Subaru has applied some mild updates to its XV small crossover for the 2016 model year, with a range of cosmetic updates to spruce up the exterior and interior.
Thanks to an influx of new competitors in the small/compact SUV segment (chiefly the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3), sales for the XV have dropped off markedly. While Subaru sold 11,539 XVs in 2014, last year just 7168 rolled out of showrooms.
That's still enough to make it Subaru's third most popular vehicle, but it's resulted in the XV sliding from second-place in its segment down to sixth.
The 2016 model year updates don't bring anything in the way of substantial mechanical or fuel economy improvements, but the aesthetic upgrades may be enough to get more buyers looking in the XV's direction once more.
The most noticeable change is to the front fascia, with the XV now getting a reprofiled bumper with chrome accents around the foglamps and grille. Headlamp jewelery is now darker, while the tail-lamps get clear instead of red lenses and LED illumination.
The standard alloy wheels still feature the XV's distinctive black-and-machined five-spoke motif, but with a more intricate spoke design for a modern look.
A gloss black rear spoiler, shark fin antenna and the availability of the WRX's eye-catching Hyper Blue paint round out the rest of the exterior changes.
Inside the base model XV 2.0i and 2.0i-L you'll find orange contrast stitching on the upholstery, while the top-spec XV 2.0i-S now receives a push button starter, dusk-sensing headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and a lidded centre console cup holder.
Enhanced voice command functionality similar to what's available on the Outback has also been added to the 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S.
The changes may seem minor, but bear in mind the XV already received a more comprehensive update in early 2015 that saw better infotainment systems, connectivity options, and generous price cuts to bring the low and mid-grades under the $30k barrier.
Under the bonnet, the same 110kW/196Nm naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder that's been used since the XV launched continues to serve unchanged, with the option of a six-speed manual or CVT automatic.
Fuel consumption is listed at 7.0 l/100km for the automatic and 7.3 l/100km for the manual.
All models are all-wheel-drive as standard - a key point of difference for Subaru compared to other compact crossovers - though auto-equipped models feature a more front-biased torque split than the 50:50 split of the manuals.
Price movements for the MY16 XV are minimal, with the 2.0i and 2.0i-L undergoing no changes in price while the flagship 2.0i-S rises by just $300.
Opting for the CVT auto adds $2500 to the price tag of each model.
- Subaru XV 2.0i MT - $26,490
- Subaru XV 2.0i CVT - $28,990
- Subaru XV 2.0i-L MT - $29,990
- Subaru XV 2.0i-L CVT - $32,490
- Subaru XV 2.0i-S MT - $32,790
- Subaru XV 2.0i-S CVT - $35,290
All prices do not include registration, dealer delivery or other on-road costs