145 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

Transmission: Lineartronic® CVT, Intelligent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Front suspension: Independent MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Independent Double wishbones with anti-roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 63 liters (16.6 gallons)

Load Capacity: 1566 liters (2nd row folded) / 589 liters (2nd row up)

Ground Clearance: 221 mm

Wading Depth: 500 mm

Approach Angle: 18 degrees

Departure Angle: 29 degrees

Ramp-over angle: 19.7 degrees

L x W x H: 4485 mm x 1800 mm x 1615 mm

Wheelbase: 2665 mm

Brakes: Front 11.6-inch (295 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers / Rear 10.8-inch (274 mm) solid discs with single piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, X-MODE®, VDC, BA, BOS.

Wheels: 18”x 7J Multi-spoke Bi-Color Machined Finish Aluminum Alloys.

Tires: P225/55R18 98V Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport

Weight: (kerb) 1445 kg. (3179 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.5 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 195 km/h (122 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 28 mpg City / 33 mpg Highway (7 L/100 kms. Overall)

Price as tested: PhP 1,828,000.00 (Promotional Price up to June 30, 2021, Normal SRP PhP 1,908,000.00)

C! RATING 9/10

+Much welcomed updates and fresh aesthetics, very capable and comfortable. Clever EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. The best intelligent mechanical AWD system in its class.

-Price. No rear a/c vents.

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