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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Subaru XV given more kit and grunt in the ‘States

It remains to be seen whether not only the changes but also the more powerful engine makes it into the South African spec XV.

With the inclusion of a hybrid model in certain markets last year, Subaru has provided the XV with its first mid-life refreshment since debuting it three years ago.

Uncovered in the United States where the Crosstrek moniker is used, the cosmetic tweaks consists of a new front bumper and redesigned grille, revised fog light covers on the base model and specific detailing on other variants depending on the trim level.

While previously made-up of three grades; base, Premium and Limited, a Sport model has been added with unique exterior features, namely a gunmetal finished grille, model bespoke 17-inch dark grey alloy wheels, different wheel arch cladding, gunmetal coloured badges and mirror caps plus two new colours; Horizon Blue Pearl and Plasma Yellow Pearl.

The Sport also receives the lion’s share of the changes inside despite being based on the Premium. These include StarTex faux leather seats with yellow stitching, rear floor mats made out of 25% recycled polyethylene, imitation carbon fibre inserts and yellow stitch work on the door panels, centre console, gear lever boot and steering wheel.

In terms of equipment, the base Crosstrek boasts electric windows all around, keyless entry, electric mirrors, climate control and the 6.5-inch Starlink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Moving one up, the Premium features dual USB ports, an upgraded six-speaker sound system, heated mirrors, front seats and windscreen, auto on/off headlights and from the options list, push-button start plus a six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seats and sunroof.

At the range’s sharp-end, the Limited swaps the 6.5-inch display for a bigger eight-inch system with optional satellite navigation, while also receiving black or grey leather upholstery with orange stitching, keyless entry and push-button start and the electric driver’s seat as standard. A Harman Kardon sound system is optional.

Suitably updated is the Crosstrek’s range of safety and driver assistance systems, mainly on models equipped with the CVT. Falling under Subaru’s EyeSight banner, these include a new Adaptive Cruise Control system, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Centring, Lead Vehicle Start Alert, Lane Departure Prevention, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Rear Seat Reminder that alerts the driver of possible rear passenger exit when another vehicle is coming.

From the Premium model up, Rear Cross Traffic Alert come as standard along with Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist, while the Limited adds steering responsive LED headlight with Auto High Beam Assist and Reverse Automatic Braking.

The biggest new addition though is underneath bonnet. Reserved for the Sport and Limited, the Crosstrek now comes with the same 2.5-litre flat-four Boxer engine as the Forester that sends 136kW/239Nm to all four wheels via a CVT. Both the base and Premium continue with the 110kW/196Nm 2.0-litre engine.  The latter pair do however offer option of a six-speed manual ‘box or the aforementioned CVT, with the Sport being the only model to receive not only Hill Descent Control, but two modes for the X-Mode terrain selector; Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud. On all models equipped with the CVT, the SI-Drive mode system comes standard with two settings; Intelligent and Sport.

In North America, sales of the Crosstrek to starts later this year with pricing still to be announced, but at present, it remains to be seen whether not only the changes but also the more powerful engine make it into the South African spec XV.

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