Subaru XV hybrid interior & comfort
It’s not much to look at, but the XV e-Boxer's interior feels well constructed, while standard equipment and comfort are both strong
Inside, Subaru's interior materials and finish look as durable as ever, designed to withstand the kind of lifestyle suggested by the car’s off-road persona. A copper-coloured trim sets the e-Boxer apart from other versions of the XV. Slim A- and B-pillars are appreciated, affording excellent all-round visibility, and Subaru has got seat comfort nailed, too: not only do the seats feel as sturdy as everything else about the XV, but they’re also shaped well and offer plenty of adjustment for finding a good driving position.
Subaru XV hybrid dashboard
The XV’s dashboard isn’t likely to pick up any design awards, but overlook the slightly busy layout and what’s left is fundamentally pretty good. It feels built to last, and even if the materials aren’t much to write home about, everything feels like it has been put together properly. Copper accents across the dashboard, and in the stitching, are a nice hybrid-themed touch, and the instruments are clear. Plus, while you do get a touchscreen system, Subaru is one of a handful of manufacturers offering proper physical controls, both for selecting menus and adjusting heating and ventilation. The built-in CD slot is a bit of an anachronism, though!
Equipment, options & accessories
Standard kit is good on both SE and SE Premium trims: all versions oget a dual infotainment system with eight and 4.3-inch screens, with the larger unit offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.
Also standard is Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance and safety technology package, which uses three cameras to operate adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking systems. On our test, the latter proved clever enough to distinguish between solid objects and the kind of obstacles that are common on off-road terrain, which will reassure potential buyers.
The SE Premium trim adds a sat nav, leather upholstery, a sunroof and a power-adjustable driver’s seat: finding a good driving position is easy thanks to the range of available positions, while visibility is superb.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The main infotainment display is an eight-inch unit built into the dashboard. It has the usual range of features for a manufacturer system, with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, DAB digital radio, voice recognition in addition to touchscreen control and various USB ports for plugging in devices. SE Premium models include sat nav, but with that smartphone connectivity standard on the regular SE, too, that’s not as vital as it might be – and is the only significant infotainment difference between trim levels.
In This Review
- 1VerdictHybrid Subaru XV e-Boxer improves SUV's fuel economy and off-road performance, but rivals offer more for less
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsPrius-like hybrid system doesn’t result in Prius-like economy; this is unfortunately an area where the XV e-Boxer lags well behind its rivals
- 3Running costsDisappointing fuel-economy figures mean road-tax and Benefit-in-Kind rates for the XV e-Boxer may be higher than expected, while warranty and servicing levels are fairly average
- 4Engines, drive & performanceComposed on-road handling and good off-road ability steal a march on some rivals, but the XV e-Boxer's hybrid setup works better at low speeds than in faster driving
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingIt’s not much to look at, but the XV e-Boxer's interior feels well constructed, while standard equipment and comfort are both strong
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe XV e-Boxer's boot space is unaffected by the battery pack beneath, but several rivals let you put more in there in the first place
- 7Reliability & safetyThe XV e-Boxer has strong safety ratings, excellent preventative safety measures and a pretty decent Driver Power result