The Subaru is an exceptional vehicle. For most however the XV is probably unnecessary. The impreza and the XV are basically the same car. The XV comes with a few extra features and is a couple of inches higher off the ground. For those few features and a bit of extra ground clearance you do pay a bit more for the XV. The point being, if you don’t need the hight you would be financially better off looking into purchasing the little brother, the Subaru Imprezza.
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You could have a look here for the Subaru XV vehicle review.
The XV is almost the same vehicle, The floor pan, body work and glass are all the same or very very similar. It runs the famous boxer engine and Subarus All wheel drive system. Coupled with the newest generation of engine that has done away with the troublesome timing belt EJ series of engines. The upside to this new chain driven engine is cheaper maintenance costs, especially when the vehicle gets a few more kilometres on it.
The down side and one of the common faults with these engines is the timing covers are known to leak oil. Its not a huge disaster of a job to repair but can leave you feeling like you had your bottom pinched by a stranger on public transport. The repair for this requires the radiator removal and a lot of pulley and sensors, then the timing cover itself. the repair will set you back around a grand worth of coin if done properly.
Subrau have yet to sort the pesky lower control arm bushes fault in these cars. Its hardly a reason for not purchasing a motor vehicle but be mindful that around the forty thousand kilometre mark the lower control arm buses will need replacing. This is not normally something covered by manufacturers warranty as it is a wearing part. The Job is not expensive however we do advise always using the genuine bushes. The after market alternatives for this particular bush just don’t last nearly as long as the genuine Subaru bush.
Aside from those two faults the Impreza and the XV are yet to display anything in the common faults category. They do come with very impressive interface allowing the owner to set tyre pressure monitoring, service scheduling and oil changes all on their own on the dash. This does help the DIY guy to as he does not require the scan tool to reset the service lights.
The new FB series of Subaru engines do run a very thin grade of oil. 0W20 is almost water like in consistency, be sure to keep to the manufacturers recommendations, thicker grades of oil do not allow for oil passage though very small galleries that are required for hydqrolicly operating components to the engine. Thicker oil will cause the check engine light to illuminate and the car to drop into limp mode until rectified.
The most common fault we have experienced with these vehicles is the battery failing. The battery replacement in these vehicles needs to be a battery that is compatible with stop start or i-stop technology, these batteries are traditionally more expensive than conventional car batteries.
Drivability in this vehicle is fantastic, if you like the imprzza but prefer the higher seating position of a mini SUV the XV would be an exceptional car for you. Mechanically both are exceptional, cheap maintenance costs and exceptional interior space. Its still got he Subaru plastic feeling which i feel is where Subaru have always been a bit of a let down. The finish and interior trim of Subarus always feels cold and distant, unlike a Honda that begs you stay in the vehicle for a nap.
Overall the Impreza is fantastic. very little go wrong and we have no issues advising our clients to purchase these cars.