With a season of Western Australian road trips on the horizon, we are entering the age of the compact crossover. Cars are now expected to be the all-rounder: mastering hairpin turns in the city while also sporting enough ground clearance for a rocky mountain pass. One such car is the Subaru XV: a hot contender among the new breed of compact crossovers, let’s see how the latest model stacks up.

Bringing efficiency to the city streets

At first glance, the Subaru XV comes across as smart and capable. Its design maximises interior space while staying true to the compact SUV mould. The XV has been built to handle tight city streets and the perils of peak hour traffic. With fuel efficiency that reflects its size and weight, 7 litres per 100km is as expected. A continuation of the auto start-stop technology means the XV feels like a city car when you’re stuck at the lights, you only need to catch your reflection to remind yourself you’re not in a hot hatch. While only slightly longer than a VW Golf, you’re never disappointed by the size of the boot.

When the road gets rough

In the city, it’s a modest, fuel-saving car. But as soon as the road turns to gravel, or disappears completely, Subaru is keen to show this car can keep on going. X-Mode delivers extra grip and activates the intelligent Vehicle Dynamics Control system making the car more stable over uneven and slippery terrain. Adding to the mix is Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system that works to increase stability and grip at any speed. Compared to the closest competition, and with All Wheel Drive and X-Mode coming as standard, the XV certainly does excite.

EyeSight technology Subaru’s answer to road safety 

Being safe on the roads is a priority. It’s become a standout feature that is taken very seriously by carmakers these days. Subaru has taken their safety to the next level with their very own EyeSight Driver Assistance package that is available in almost every trim. From staying in your lane to the pre-collision braking system, the Eyesight safety suite is a world class system that comes despite Subaru’s universal 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Topping it off is a standard rear-view reverse camera for extra peace of mind. Family vacations and even the hectic school run can be distracting, having this kind of technology backing your every move is certainly a comfort worth having.

Is the Subaru XV road-trip worthy?

No Subaru XV review is complete without answering this simple question: would you take this car on a road trip? The Crossover happens to be a great car for the job. You’re getting all the perks of an easy-to-drive city car while becoming fully capable of some light off-roading when the occasion arises. It also comes with some great infotainment specs such as voice command recognition, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity. Higher trims are bursting with a responsive 8-inch touchscreen, and 2 USB charging ports for longer and better connectivity. All combined, this crossover boasts a capable, and affordable package that will certainly deliver on your next road trip.