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SUBARU [Newcastle Journal (England)]
[February 21, 2014]

SUBARU [Newcastle Journal (England)]

(Newcastle Journal (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE Subaru XV compact crossover has received a number of upgrades for 2014 that bring improvements to refinement, ride, handling, safety and cabin quality.

The most significant improvements to the XV are found in petrol- engine models, with 2.0 litre models receiving suspension modifications to improve ride quality and a range of new valvetrain components that reduce engine noise. There are improvements across the XV range - including 2.0-litre diesel models - with additional sound-proofing in the bulkhead to further insulate the cabin from engine noise.

The electronic power steering system has been revised to improve stability and feel. A new inflating dynamic damper system reduces steering wheel and column vibration, while engineers have finetuned the system to provide more weight, greater straight-line steering feel and a more linear steering response.

Safety has been improved, which yields further improvements in the five-star Euro NCAP crash safety performance. With a score of 90%, the XV already has one of the highest Euro NCAP scores in the industry for child protection.

Inside, there are higher-quality silver surrounds housing the steering wheel buttons and heater controls, and new gloss-black switches to control the car's air-conditioning system.

A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and instrument cluster Gear Shift Indicator have been added to every model in the range.

Two Boxer engines are now available, a 2.0i petrol and 2.0 diesel in SE or SE Premium trim. Petrol models get a six-speed manual or Subaru's Lineartronic CVT transmission, while diesel versions are available with a manual transmission.

The XV is among the best in class for fuel efficiency, with the 2.0-litre diesel recording 50mpg and CO2 emissions of 146g/km.

The specification on the Subaru XV SE models includes auto lights and wipers, 17in alloy wheels, xenon headlamps with pop-up wash, Hill Start Assist, dual-zone air conditioning, knee airbags, rear vision camera and Bluetooth. The new SE Premium trim level replaces the previous Lux Premium model, adding satellite navigation and leather interior to an already long list of features.

In spite of the upgrades, prices for the 2.0 litre Subaru XV are unchanged, starting at Pounds 21,995. Prices were reduced by Pounds 2,300 last July, making the XV one of the best value all-wheel- drive crossovers on the market.

As with every model in the Subaru range, the XV is sold as standard with a five-year, 100,000 -mile warranty.

The new Subaru WRX STI is coming to these shores in summer.

The good news for performance car fans is that as a result of the recent movements in exchange rates, the new model will be priced at Pounds 28,995 when it hits showrooms in May, which is Pounds 4,000 cheaper than its predecessor.

At its heart is a 2.5-litre turbocharged Subaru Boxer four- cylinder engine which, in STI guise, produces 305bhp and 290lb/ft of torque. The six-speed gearbox has been reinforced and now adopts even shorter throw and slicker, sportier shift feel.

An increase in wheelbase of 25mm gives the new WRX STI greater rear leg room as well as more shoulder and elbow room inside the cabin, without increasing the exterior dimensions.

At the rear, the diffuser integrated bumper and twin dual mufflers are unmistakably Subaru while new 18in alloy wheels are designed to be both lighter and more rigid. LED lighting is employed for the headlights, tail and brake lights while 'STI' badges are found on the front grille and wings. Subaru's best-selling model, the Forester, has been named 'Mid Range SUV of the Year' by 4x4 Magazine.

Commenting on the Forester's victory, Nigel Fryatt, Editor of 4x4 Magazine, said: "This version is fresh, good-looking and a great drive.

"The Forester maintains its competent off-road ability and bad weather credentials. That it is also great to drive on the road is the bonus that grabbed the class victory." The petrol turbo XT has been in particularly high demand and the new model is also available with Subaru's latest 2.0-litre petrol and diesel Boxer engines, with all versions featuring Subaru's trademark symmetrical allwheel-drive as standard.

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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