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Subaru XV

Subaru XV (page 2 of 6)

G5X (2017-2019) and G4X (2015-2017)
3.6 from 120 reviews

Plesantly surprised

Excellent dynamics
Good performance once you get used to the cvt's linear characteristics
Bullet proof engineering and quality
It's got enough power if you rev the happily revving engine
Don't pay too much attention to the critics about the power output being too low
Comfy and quite ride
Only criticism is the sound system being below expectations.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedJun 2018

What a disgraceful automobile.

Back in 2013 I purchased a brand new Subaru XV for my wife’s birthday. This was after a few years of driving a car that spent more time on the back of a tow truck than on the road. As you can imagine she was very happy. Wind forward 5 years, that car has now done a massive 44336 kms. Less than 9000 kms per year. A few weeks ago this car went for its longest drive, nearly 3hours. Unfortunately the car didn’t make its final destination as the CVT gearbox expired. I have now got a car that doesn’t work, but the Subaru dealership where I purchased the car wants to hit me for $10k to repair this issue. The car has had all of its services as per the log book. As the dealership touched me up on the first service, I used another A grade mechanic who I trust. Now the dealership will not cover or even discuss this disgusting excuse for a car. Trying to discuss with Subaru, however I am not allowed to have the report from the dealership on the condition of my car. This is getting very nasty. And this after what I am reading on what is quiet obviously a problem with the gearbox. Gee we bought the Subaru because of the legendary toughness and durability of the brand. NEVER AGAIN SUBARU!!!!

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedOct 2013

Really Disappointed

Bought Our XV New from a Dealer as we had a really Bad Experience with a Nissan X-Trail and as had previously owned Many Subaru's in or 30 years of Driving and were really Happy with our choice for a while. We have spent incredibly amounts of money since our Warranty has expired. Being now a 4 year car and only 100,000 km on the speedo we are looking at seriously Trading it in.
The air conditioning never seem to work properly from day one and cost us lots to fix after numerous times telling the Dealer initially of the problem in the early years of purchase and various parts replaced it still has issues. The CV's Both Front have been replaced.
And the really disappointing thing is the price you pay for such a car which honestly does not hold up to the Subaru Brand. Never buying a Subaru again as we are really disappointed with the vehicle.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMay 2014

Crappy Little Car

Disclaimer: I want to say first that I do not own this car. I own a nice car. A real nice one. I am a fancy man and not the target demographic for this car, so it makes sense that I don't like it. With that said, I get to drive one of these XV's regularly and I can say it's a cheap, flimsy, unrefined car that isn't nice to drive.
The engine is harsh, coarse, noisy, gutless and it sounds like it really hates to rev despite the fact that you have to rev the nuts off it to get anything out of it at all. It has no torque whatsoever anywhere within the rev range. I don't mind an underpowered engine if it's fun to rev but this thing sounds atrocious and is not rewarding to engage with at all. This engine is a wailing dinosaur. The CVT transmission is flaccid and embarrassing and it isn't well engineered. I had to stop on a steep hill today and when I mashed the gas to get back up to speed, nothing happened. Not in a hyperbolic "this thing is gutless" way but in a literal "this thing doesn't work properly and is dangerous" kind of a way. I nearly got rear-ended because I had the accelerator pinned to the floor but the car wouldn't move an inch. Very worrying. Never experienced anything like that before in any car. Even though it's an automatic it often judders and you get that 'bunny hop' effect. You can feel the whole car juddering back and forth at low speed as the dim-witted CVT hasn't the faintest idea what it's doing. It's mild juddering but it's there.
The ventilation system is inadequate. The windows fog up too easily and require the AC to be blasted to clear it.
Basically, unless I have the AC on the windows will fog up regardless of temp or outside climate. The vents are an odd shape, size, and are poorly positioned. Cabin air filtration is poor so if you're driving anywhere near any other cars at all you smell their exhaust, so you put on recirculated air and then the windows fog up so you have to put the AC on. The controls for the air are positioned away from the display that tells what setting they're on. So for example you have to look down to find the knobs for the ventilation, you put you hand to the knob, but then you have to cast your eye up to the screen in the top of the dash and then visually locate the animation that tells you if you've got the air directed at your feet, or your face, or whatever. The controls should be more intuitive and adjusting them shouldn't involve looking all over the bloody cabin because I'd prefer to get my eyes back on the road.
The engine stop-start function is a pointless gimmick that just gets on my nerves. It can be switched off but it has to be switched off every time you start the car and it can't be permanently disabled.
The car is noisy and has poor sound insulation. Even at low speeds the cabin drones with road & engine noise. When pushed around corners I do not like the way the back end of the car moves around. The front end is very quick and direct which is nice at low speeds but at high speeds I get the impression that the back end isn't as stable and responsive as the front and it feels like sometimes the back end can't keep up. It has ECO tyres from the factory and they're not especially grippy. What good is the AWD if the tyres don't grip? The car doesn't feel very well balanced under panic braking from high speeds. Uh, what else. The boot is tiny. Barely big enough for a weekly shopping. You couldn't get a Labrador in there. The radio comes on every time I start the car, even if it was off when I turned the car off. The dealer says that it's meant to do this but I don't believe him. Why would Subaru design the radio to come on automatically every time I start the car? It's annoying, the dealer doesn't want to hear about, and I think it's a fault with the software.
Seats are soft and not supportive and the seatback is adjusted with one of those levers where you have to lean forward off the seat to adjust it so you can never get it quite right. When I press my knee onto the inside door trim it moves a lot. Everything moves a lot when you push it. All of the plastics are scratchy and cheap and thin with nothing behind them to pad them or dampen sound. All plastics are a depressing grey/black. The only splash of vibrancy in the cabin is some bright orange contrast stitching in the seat upholstery which you can't see once you're sitting on it. Whole interior feels cheap as chips. The black vinyl on the interior door handle is so thin and cheap that I'm sure I could poke a hole through it with my finger and it looks sloppy. Really lame, pathetic little car. Fuel economy is not very good considering how pathetic and limp-wristed the performance is. 8 - 9 litres per 100km is pretty terrible for a car that has compromised its own performance so much in an attempt to gain fuel economy. Touchscreen is tiny and so are the buttons on it, and the touchscreen isn't very sensitive near its edges which is where 90% of the buttons are which means I have to press at the screen several times to change radio stations or whatever. Input delay on the touchscreen can be several seconds. There are way too many buttons on the steering wheel. Too many buttons in general. My own car has twice as many features and half as many of these tiny little buttons all over the place. Work that one out. Headlights are sub par. The headlights are not bad around town/suburbs but if you venture out onto dirt roads that have no lighting (which this car is designed for, supposedly) then the lights just don't quite get the job done as well as they could/should. I recently drove the car in heavy rain and I could hear water running/splashing in or around the B-pillar. I don't know if there's some kind of drain passage there or what but it was an intrusive sound an inch from my ear and it became super annoying real quick. Sounds can bounce around in the odd acoustics of a car interior so perhaps the water trickling sound isn't coming from that area, but that's where I hear it and it's right by by ear. As I mentioned before this car has poor sound insulation so this trickling water sound was impossible to tune out. What else...
Oh! The engine stop-start necessitates a specific battery which can accommodate highly frequent up/down cycles. It also requires a very specific engine oil to avoid all that extra engine wear on those constant start ups. The battery and oil are harder to find than average and are more expensive than average, negating the minuscule amount of money saved on fuel. In 2,000kms the stop-start feature has saved a whopping 1.2 litres of fuel (or like, a dollar fifty) and this is in practically nothing but rush hour bumper-to-bumper stop-start traffic which is meant to be the ideal situation for the stop-start system to shine. If you do mostly highway and suburban driving the stop-start will probably cost you money in the long run in the higher cost of engine oil, battery, and the extra wear and tear on the starter motor and alternator and all that stuff. Total gimmick, if the salesman at the dealership talks it up like a great feature just roll your eyes at him and make a jerking motion with your hand.

The reverse camera is pretty good, the steering is quick and direct and at low speed the car has nippy handling, and despite the fact that the seats are soft and unsupportive they're really quite comfy. The backseat is big enough for two adults to sit in reasonable comfort which is more than can be said about some other cars this size. When reversing up a steep hill the CVT makes a funny woo-woo-woo sound that reminds me of a 1950's movie ghost sound effect and this makes me smile. But then, this isn't my car, I didn't pay for it, and I'm laughing at it - not with it.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Unhappy with car shudders at low speed

I bought a 2017 Subaru XV Premium edition and it has had a fault from day 1. The car shudders at low speed almost to the point where it nearly stalls, especially taking off from lights. It makes for tough driving when in peak hour traffic. I took the car to a Subaru Service Centre and they acknowledged the problem however told me that it is a known issue but cannot be fixed. I was told by the Manager that the car is new and it's still learning and that it will hopefully go away. After having the car for 6 months and just over 6,000k's the matter is getting worse not getting better. I contacted Subaru Australia and was basically told to GO AWAY.

I am very unhappy with the service that I have received so far from Subaru Australia, I clearly do not understand how a dealership can sell new cars with a known fault and get away with it.

I am like all the others, have spent a lot of money on a car that will never be right.

My previous car was a Toyota and I never had this much trouble with a Toyota Car or Toyota Australia, pity I switched makers.

Badge2.0i Special Edition
Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedDec 2017

Stylish & Economical

I am so happy with this car. It is so economical the fuel tank lasts so long compared to previous cars. It is really smooth to drive. The interior is sleek and although it may not seem like there is enough room it fits my car seat, pram & dog on holidays including or luggage. It is quite spacious. I mainly bought this car for the look but I couldn’t be happier with the way it runs and it makes me feel very safe as a bit higher up as I have been in a car accident previously. If I ever purchase another car it will definitely be from Subaru!

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMar 2016

Excellent value, great to drive and economical

The interior is well planned, spacious and has quality features. The driving position and vision are exceptional. I am getting 5-6L/100km for highway driving and 7-8L/100km for urban driving. Steering is light and responsive. Eyesight features like adaptive cruise control and safety warnings are impressive. Very happy with my choice.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedJan 2018

Shaking on low speeds

Hate this car! We were disappointed after 2 days of driving it. We just bought the 2018 Subaru XV and it shakes on low speeds. I always get stuck in traffic coming back from work and the whole 50 minutes I drive 20-30km/h. The car shakes and shudders the whole time and it feels that it's gone choke and stop. Hasn't fully stopped yet, though.

When we took it to the service we were told it's a software issue, they have an update for Impreza but not for XV. We were told to live with it until and if Subaru makes a software update for XV.

I don't recommend this car to anyone.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMar 2018

love my car

It was time for a quality car. I'm 50 now so stylish luxury it had to be. I specifically wanted beige interior and thankfully Subaru delivered. This car drives smooth and makes every journey a pleasure. The dark tint is beautiful and the instrumentation is easy on the eye. Highly recommended.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedJun 2017

Easy to drive, economical high clearance car

I live in a country area with worn, potholed dirt roads with high centres that occasionally flood. The high clearnce of this car is ideal, it handles very well in all conditions and so far is reliable .

I downsized from an Xtrail and it occassionally feels a bit small for carrying gear, but it is a smaller grade of car.

It has also devolped the strangest internal squeaks, which are not mechanical.

Otherwise a great little car - 6.9l per 100k without aircon, 7.4l per 100k with aircon.

No complaints, a well engineered car that is a pleasure to drive in all weathers.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMar 2016
1 comment
UPDATE - I am still happy with the car, it drives well and the clearance is great... BUT... the paint job leaves a lot to be desired. I have never had a car where my soft unmanicured figernails have scretchedt the paint (multiple times), by the drivers side door handle. What are they using? Never happenned in 7 years with my Xtrail.


This car drives ok providing you do not drive under 40kms per hour. It stutters and shudders almost to the point of stopping. I have been told by Subaru that I need to modify my driving. After taking it back to Subaru many many times they haves said that it is a “characteristic” of the vehicle. Funny how they dont mention this in their shiny brochures. I drove a 2017 XV and loved it, but it appears that the 2018 release has this problem. I have found other 2018 owners and the problem is consistent with this model. Subaru do not have a fix - they admit it is a problem and basically we (and others) have been told to just live with it. NOT GOOD ENOUGH SUBARU!!!!!!! Fix it or give me (us) a refund...........

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedNov 2017

Low speed CVT shudder on new MY18 XV

I bought a MY18 Premium in late December 2017. From day one the CVT gearbox has displayed a mild shudder or jerkiness under gentle acceleration. The sensations is not apparent under fast acceleration.

The vehicle now has just under 5000km on the clock and it appears to be getting worse. Subaru Australia refuse to acknowledge the issue despite numerous complaints online outlining the same issue.

I would definitely recommend staying right away from this vehicle at the moment.

At this point I payed $37k for a lemon and have no hope of rectification from the manufacturer.

Everything else about the vehicle is amazing however the CVT issues is so bad that I have started to hate it.

This will no doubt go down as one of the worst vehicles i have ever purchased.....very disappointing.

BadgeXV Premium
Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedDec 2017

Bit expensive, but good drive

I had this car for almost 3 years now. I believe car was expensive at the time of purchase whem compared to competitors. However, I am happy with mild off road use. Ride is bit hard on free way. Good as a used car because quality will be ok for long term use

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMar 2014

CVT problems commenced 98 000ks

Having purchased a used 2012 XV May 2015 (77.000ks), I began to experience bunny hopping at low speeds and multiple globes needing constant replacement.

I reported this at each regular vehicle service (always a subaru service centre) and the bunny hopping not only continued, but escalated as the months dragged on.

FINALLY, at the service towards the end of 2017, a computer fault code was displayed and the problem was found!! ... sadly the repair of CVT and wiring harness replacement necessary has cost me close to $6000 and loads of stress and inconvenience.

Subaru Australia has refused any reimbursement of repair cost ... time to take this unfair situation to a higher authority. I'm so tired of the little man losing out to big enterprise.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedMay 2015

It is a perfect car.

The feel-good drive of the year, the all-new Subaru XV has been completely reimagined for a smoother and roomier ride while delivering gripping performance on the road. Superb production design brings more tech, more efficiency and more fun than ever before. The all-new Subaru XV stars more of your favourite features as standard, All-Wheel Drive, advanced technology for increased fuel efficiency, a super large touchscreen.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedApr 2016

Needs more power and the option of a manual transmission

The new subaru xv has decent handling and always feels well planted. Its higher ride gives you enough clearance for some mild off road driving. The interior is fine and easy to use. I am disappointed with the power that the car has, it is ok for an everyday drive but struggles with quick acceleration, going up steep hills and overtaking. I would have also liked to have the option of a manual transmission

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedNov 2017

Great car but too much technology.

This review is for a 2018 Subaru XV-S bought in September 2017.
First up let me say we like this car. It handles well, it’s comfortable and very smooth, especially for a suv and has a very attractive interior with few hard plastics. Some might not like the orange contrast stitching, on the seats and dash, but we love it, but then again we have an orange car to complement it. My wife and I bought this model (S) because she has a bad back, and is the only one with the electric seat adjustment. We drove just about all vehicles in this class, and this one easily stood out from the pack.
Some reviews have criticised the lack of power and the fact that it is fitted with a CVT gearbox. I find that the power is adequate for all situations, especially when you consider that the average Aussie driver is probably out of their depth with anything beyond which a Morris Minor can provide. It should be considered as being sufficient. Same goes for the CVT gearbox, which is apparently an improvement on the previous model. Having the option of a manual gearbox would be nice, and is available overseas.
The bad stuff
The radio fitted is not the best, especially on the AM stations with areas where it cannot be used at all, and suffers from random ‘crackles and pops’ at all times. FM is better but tends to fade in and out. I have two other vehicles whose radio’s do not fade in or out, including one $90 radio in an old MG which has better reception than in a near on $40,000 new car. Subaru service have been informed. The excuse given was that the AM band in Australia is being phased out (don’t know about that) and that they used subpar parts in the factory as it was not going to be around much longer……I kid you not, this is what they said. What happens if the am band is phased out (replaced by DAB?) I don’t know, because you can’t buy any other radio to fit with all the system requirements tied up into the sound structure? Currently I am awaiting the results of some Japanese engineers writing a PAK for the radio….whatever that is. Stay tuned for updates.
Subaru have a software patch called a PAK (still no idea) which will fix the problem. Radio is now fine….why it wasn’t sorted in preproduction shall remain a mystery.
I fitted a stainless steel accessory guard to the rear bumper to prevent our Border collie from scratching the paintwork when she gets in or out. Unfortunately it appears to be made of little more than tin foil as it now has several dents where the (14kg) pup has stepped on it. I would have thought that this is one of the things that it should be designed to protect the car from. If you must have one, buy the rubber one….it can’t be any worse, and it’s a lot cheaper.
Other bad stuff. Overcomplicated electronic systems with various beeps telling you what? Imminent brake failure, lane deviation, cruise on (or off) or a multitude of whatever else that you apparently need to know. Now you need to take your eyes off the road to check to see……?
Maybe I’m just getting old but it seems to me that there are far too many distractions in modern cars and driving properly is now being displaced by electronic devices. Look at the owner’s manual (38mm thick, and literally hundreds of pages, in 4 books) and sometimes you will find more warnings on where particular items won’t work rather than how they do. For example. The lane Adaptive cruise control has 6 pages of where it may not work. So when it all turns to c*** at 100kph, get out the manual and see why it doesn’t work….good luck. I have had it for 5 months now and I still haven’t worked out what everything does….or when it might/might not work. Chronic overkill, but everyone needs a new sales gimmick, so they all do it. Sometimes less is more…….End of rant.
One thing I definitely don’t like, and I found out only the other day, is that the lane deviation system can surprise you. Going down a single lane road the car in front slowed to do a right turn. I slowed and moved to the left to go up the inside and the lane deviation system tried to take over when it detected a solid line in the parking bay (no cars) and tried to steer me into the back of the car turning right. Fortunately it doesn’t require a lot of force to overcome it………….but still. System is now turned off when I drive.
Boot space is a bit small but my Border collie is happy back there and the seat belt guide makes for a convenient place to rest her head.
The good stuff
As mentioned it’s quiet, smooth, comfortable and the handling is better than you would expect on a vehicle like this. My 6’ 9” son fits easily in the front and the rear is quite good as well. 5 star safety rating (as you would expect) Lots of safety gear, 7 air bags and all the other items you would demand in a car like this. Fuel economy is about 8/9 litre/100km around town and about 7.5 on the open road. Eyesight adaptive cruise control takes some getting used to but it works well, taking into account what I said about complicated devices earlier.

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedSep 2017

I love it!

The driving experience is just ok, the handling is fantastic. I love the interior, it has a reverse camera but the downside is it doesn’t beep when you are in reverse to let you know you are too close. It’s stylish inside and out, th is another downside with the bootspace...not big enough!

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedNov 2017

Worst performing Japanese car I owned

This is the worst Japanese car I had. We traded in our 2002 Honda Jazz for a 2012 Subbie XV when it first came out. In the 5 years of ownership I had the following replaced
- 1x CVT Auto gear box in its 5th year ($3400) Out of Warranty
- 1x Leaking front right suspension ($600) Out of Warranty
- 1x Front left control arm bushing failing ($700) Out of Warranty
- 2x Battery wearing out in year 3 and year 5 ($800) Out of Warranty
- 1x CV Joint ($600) Out of Warranty
- 1x Rear Wheel Bearing ($500) Out of Warranty
- 2x Rear boot piston not lifting (Repaired during warranty period)
- 1x Automatic Ignition relay (Repaired during warranty period)
- 2x4 Tyres only lasting 20,000km ($600x2)
- 10x$100 door dent repairs. The panels are that soft, even a 4 year can put a dent by leaning on it. Subbie's doors are made of Tofu!!!

So you know what the Irony was? We traded in our Subbie last week, and I did a check on QLD's Rego site and guess what? Our 2002 Honda Jazz is still running and the current owner of that car has the Rego of a 2002 Honda extended to 2018.

I will NEVER buy a Subaru AGAIN!!!

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedOct 2012

Not good value for money

I have now owned my XV 2.0-S for just on one year, so I am doing this review
These are my findings.
The CAR is Totally overrated and overpriced
Under powered also mechanically as well as road noisy
Rides & handles similar to a 1955 Bedford truck
Weird electrics, useless voice recognition and what a ridiculous stop/start mechanism
Good GPS but you have to pay for updates not what we were told
The interior is leather and plastic and not a good presentation
Petrol consumption to your own imagination not what you are expecting
Less boot space than a Honda Jazz/Suzuki Swift, will not fit two small suit cases
Ridiculous Service regime vehicle at 13,000ks.
3 services, cost to date $1000.00 next service $500.00?
So much for cap price servicing ($299) obviously does not exist here in the West
Beware if buying any Subaru as service requirements are the same for warranty requirements
Reliability well the car is still going but at the running costs so it should be
Subaru just won’t

Engine Size2.0
Date PurchasedSep 2016

Page 2 of 6

Questions & Answers

Has any one had a problem with rust. Bought a late model 2013 in jan 2014. I now have rust in the channel of the roof. Panel beater says this shouldn't be like this for the age of the car 55000klm driven and garaged.
No answers

My 2012 Subaru XV is tomorrow getting it’s 3rd engine in less than 50,000km. I brought the car new and have nothing but issues - never again. I guess my question here is has anyone else had as much drama??
2 answers
why has it been replaced each time? Mine had an oil leak under warranty needing to remove the engine to resell the cam carriers. After that it had a ticking noise that was found to be a bent camshaft. Engine out again and new camshaft installed. Now running well at 80,000 kmsWe bought our 2012 Subaru XV in March 2015. It ran like a charm, clocking up 110,000 ks without a hitch until four weeks ago when it shuddered, lost power intermittently and flashed about four different messages reporting engine trouble. We've been waiting all this time for the problem to be diagnosed, and now onto our third hire car at great cost. We bought Subaru on the expectation of reliability and thought we were winning the game. Nooooot sooo. We are waiting for some satisfactory answers Subaru!

I'd like to hear from others who have had failed CVT transmissions in their XV and whether Subaru has repaired these or what course of action you took.
1 answer
I've just lost the transmission valve body, which may be up to a 3500 replacement job. The first two things I mentioned were ACCC and fair trading. Subaru are finding out whether it can be resolved under any special arrangement, and we've seen articles about extended warranties in the USA for an array of issues with CVT, including very specific comments about this problem. Just the latest issue amongst many. Update: Not having anything free as it's not under warranty. Estimate is 1.8k.


XV G5X 2.0iXV G5X 2.0i-LXV G5X 2.0i-SXV G5X 2.0i PremiumXV G4X 2.0iXV G4X 2.0i-LXV G4X 2.0i-S
Release dateJun 2017Jun 2017Jun 2017Jun 2017Jan 2015Jan 2015Jan 2015
Discontinuation dateMay 2017May 2017May 2017
Replaced bySubaru XV G5XSubaru XV G5XSubaru XV G5X
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