The 2017 Subaru XV range has arrived on sale in a segment that looks a helluva lot different to how it did when the first version launched.

Let's wind back the clock. The year was 2012, and Subaru rolled the dice on a pumped up version of the Impreza hatch with some body cladding, funky colours and chunky wheels. Subaru dubbed it the XV, and it took the market by storm.

But there weren’t many other cars on the market at the time in the so-called ‘small SUV’ segment – only 10 or so, to be precise, and this time around the XV is fighting against more than 20 competitors. The small SUV segment, you may have heard, is booming.

So has Subaru done enough with the new-generation XV to stand out from the pack? We thought we’d get the top-spec XV 2.0i-S model to find out, because if this is the best the brand can offer consumers, it should stack up pretty well.

And it does. Mostly.

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