SUBARU Australia has expanded the appeal of its XV small SUV range with the inclusion of a single hybrid variant, which touches down in Australian showrooms priced from $35,580 plus on-road costs.
Its price positioning places the Hybrid grade as the penultimate variant in the XV line-up, above the 2.0i Premium ($33,420) and underneath the 2.0i-S ($36,530).
Subaru Australia managing director Colin Christie told GoAuto that Subaru worked hard with its head office to bring a hybrid variant to market that could be competitive on price.
“I think for us it was really important to bring the hybrid technology at a reasonable price,” he said.
“If it was a five, six, seven thousand-dollar price premium, then I don’t think it was going to work.
“What we needed to do was to bring a car that people know, people love, people see what they’re getting for and understand it, but then have the ability to move into hybrid if they choose to at a reasonably small price walk.
“So it’s critical and we spent months and months and months with the factory to get that price walk right, and it’s really important to bring it to market with a price point where customers are able to access a product.”
The XV hybrid marks the first electrified powertrain to arrive in Australia for Subaru, along with the two-variant Forester medium SUV, with Subaru saying it has received nearly 5000 expressions of interest for the two models, and already chalked up 500 fleet sales.
As for private buyers, both grades are sold out until May, with Subaru anticipating only 150-200 units arriving each month due to supply restrictions coming out of the factory.
Despite playing in a smaller segment, the XV uses the same e-Boxer powertrain as the Forester, namely a 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine developing 110kW at 6000rpm and 196Nm at 4000rpm (5kW shy of its petrol counterpart) mated to a synchronous electric motor good for 12kW/66Nm.
The lithium-ion battery is stored at the rear axle and the electric motor in the middle of the driveline, which has helped Subaru retain its symmetrical all-wheel drive.
A continuously-variable transmission is used for the boxer engine, which provides sole power when driving at high speeds.
At low speeds – up to 40km/h – the electric motor can operate independently, while at medium speeds the hybrid system works together.
Official combined fuel consumption for the XV hybrid is rated at 6.5 litres per 100km, which leads to a 7.1 per cent fuel consumption reduction, while the official emissions of 147 grams of CO2 per km ranks as a 7.5 per cent improvement.
Subaru says the low-down torque provided by the electric motor allows for enhanced ability from its X-Mode off-road system, however the fitment of the hybrid powertrain has meant the spare wheel in petrol grades has been removed.
Standard kit on the XV hybrid includes 17-inch alloys, colour-coded mirrors and door handles, heated door mirrors, rear privacy glass, dusk-sensing headlights, rain-sensing wipers, rear roof spoiler, black roof rails and front LED foglights.
Inside it scores a 6.5-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, six-speaker audio system, automatic climate control air-conditioning, charcoal cloth upholstery, leather trim for the steering wheel and gear shifter, height and reach adjustable steering column and two 12V power outlets.
Safety equipment extends to Subaru’s EyeSight suite of active technologies with autonomous emergency braking including when reversing, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lead vehicle start alert, brake assist, pedestrian alert, blind spot monitor, lane change assist, high beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, reversing camera and seven airbags.
The XV hybrid comes with the same five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty as the petrol grades, while the lithium-ion battery has an eight-year/160,000km assurance period.
The small SUV segment is fairly light on for alternative powertrain offerings, with the only real competitor coming in the form of the Toyota C-HR hybrid, which asks $36,440.
In 2019 Subaru sold 10,062 examples of the XV, marking a 22.2 per cent slide over the 12,937 it managed over the previous 12 months.
Despite this it still managed to finish sixth in the segment behind the likes of the Mitsubishi ASX (20,806) and Mazda CX-3 (14,813).
2020 Subaru XV pricing*
|2.0i Premium (a)||$33,420|
*Excludes on-road costs