The all-new Subaru XV has made its regional launch debut in Taiwan, just a few months after the SUV was first revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

In terms of styling, the XV certainly looks like a jacked-up version of the Impreza hatchback, although there are plenty of model-specific cues to illustrate its rugged nature. Firstly, there’s matte black plastic cladding on the exterior, a bolder front grille, roof rails and sharper-looking headlamps. Oh, the XV also sports a higher ground clearance of 220 mm compared to the Impreza’s 130 mm.

The XV’s relation to the Impreza is even more profound on the inside, adopting the model’s dashboard design. Everything is carried over wholesale here, including the steering wheel, air-con vents, upper dash info display, touchscreen infotainment unit, climate control switchgear and gear lever.

Compared to the outgoing XV, the new one now comes with an electronic parking brake, rather than a handbrake unit. Much like the exterior, the XV identifies itself as an “active” SUV with contrast stitching on various surfaces.

The new XV also offers improved practicality than before, whereby the boot capacity is up by five litres to 385 litres in total. More importantly, the loading space has been widened by 10 cm to ensure large objects can be loaded with less hassle. The SUV also gets a larger fuel tank (63 litres), which is 13 litres more than in the Impreza.

For the Taiwan market, the XV is offered in two variants – 2.0i and range-topping 2.0i-S, both powered by a new 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated, direct-injected flat-four petrol engine (with an idle stop system). The mill serves up 154 hp (156 PS) at 6,000 rpm and 196 Nm at 4,000 rpm, paired to the brand’s Lineartronic CVT, which is said to be 7.8 kg lighter than in the previous XV.

Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical AWD system ensures drive is sent to all four wheels, and now comes equipped with X-Mode for better control when driving on loose surfaces, something that you’ll also find on the larger Forester.

Now riding on the new Subaru Global Platform, which is also used for the latest Impreza, the XV boasts an improved rigidity of 70% as well as a lower centre of gravity than before. Other improvements include a quicker steering ratio (from 14:1 to 13:1) and the introduction of Active Torque Vectoring, where the latter brakes individual wheels that are short on grip.

Equipment wise, the 2.0i comes with halogen headlamps, a 6.5-inch audio system, PIN code access, manually-adjustable front seats, rear view camera and 17-inch alloy wheels (shod with 225/60 tyres).

Meanwhile, the 2.0i-S gets even more goodies on top of the 2.0i, with an equipment list that includes LED headlamps with steering response, an 8-inch audio system, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, multi-info display, cruise control, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat (manual front passenger), leather dash, sunroof and 18-inch alloys (wrapped with 225/55 tyres).

Safety items that are standard on both the 2.0i and 2.0i-S are Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), ABS, brake assist, rear Isofix child seat anchors and side door reinforcement beams are standard on both the 2.0i and 2.0i-S.

Unsurprisingly, the 2.0i-S’ safety kit is more comprehensive, adding on features that aren’t available on the current XV sold in Malaysia. These include rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection, high beam assist and lane change assist.

So, when can expect the all-new XV to make its way to Malaysia? Well, we were told So, when can expect the all-new XV to make its way to Malaysia? Well, we were told during a press conference after the launch that local assembly (CKD) in Malaysia will begin by the end of 2017, with deliveries expected to take place early next year. Interested?

GALLERY: 2017 Subaru XV 2.0i-S

GALLERY: 2017 Subaru XV 2.0i

GALLERY: 2017 Subaru XV launch official photos