The latest-generation Subaru XV might look more exciting than its predecessor, but it's been hindered by a steep asking price of R335 000.
That's quite a hand-brake in a segment as crowded and cut-throat as that of the compact crossover.
To make its Impreza-based XV more accessible, Subaru has added a more affordable '2.0i' model to the range, which now starts just below the R300 000 mark.
Thankfully there has been no mechanical cost cutting - the entry model still has Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system (a novelty amongst the front-wheel drive norm at that price) and a 110kW/196Nm 2-litre flat-four petrol engine. It's available with either a six-speed manual or Lineartronic CVT gearbox.
SO WHAT'S BEEN SNIPPED?
Subaru has had to cut some content to make the base model, but it's nothing that you'd really deem essential. Gone are the leather seats, dual zone climate control, HID headlights, aluminium pedals, sunroof and multi-function display with reverse camera. However, these features are still standard on the 2.0i-S flagship model, which continues to be available in CVT form.
As for the base models, they still have 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, cruise control, single-zone climate control, multi-function steering wheel and a premium USB/Aux audio system with Bluetooth.
On the safety front, all models have seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, as well as Vehicle Dynamics Control and Hill Start Assist.
2.0i manual - R299 000
2.0i CVT - R314 000
2.0i-S CVT - R345 000
3-year/100 000km warranty
3-year/75 000km maintenance plan