-Subaru Impreza XV Turbo diesel.
Subaru have been pretty quiet since they launched the new Forester, Impreza and Legacy recently. Maybe this is a good thing since there was a slight uproar when the Impreza was launched awhile back. From a slightly demented looking sedan it had become a slightly dull looking hatchback. Of course people have gotten used to it and now Subaru thinks that the world needs a crossover version of the Impreza so they launched it at Geneva recently. Subaru have decided to call it the Impreza XV instead of using the 'Outback' name as their Legacy models. Why Subaru have done so is a small mystery to me. Anyway, ‘X’ stands for Crossover and ‘V’ for Vehicle. So we have another ‘soft roader’ or an ‘urban on-roader’. Which is basically good for people who think they have sporting lifestyles but are actually as normal as most of us. I mean, you see advertisements portraying people in them to be those that use the soft roaders to go mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing but they will actually use it to go buy milk at the nearest supermarket, send the kids to school or end up shopping at 2 o'clock in the morning at Mustafa’s.
But enough about the facts stated above. It seems that Subaru could be filling up its hole left by the Forester. What hole has the Forester left you may ask? Well, look at the current Forester and then take a look at the previous one. The older one looked like an Impreza station wagon with a very high roof. It did not look too much like an SUV and sold to those who wanted something different. It was actually a real crossover vehicle. The car looked like something very much in between unlike the new one which looks truly like what an SUV should be. It is this very reason that the new Subaru Impreza VX may sell in decent numbers.
- Only a 2.0 non-turbo petrol upon launch. No sign of a 2.0 petrol turbo as yet.
So basically this is an Impreza with extra cladding on the wheel arches, different bumpers with roof rails and different roof spoiler. Niche marketing comes into play again. The ride height looks almost the same as other basic Imprezas. At 155mm for the petrol and 150m for the turbo diesel. It is powered by a choice of two engines. A naturally aspirated petrol and the other a turbo diesel with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Both engines feature Subaru's Flat Four or Boxer layout. An ancient 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual is specified for the 2.0R petrol (150ps, 196nm), while the 2.0D (150ps, 350nm) has a specially-developed 6-speed manual. Like all current model Imprezas, the power goes to all four wheels via the symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system. Note that there is no petrol turbo option for the moment and if you like your Imprezas to come with a bonnet scoop as standard and with a 6speeder, you have to buy a diesel.
Front suspension uses a strut-type model and the rear has a double wishbone suspension system. Subaru says this combination is sufficiently stiff for a fun drive yet at the same time provides sought-after family comfort when needed. I do hope it is really ‘sufficiently stiff’. When the Impreza SGT was launched in this region I drove one and found out that it rolled like crazy and powering on at 80km/h through a round-a-bout was very comical, scary and disappointing at the same time. I hope that the XV will have none of the body roll like the SGT with the slightly raised suspension in the XV, We’ll just have to wait and see for the local importers to bring it in I suppose.
Lastly, the interior has a two tone brown/black fabric seat arrangement for the interior. Black leather is also available as an option. The rest of it includes a 10-speaker CD/radio sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod connection and a leather-covered steering wheel with audio controls. And oh yeah, the same disappointing hard plastics you get in a normal Impreza is still there but being a Subaru, you know the parts are going to withstand the wear and tear you throw at it. And that folks is the tough, lifestyle crossover vehicle called the Subaru Impreza XV, hopefully making an appearance in the urban jungle of Singapore soon.