Last year, Subaru sold more XVs than any other model — out-selling its Forester big brother by 505 units. So for our first long-termer of the year, we thought we’d see what everyone loves about this high-riding Impreza.

This model is the top-spec 2.0i-S XV and has the full menu in terms of safety gear, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, pre-collision brake assist, lane keep assist and more, all displayed on the dash’s 6.3-inch multi-function display and standard as part of Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist system.

Something unique about the XV has always been its eye-popping colour palette — although, admittedly there’s only one bright colour now. In today’s age of black, white and silver cars, Subaru actually offers (at least) one cool colour for the XV, something the Impreza (or any other model) doesn’t get which is that vibrant Sunshine Orange you’ve probably seen on the road.

The top-spec 2.0i-S is the only variant to get LED daytime running lights and fog lights, as well as steering responsive and self-levelling LED headlights. And it’s also the only variant to get heated front seats, heated mirrors, auto wipers, leather-appointed trim (with orange stitching) and larger 18-inch wheels (other variants get 17s).

There’s also just one drivetrain throughout the range — a 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder petrol engine, or a ’flat-four’ — paired exclusively to a CVT automatic (with seven-speed paddle shift) in all-wheel drive.

My initial impression in how it drives has proven harmonious, as there’s a decent amount of grunt coming from its 115kW 2.0-litre engine, and given it was brand new (75km on odometer) when it arrived in the garage, it should start to loosen up and get better as we go.

Finely-tuned ears may pick up on a small amount of wind noise coming from the factory-fitted roof rails, but only at highway speeds – although definitely not enough to be a deal breaker.

With the odometer now sitting just over 1000km, our test car’s average consumption rating is sitting at 8.2L/100km.

Over the next few months, we plan to test out the XV’s practical elements as an everyday commuter while also assessing whether it does have an adventurous side with a few weekend getaways chasing the last rays of warm weather.

Given the XV’s go-anywhere personality, I think we’ll fill it full of gear and take it away for the weekend to see how it handles some menacing terrain. 

If you would like to find out more about the Subaru XV, call us on (02) 8545 8888.

Sourced Drive.