Quite evidently, we’ve always had somewhat of a soft spot for the Subaru XV. Launched here in Malaysia back in November 2017, the second-generation XV is still among the best in terms of driving dynamics within the compact SUV segment, despite its age.
But when it came to sales figures, the XV never really caught on amongst buyers, perhaps because it doesn’t look as flashy as the other cars in this segment – and as we know, especially in a segment that caters mostly towards the younger crowd, looks are pretty much everything.
Not to be left behind by the other trendsetters, Subaru introduced a special “GT Edition” for the XV in 2019, equipped with all the bells and whistles you can think of. Paired to the “Pure White” paint job on our test drive unit here, we think that the results really does speak for itself.
Designed in collaboration between Giken Co. Ltd. and Mr. Masahiko “Jack” Kobayashi, former Chief Designer at Subaru responsible for penning the WRX STI models of old, the GT Edition body kit gives the XV a touch of sportiness thanks to the lip extensions on the front bumper with integrated canards, side skirts, roof spoiler, and rear bumper extension.
The new sportier appearance is also aided by a new set of 17-inch bespoke alloys, which – like all the other additional kit – gets a two-tone finish in satin silver and black, contrasting beautifully with the vast white canvas of the body panels.
Even on the inside, the GT Edition treatment has also given the cabin of the XV a breath of fresh air, with the new two-tone leather upholstery significantly elevating the “premium-ness” of this compact SUV – a much-needed touch in our opinion, especially with the arrival of the Proton X50.
Also new on the special edition is the updated eight-inch infotainment system. While admittedly not the most elegant user interface, all is forgotten when you plug in your mobile phone, as it now finally comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity – pretty much a necessity in this day and age.
The new infotainment system is also equipped with a new dual side view monitor system, with cameras pointing out of the wing mirrors to hopefully prevent you from curbing those shiny new wheels.
Aside from these new additions, the Subaru XV GT Edition is otherwise unchanged from the range-topping 2.0i-P variant. That includes the powerplant underneath the bonnet, which is still the same 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-banger producing 154 hp and 196 Nm of torque, paired to the brilliant Lineartronic CVT gearbox to send power to all four wheels.
Unfortunately, because it is unchanged from the existing model, you also won’t find Subaru’s EyeSight advanced driver assistance on the XV GT Edition. Customers still waiting for that feature will just have to wait a little longer.
Throughout our weekend with the special edition Subaru XV, now more than three years after the initial launch of the model, its pure capabilities in the handling department still wowed us every single time we were met with a corner. Couple that with the shiny new looks from the GT Edition treatment, it’s not hard to see why it still remains as one of our favourites in the segment.
Now, over to you – what do you think of the Subaru XV GT Edition, especially in the looks department? Sound off in the comments section below!