Taking the Subaru XV out for a drive

A test drive experience directly from a customer

Read time
ca. 5 minutes

The Belgian Ardennes. Situated in the south-east of Belgium, you can find one of nature's unspoiled areas, rich in fauna and flora, with vast forests of broadleaf and fir, hills and fast flowing rivers.

Now let’s hear about her experience directly from her!

What a great reason to take my family to explore the countryside on our doorstep with a Subaru XV! After spending some time online (thanks Google!), we agreed on a route that avoided all major roads – easier said than done when our plans needed to be approved by my children. Happily, one thing they immediately approved of was the Subaru XV.

Seat trim black leather and orange stitching


So, what caught their attention? My 9-year-old daughter was in love with the blue colour, especially combined with the orange stitching inside which she described as the perfect combination - plus she said her favourite music sounded good through the speakers. 

My 11-year-old son was a bit more practical. He loved the amount of space in the back of the car, the rear-seat arm rest and the small compartments and pockets that were quickly filled with his bits and pieces.

My first impressions

In the driving seat I was immediately impressed by how good the visibility was. As well as narrow front pillars, the side mirrors are positioned differently to reduce potential blind spots. It’s a small change, but it makes a huge difference when you realise how much more confident you feel as you can spot obstacles more easily as you drive.

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But what impressed me more was the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, a stereo camera that watches the road for you and offers driving assistance with its 7 functions. As a parent, I want the best protection for my children, and knowing the Subaru XV is equipped with EyeSight, made the drive smoother and more enjoyable and gave me more peace of mind.

I also appreciated the Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD) system, which monitors your blind sports, assists with lane changing and warns of the potential for collisions when driving or reversing, and the rear-view camera which makes it easy to reverse and park with its live colour image on the large touchscreen.

Together, all these safety features contributed to the Subaru XV being named Euro NCAP’s Best-in-class Safest Small Family Car 2017 and being awarded the maximum safety rating in the latest Euro NCAP safety performance tests.

And, if you’re like my husband and love gadgets and accessories, the Subaru XV has more than enough to keep you satisfied. The 8-inch touchscreen uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to connect to today’s most popular apps and, with safety in mind, there’s voice recognition for hands-free use. Plus, the meter display works in tandem with the large touchscreen to provide even more useful information that you understand with just a quick glance.


Useful accessories include the large sunroof for more light, a handy jacket holder that fits neatly onto the back of the passenger headrest, useful folding boxes for storing your stuff in the boot, a bright flashlight in case of emergencies and a cleaning kit for keeping your Subaru looking great after you go off-road.






City driving

We started our adventure at Liège’s iconic train station where the Subaru XV looked perfectly at home parked next to this futuristic landmark. Our plan was to explore the city by car before hitting the open road, towards the High Fens and Eifel Nature Park in the Belgian Ardennes.


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After everything I’d read, I was excited to discover if the Subaru XV was as fun to drive in the city as it was off-road. Happily, an hour driving around Liège was enough to convince me that this was the perfect car for city driving as well as for longer trips. The ride comfort was smooth and natural, and the steering was extremely responsive, making the Subaru XV a true pleasure to drive. 

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The Subaru XV uses a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) system instead of a manual or automatic gear box, which takes a little time to get used to if you usually drive a manual car. But it’s well worth it. The Subaru smoothly accelerated from zero to city speeds without any gear jumps which makes driving in the city smoother and easier – plus, it’s more fuel efficient.


High Fens


On the open road

From Liège we drove along small, quiet roads to the High Fens in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes. As part of the Eifel Nature Park which stretches over Belgium and the German Rhineland region, the High Fens offers beautiful heath landscapes, remnant of the last ice age 7,500 years ago.

We stopped for photos at Signal de Botrange, Belgium’s highest point at 694m (2,277ft) above sea level before deciding to stretch our legs by following one of the many walking routes in the region.


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And, how did the Subaru XV handle smaller roads and tracks? From a driving perspective, it was so effortless and smooth! It made me feel like a professional off-road driver. And it was all thanks to the X-Mode!

X-Mode to help you get the most out of climbing and descending steep, extreme terrain.


What’s the X-Mode?

The Subaru XV uses the X-Mode to help you get the most out of climbing and descending steep, extreme terrain. When it’s activated, the XMode provides the best traction and grip in difficult conditions by taking control of the Boxer engine, transmission, Symmetrical AllWheel Drive, brakes and other components.
Combine this with the 220mm ground clearance and Hill Descent Control mode which moderates your speed and braking when you go downhill, and you’ll be able to focus on just steering – to the delight of your passengers, big and small. It’s reassuring to know that I can rely on my car to handle tough road environments.


Stretch your legs

The High Fens offers a range of different walking routes. Discover your own route or follow the recommendations found on various trekking blogs and websites.

Here are some suggestions:
Starting at the Baraque Michel, a 13km route encompasses exquisite landscapes. The route is marked by green rectangles.

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Plan a trip to a fortified hilltop castle built in black-brown shale which overlooks the deep gorge of the Warche valley. www.reinhardstein.net
Go and explore the waterfall and canyon of Longfaye. Near the watermill Moulin du Bayehon you can find the info sign with more information.

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Liège waffle

 What to eat and drink 

As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, when you visit Liège, tempt your taste buds with these tasty treats:

Salade Liégeoise (Liège Salad) – this winter salad includes green beans, potatoes and bacon, and is usually eaten warm.

Boulets à la Liégeoise (Liège meatballs) – also known as boulet sauce lapin or boulet chasseur, this is a classic Liège dish of large pork, veal or beef meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce which contains Liège syrup.

Café Liégeois (Liège coffee) – a delicious combination of lightly sweetened coffee, coffee flavor ice cream and Chantilly cream. It’s worth noting that while this dessert comes from France, it was renamed during the First World War in recognition of the bravery of the inhabitants of Liege.

Gauffres de Liège (Liège waffles) – sweet, chewy and perfect for a treat for you (or the kids!).

Sirop de Liège (Liège syrup) – made from evaporated fruit juices (usually apple and pear), Liège syrup is usually eaten on bread, added to sauces or as a pancake topping.


Orval Abbey

Traditional drinks and dishes are to be found abundantly too. Each region has its specialties.

Beers! And more specifically Trappist beers, that are worth a detour. Three are to be found in Wallonia, Orval, Chimay and Rochefort. 

Let’s take you back to those Romans, because they knew all about the Ardennes ham which is a local product from the wild forests in the hills.

If you see a bakery, stop and get yourself a tarte aux myrtilles. A real treat!


The adventure continues...


The adventure continues…

One day wasn’t enough to fully enjoy the Subaru XV – or the region. Should we follow my daughter’s suggestion and spend our second day touring the region’s castles? Or, join my husband as he tastes the delights of the local breweries? Or, experience the thrill of high-speed Formula 1 racing with my son? Or, my personal favourite, relax in one of the many wellness centres in Spa? Decisions, decisions!


With so many options, there was just one solution: a promise to return again soon! I’m looking forward to it already.

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