Subaru has officially unveiled the 2021 Subaru XV, introducing a fresh addition to the lineup as the Sport trim. This latest variant boasts a robust 182-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine, providing a significant performance upgrade compared to the 2.0-liter engine found in the Base and Premium trims. In a notable move, the 2.5-liter engine is now available in the Limited trim for the 2021 model year. Anticipated to hit retailers in late summer, the 2021 XV promises an enhanced driving experience. The 2021 Subaru XV builds on the achievements of its predecessor to further cement its place as one of the Best Compact SUVs in Kenya.

All XV models come standard with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, setting them apart from other compact SUVs that often treat all-wheel drive as an optional, extra-cost feature.

The 2021 XV showcases a revamped front bumper featuring new design fog light insert covers for the Base trim, and fog light covers for all other trims. Additionally, each trim boasts a distinctive new-design front grille, incorporating details unique to its specific variant.

Introduced in the 2019 Forester, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine takes center stage in the 2021 XV Sport and Limited trims, delivering a robust 182 horsepower and 176 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with the standard Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission), these trim levels boast an impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27 city / 34 highway / 29 combined MPG.

Meanwhile, the 2021 XV Base and Premium trims maintain the efficient and responsive 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine, delivering 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. Buyers of the Base and Premium trim levels can choose between the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional Lineartronic CVT. The CVT-equipped models achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 city / 33 highway / 30 combined MPG, while the 6-speed manual variants are rated at 22 city / 29 highway / 25 combined MPG.

The distinctive and more potent XV Sport stands out as the sole model in the XV lineup equipped with the dual-function X-MODE®, featuring Hill Descent Control with selectable settings for SNOW/DIRT and DEEP SNOW/MUD. This advanced system optimizes the performance of the all-wheel drive (AWD) in challenging weather or road conditions.

The Sport trim introduces exclusive exterior enhancements, such as specific wheel arch moldings, Sport-type 17-inch alloy wheels with a sleek dark gray finish, and a gunmetal finish for the front grille, side mirrors, and badges. The Sport’s interior builds on the Premium trim, offering unique StarTex™ upholstery with eye-catching yellow stitching. StarTex upholstery is a lightweight, urethane material manufactured without polyvinyl chloride (PVC), phthalate, or chlorine. Yellow stitching accents various interior elements, including the simulated leather door trim panel armrests, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift boot, multifunction display visor, and center console storage box lid. Even the carpeted floor mats feature the Sport logo and yellow stitching, with 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in their backing. The Sport trim is available in seven exterior colors, including the striking new Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl.

Setting the Sport apart, its cabin showcases gunmetal and simulated carbon fiber interior trim accents, a high-grade combination meter with a color LCD and yellow metallic finish trim rings, and a high-power LED rear gate light.

For all other XV trim levels equipped with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), X-MODE with Hill Descent Control enhances performance in low-friction and off-road conditions. Additionally, all CVT-equipped models come standard with SI-DRIVE, a powertrain performance management system that allows drivers to customize throttle characteristics by selecting between “Intelligent” and “Sport” modes. “Intelligent” mode promotes smooth accelerator inputs for fuel efficiency, while “Sport” mode tunes the throttle for enhanced performance.

Except for the Base model, all CVT-equipped XV models feature an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters, providing drivers with control over the transmission via eight pre-set ratios. The Base model, on the other hand, offers a driver-selectable Low Shift Mode for added control during descents.

XV models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT, whether it’s a standard inclusion or an optional feature, are equipped with the award-winning Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. For 2021, the EyeSight system has undergone enhancements, now featuring the new Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering. This comprehensive suite of driver-assist technologies includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Departure Prevention, Lead Vehicle Start Alert, Auto Start-Stop, and SI-Drive. Specifically designed for CVT-equipped models, the Rear Seat Reminder is a valuable feature aimed at preventing child or pet entrapment by alerting the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.

All 2021 XV trim levels prioritize safety with the inclusion of seven airbags, covering the driver and front passenger with frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, and side pelvis/torso airbags, along with a dedicated driver’s knee airbag. Notably, the XV has earned the distinction of being named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+ for six consecutive years (2015–2020). The 2020 model achieved this recognition with the integration of EyeSight and Steering Responsive Headlights.

The 2021 XV seamlessly melds a bold SUV design with practical features, showcasing standard 17-inch alloy wheels in a sleek black finish with machine detailing, roof rails, black side cladding, and a gloss black rear roof spoiler. Its rugged appearance is complemented by a robust chassis that provides an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, ensuring versatility in both urban and off-road driving scenarios.

Loaded with standard features, the 2021 XV caters to convenience and comfort, offering automatic climate control, SUBARU STARLINK™ 6.5-inch Multimedia system with touchscreen, compatibility with Android™ Auto and Apple CarPlay™, power windows with auto up/down for both driver and passenger sides, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, power door locks and side mirrors, multifunction display with fuel economy information, tilt and telescoping steering column, keyless entry, security system with engine immobilizer, carpeted floor mats, and more. The cabin boasts a black simulated carbon fiber finish on the center dash panel, as well as the front and rear door panels. The Base trim is available with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT.

Stepping up to the Premium trim, which also comes with a 6-speed manual or optional CVT, introduces additional features such as the STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia Plus system, STARLINK Safety and Security features, fog lights, All-Weather Package (heated front seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors), body-color exterior mirrors, dual USB input ports, On/Off automatic headlights linked to windshield wiper operation, and Welcome Lighting. The Premium trim enhances comfort and convenience with a 6-speaker sound system, retractable cargo cover, cargo tray, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift lever handle, among other upgrades.

An optional package for the Premium trim includes a Power Moonroof, Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, 6-way power driver’s seat, and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start.

The Limited trim sits at the pinnacle of the model line, featuring standard LED Steering Responsive Headlights with Automatic Height Adjustment Control and LED daytime running lights. LED fog lights are also included. In addition to the standard 182-hp 2.5-liter BOXER engine and CVT, the Limited stands out with exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels in black with machine finish and body-color exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. The Limited elevates driver assistance with standard High Beam Assist, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Inside the Limited cabin, occupants enjoy the luxury of black or gray leather with orange stitching on seats, door armrests, and the instrument panel, along with a 6-way power driver’s seat. Standard amenities encompass a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever handle, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, STARLINK 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus system, and a high-grade multifunction display with a color LCD.

For those seeking additional enhancements, an optional Power Moonroof is available on the Limited. A more comprehensive options package combines the moonroof with the STARLINK 8-inch Multimedia with Navigation powered by TomTom® and Harman Kardon® premium audio.

The STARLINK Multimedia systems in the 2021 Subaru XV offer a range of features across different trim levels:

6.5-inch Multimedia System (Standard on Premium and Sport):

  • High-resolution touchscreen
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity
  • Voice-activated controls for the phone
  • AM/FM stereo
  • Single-disc CD player (exclusive to this system)
  • SiriusXM All-Access Radio
  • SiriusXM Travel Link (4-month free subscription)
  • STARLINK apps
  • Wi-Fi hotspot capability (subscription required)
  • HD Radio

8.0-inch Multimedia Plus (Standard on Limited, Optional for Others):

  • All features from the 6.5-inch Multimedia Plus
  • Over-the-air updates
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)

8.0-inch Multimedia with Navigation (Optional for Limited):

  • All features from the 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus
  • Voice-activated navigation powered by TomTom (3-year free over-the-air map updates)
  • SiriusXM Traffic (3-year free subscription)
  • Upgraded SiriusXM Travel Link (3-year free subscription)

These multimedia systems provide advanced connectivity options, entertainment features, and navigation capabilities, offering a seamless and enhanced driving experience for XV owners.

The 2021 Subaru XV offers three packages for STARLINK connected services, available on Premium, Sport, and Limited trims:
STARLINK Safety Plus Package:

  • SOS emergency assistance
  • Enhanced roadside assistance
  • Advanced automatic collision notification
  • Maintenance notifications
  • Monthly vehicle health report
  • Diagnostic alerts

STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus Package:

  • All features from the Safety Plus Package
  • Remote engine start with climate control
  • Stolen vehicle recovery service
  • Vehicle security alarm notification
  • Remote lock/unlock
  • Remote horn and lights
  • Remote vehicle locator
  • Parenting features including boundary, speed, and curfew alerts

STARLINK Concierge Package:
In-vehicle assistance with:

  • Restaurant and hotel reservations
  • Purchasing tickets for sporting/theater events
  • Scheduling service appointments

These packages provide a range of safety, security, and convenience features, catering to different aspects of the driver’s needs and preferences. From emergency assistance to remote vehicle control and concierge services, the STARLINK connected services aim to enhance the overall driving experience and provide peace of mind for XV owners.

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