Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Premium XV Bonded to Practical AWD Performance

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Premium XV Bonded to Practical AWD Performance

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Orme

WERE you to push me I would say that of all the crossovers out there on the big, bad school run, Volvo's XC60 is the one I would choose. Here's why. The XC is an example of technical wizardry, comfort and badge desirability. In comparison, other crossovers are about as advanced as a camping kettle. Because it is a Volvo and as a quick round of Wallander and The Bridge shows, the Swedes are obsessed with the worst that can happen, it is safer than the womb. Some may feel this is nothing but bossiness but, for instance, you can't crash it into the car ahead. Even if it all goes wrong there are more bags of air than a party conference. And in a socially responsible Nordic manner the car even looks after stray pedestrians staggering into your path after a session on the Absolut. I do believe that some models actually come with one of those Star Trek Gameboys which fixes everyone for Bones. But here's the problem. Fully fitted out with the comforts you will need the XC60 is rich for anyone's blood. Right at the top of the leather-barked tree you may need smelling salts. To pay less means choosing between the two-wheel-drive and 4x4 which is like offering a premiership footballer with or without boots.

A fat lot of good he will do you in carpet slippers. So what to do? Well there are plenty of lesser beings out there which confirm your familiarity with pregnancy testing and parents evenings but not much that feels particularly serious. Skoda's Yeti makes sense but it's hardly the best looking car on the road. Enter Subaru's XV, a medium crossover based on the newgeneration Impreza hatchback. It hasn't got the opulence of the Volvo, the SE Lux Premium does have leather powered seats, keyless doo-dah and a sat nav but the whole range has a can-do 4x4 attitude which, if I am not to parade around in a padded Georgian ball gown, is my next niche of choice. …

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