What is it?
The fourth generation of Subaru’s highly acclaimed but shockingly obscure midi-SUV.
What have they done this time?
It’s a completely new car from the ground up, though some might argue this, with heavy traces of the previous car still lingering. But it now features and enhanced and stronger chassis build and drive quality has been perfected. It still harks back to the ethos of the niche by offering a rounded package of family use combined with extreme lifestyle capability.
And the performance version?
Subaru continues to offer the XT version as the roadrunner version amongst a five-model range. However the company has strived to find balance in including this virtue while maintaining the two hallmark uses mentioned. I believe a more powerful S version will surface during its life cycle.
Any other changes?
Yes, mechanically so. The range now sees a CVT gearbox offered as standard, except on the entry-level model, which gets a manual gearbox. And it’s a new range of power trains at work here. They range in power from 110 kW to 177kW with torque between 198Nm-350Nm.The high-end XT loses the previous 2.5-litre boxer motor in favour of a downsized 2.0-litre unit while the middle order retains a 2.5-litre, naturally aspirated boxer four.
Subaru has also introduced X-Mode, which is a new computer brain that works in conjunction with the new gearbox, engine and wheels to offer leading off-road driving parameters for the company’s AWD system. It works very well indeed, giving instantaneous tractability when driving on harsh, rutted roads.
Is there more?
As a new vehicle from the ground up it’s evidently clear that Subaru has done its homework. The drive quality is impressive enough to shadow anything of its size, price and capability. The company also claims massive reductions in fuel consumption figures, confidently informing us that its AWD car’s fuel consumption indexes match rival front wheel drive cars.
It’s a fabulous rebirth. I’m not entirely sure of its looks, appearing more Korean in styling and departing further away from the robust and interesting shapes of the Mk1 and 2. This new car though is aimed to blend in with the crowd, perhaps in the hopes of stealing some sales away from segment leaders. If you are looking to buy either an IX35, Kia Sportage, BMW X1, Audi Q3 or anything of the like, also try the Subaru Forester. I have a suspicion it will make your decision a whole lot more complicated.
- Phuti Mpyane
2.0 X six-speed manual R329 000
2.5 X Lineartronic CVT R359 000
2.5 XS Lineartronic CVT R389 000
2.5 XS Premium Lineartronic CVT R429 000
2.0 XT Turbocharged Lineartronic CVT R529 000