Subaru has treated its XV to a mid-life makeover, adding new technology, a light facelift and more hybrid choices to the popular small SUV line-up.
In a packed small SUV segment, though, the XV has always performed well, and provides a quarter of Subaru’s total sales volume.
While electrification is only a recent addition to the Subaru arsenal, the XV range is set to double its hybrid variant offerings in Australia… to two. What was simply the XV Hybrid variant is now split into XV Hybrid L and Hybrid S.
The range starts with the XV Hybrid L at $35,490 and is similarly priced to the outgoing 2020 XV Hybrid.
The 2021 XV Hybrid S becomes the range-topper, complete with a $40,790 price tag.
The two hybrid variants will also gain a feature called e-Active Shift Control, which senses the acceleration and G forces of the car to set the engine's revs (via the CVT gearbox) for improved acceleration feel, or to improve engine braking on a hill descent.
Subaru's e-Active Shift Control function kicks in when S mode is engaged via the SI-Drive control system, which is also now standard across the entire Subaru XV range.
The rest of the range is also given plenty of attention in the latest update, from the simple addition of power-folding door mirrors on the base XV 2.0i AWD (on top of the addition of SI-Drive), to the plethora of new features the range-topping Hybrid S boasts.
The entire range also benefits from a suspension retune, which tweaks spring shapes at the front end to move more smoothly and, Subaru says, improve comfort and handling.
New 17-and 18-inch wheels are available for each variant, with the S and Hybrid S scoring the larger of the two.
In addition, the front bumper, fog light housing, and grille have been reshaped, while two exterior colour options change from Sunshine Orange and Quartz Blue Pearl to replacements Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl respectively.
The range now starts at $29,690 for the Subaru XV 2.0i, though the slightly higher spec L variant is $31,990. These are $450 and $380 price hikes respectively, compared to their 2020 predecessors.
Stepping up from the base and L variants, and the XV Premium scores heated door mirrors, while also gaining Subaru’s more extensive safety ‘Vision Assist’ suite.
This adds a blind spot monitor, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking and a front view monitor.
The Subaru XV 2.0i Premium now costs $34,590, which is a hefty $1170 more than the MY2020 version.
The top non-hybrid XV 2.0i S model now scores Subaru’s X-Mode for better off-road or snow driving settings, plus front and side view monitoring.
It also gets new creature comforts including a memory driver’s seat, auto-dipping and folding mirrors, and visual updates such as gloss black console panelling and a stitched binnacle visor.
The Subaru XV 2.0i-S AWD costs $37,290 now, $760 more than before.
Moving up to the Hybrid L, for $35,490, and the list of goodies includes the previously mentioned e-Active Shift Control, X-Mode, Subaru’s EyeSight tech, rain-sensing wipers, a leather steering wheel, and power-folding door mirrors.
The higher-spec Hybrid S ($40,790) adds on top of this a two-mode version of X-Mode, as well as the same Vision Assist suite as the XV Premium, leather-accented power seats with heating and position memory, sports pedals, unique interior accents, slightly larger 18-inch wheels, and an electric sunroof.
Subaru Australia's newly appointed general manager Blair Read calls the mid-life update a “formidable list of technology and cosmetic changes.”
He says the Hybrid’s popularity in its debut year among buyers has prompted the slight diversification of its electrified offerings.
"We are also delighted to offer additional choice within the XV Hybrid range, which has drawn considerable interest from both existing Subaru owners and prospects since the initial variant launched early this year.”
Below is a breakdown of pricing for the entire range, compared with the equivalent in the 2020 model-year line-up.
NOW READ Subaru XV Hybrid review
|Variant||2020 price||MY21 price|
|Subaru XV 2.0i AWD||$29,240||$29,690 (+$450)|
|Subaru XV 2.0i-L AWD||$31,610||$31,990 (+$380)|
|Subaru XV 2.0i Premium AWD||$33,420||$34,590 (+$1170)|
|Subaru XV 2.0i-S AWD||$36,530||$37,290 (+$760)|
|Subaru XV Hybrid L AWD||$35,580
(one hybrid variant)
|Subaru XV Hybrid S AWD||$40,790 (+$5210; higher spec)|