By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - Subaru, faced with the universal conundrum of how to refresh a model that's been on the market for a while without alienating existing customers, has opted to do little more than add a bit of bling and some new gizmotronics to its XV crossover for 2016.

There's some additional chrome trim on the grille and the front bumper around the foglights, white indicator bulbs as per the rest of the Subaru line-up, LED tail-light clusters borrowed from the XV hybrid (which we don't get in South Africa) a new rear spoiler and sexy two-tone 17 inch alloys.

Subaru XV crosses into SA

Inside, there's a new steering wheel much like that on the Legacy and Outback, with satellite controls for audio, voice recognition, cruise control and the trip computer. It's finished with bright orange contrast stitching, as are the seats, head restraints, the centre and door armrests, and gear-lever boot, while gloss black replaces the silver trim on instrument panel, dashboard and doors.

More importantly, paddle shifters have been re-introduced on the CVT models for easier shifting when in 'manual' mode.

A revised infotainment interface now offers Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connections, with a new feature in the voice recognition system called Siri Eyes-Free, which links to any compatible device to bring the whole range of Siri functions into your car.

And if you're not an Apple user, the normal voice recognition will still control the telephone, audio and climate control systems.

IT WASN'T BROKEN

Still there are the two-litre petrol boxer four, delivering 110kW at 6200 revs and 196Nm at 4200rpm to all four wheels, via either a six-speed manual box or the much-debated CVT transmission, and Subaru's signature symmetrical all-wheel drive, as well as the XV's 220mm ground clearance, which the maker claims as best in class.

All of which is accompanied by a modest price increase of R3000 for manuals and R4000 for CVT models.

PRICES:

2.0i - R341 000

2.0i CVT - R361 000

2.0i CVT High Spec - R399 000

The High Spec trim adds leather upholstery, a sunroof, rear-view camera, keyless entry and start, and high-intensity discharge headllghts.

Prices normally include a three-year or 75 000km maintenance plan but Subaru SA is offering an extended five-year or 120 000km maintenance plan at no extra cost as a launch special until the end of March 2016.

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