TC Subaru has launched the new Subaru XV in Malaysia. The second-generation XV was revealed in Geneva, and had its regional introduction in Taiwan back in June. Locally-assembled, it goes on sale here in two variant forms, the XV 2.0i and XV 2.0i-P.

Measuring in at 4,465 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,615 mm tall, with a 2.665 mm-long wheelbase, the all-new XV doesn’t veer far styling-wise from that seen previously, essentially remaining a jacked-up Impreza shod with SUV-inspired add-ons such as a healthy dollop of matte black plastic cladding. Restyling has resulted in a sleeker profile though, and brought about shapelier headlights, a bolder-looking grille and bigger, chunkier, two-tone 17-inch wheels.

The new car sits on the automaker’s new Subaru Global Platform, which ups body and chassis rigidity by more than 70% over the previous model. While offering the same 220 mm ground clearance as before, the new XV has a lower centre of gravity.

The 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four unit has been retained, but can effectively be described as ‘new’ – the automaker says that around 80% of the mill’s parts have been revised, and the reworked unit is 12 kg lighter than its predecessor.

In terms of output, the direct injection unit offers 156 PS at 6,000 rpm and and 196 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It’s mated to a Lineartronic CVT, which is equipped with auto-step shift control as well as a seven-speed manual control. The unit is 7.8 kg lighter than the older transmission and also features revisions – the gear ratio has been widened and the chain pitch has been reduced by 10% to improve fuel efficiency.

The automaker’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is now equipped with X-Mode for better control over loose surfaces, bringing it in line with the brand’s larger offering, the Forester. Also to be found, Active Torque Vectoring, to further enhance the XV’s driving dynamics.

Inside, there’s a new dashboard, which is fully adapted from the latest Impreza. The cabin has been snazzed up in line with the car’s active lifestyle leanings, with orange contrast stitching – on the seats and door cards – playing off the grey upholstery.

The 2.0i-P also gets orange stitching on the dashboard as well as gloss black/silver and carbon-fibre plastic trim elements, as opposed to the silver and carbon-fibre wrap which adorns the 2.0i.

New items include a smaller steering wheel, its size reduced to offer a snappier feel, with a slight variation between the variants – the 2.0i makes do with a PU unit, while the 2.0i-P’s is leather wrapped. Also new, an electronic parking brake (with hill-hold assist), which replaces the previous model’s handbrake unit.

The 2.0i comes with automatic air-conditioning, and this is upped to a dual-zone system on the 2.0i-P, which also adds on a high-grade 6.3-inch multi-function display for X-Mode and vehicle operating information readouts. The high-spec variant also gets aluminium pedals.

Standard fit items for both models include cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.2-inch TFT LCD instrument panel info display, power-adjustable driver’s seat, paddle shifters and a rear-view camera.

As for safety equipment, the items list includes seven airbags (front, front side, front/rear curtain and knee). ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and rear Isofix child seat anchors.

Externally, the 2.0i-P is differentiated by auto-levelling LED headlights with C-shaped LED daytime running lights (the 2.0i continues with halogen complex surface reflector units), chrome window line trim and silver roof rails, which are black on the 2.0i. Otherwise, both variants look identical – regulation items include front fog lights and LED rear combination lamps.

Six colours are available for the Subaru XV, and these are Sunshine Orange, Dark Blue Pearl, Pure White, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic and Crystal Black Silica.

Finally, pricing – the locally-assembled Subaru XV is being introduced at RM118,819 for the 2.0i, while the 2.0i-P is priced at RM125,868, both on-the-road without insurance.

Compare the specifications of both 2018 Subaru XV variants at

GALLERY: Subaru XV 2.0i-P

GALLERY: Subaru XV 2.0i