Subaru Australia announce the 2018 XV availability

Today Subaru Australia announced local pricing and availability of the 2018 XV. Although vehicles will not arrive in car yards until mid-June, you can place orders now with Subaru dealers for the XV with special discounts being provided for orders placed before 30th June.

The following image links to the Subaru Australia XV page.

The base unit, the 2.0i, has a drive-away price of $32,148—which is apparently in the order of $600 cheaper than the superseded model XV.

The 2.0i-L, which was previously the most popular model in the range, is $34,679 drive-away.

From all the accounts I have read about this car it is almost the perfect 'small' SUV for country and city. Subaru are consistently in the Top 10 of most reliable cars and the XV is certainly the most capable when it comes to off-road prowess.

But there is an issue. A huge issue for many people. Every report I have read states that the engine is under powered. One report suggested it was 'downright sluggish'. And as much as I have tried I am unable to find official 0 - 100 kph times for this new 2018 XV.

I am hoping that when we finally get some actual test drive reports on this car that it is not as sluggish as pre-test review reports are suggesting.

I notice that in their advertising they claim the XV is "like grease lightning"—see clipping below.

Somebody should tell them that the saying is "like greased lightning"!

But apart from them getting the idiom wrong, if the 0 - 100 is around the 11 second mark as is being reported then not only have they got the idiom wrong, it doesn't even apply.

Achieved "Elite" level on Gurushots in the B&W challenge

I recently joined the online photography site GuruShots. I had previously tried 500 Pixels and ViewBug. For various reasons I was not that enthralled with either of these sites. But the game-like way that GuruShots works looked interesting. When you join a challenge you sort of level up through various levels—Popular, Skilled, Premier, Elite, then All Star— as people do blind voting (they don't know who took which pictures) on your submissions.

I am not really that into black and white photography, but one of the beauties of modern digital photography is that any picture you take is potentially a black and white shot.

So I picked out four likely pictures and took some time to made them into reasonably good looking black and white pictures; and then submitted to the black and white photography challenge on GuruShots.

Following are the four pictures submitted.

Maybe I should give up with the colour photography.

Barrow of Spirit Bottles

Sometimes I just ache to take a picture of something. Anything.

In the back yard we have this old wheelbarrow that lately—since about late last year—I have been putting my empty spirit bottles in. It was originally intended to be a planter-barrow. But we never got around to planting anything in it and I somehow started putting my empty bottles in it.

So yesterday I took a couple of snaps of it and tonight I tried processing a couple of them.

Well ... I thought it was worth posting.

Can you spot the 'Crazy Uncle'?

Rule 5: Jenna Coleman

In a rule 5 attempt to draw some traffic to my site, here are some of the best pictures I can find of Jenna Coleman from around the Web.

For those that are not too sure who Jenna is, she is the current obligatory hottie in the Dr. Who series ... or at least she was the last time I looked.

Apparently she also plays a young Queen Victoria in an eight part drama by ITV simply called 'Victoria'—even though there was some concern at the start that she was too pretty to play Queen Victoria.

There can be no doubt she is very attractive.

According to Wikipedia, Jenna won the 2014 UK TV Actress Glamour Award which is awarded by Glamour Magazine.

Looks good in heels too . . . .

New 2018 Subaru XV/Crosstrek shown at New York Motor Show

As expected, Subaru showed the upcoming 2018 XV/Crosstrek at the New York International Motor Show over the Easter holidays.

Unfortunately there does not seem to be much new information coming forth. I have reviewed all the articles I can find relating to the Crosstrek and the New York Motor Show, but there is nothing much new being said when compared to what we found out from the Geneva release in February.

What we have found out is the Crosstrek will have the highly rated X-Mode hill-climb and hill-descent capability included—brought over from the Forester. Not that this was really required. The Crosstrek already had the most capable off-road and wet road prowess compared to other SUVs in its class.

I am still not sure why Subaru call this new colour 'khaki'. To me, and everyone I have asked this of, khaki is a kind of sand/brown colour. Whereas the Subaru Crosstrek khaki coloured car is clearly more of what I would have called a shiny off-powder blue. It could be that the lighting in the show room is blue, which is quite possible. But even so the colour of this car is still far from the sandy brown of khaki.

A number of the reviews from the New York show commented about the improvements in the cabin. The general view seems to be that the detail and finish in the cabin is significantly improved from the outgoing model, and a long-overdue step up from Subaru's typical style of cabin finish.

I did manage to find some economy figures on the LeftLaneNews web site. Their article gives a highway fuel economy number of 31 mpg based on US gallons. Converted to Imperial for Australia and that give you 37.2 mpg. With a 13.2 Imperial gallon fuel tank that means this car has a range of almost 500 miles or 736 kilometres.

The one bit of performance information that everyone is waiting for is still not available, and that is the 0 - 100 speed. Have Subaru managed to get it under the 10 second mark? Almost all reviews of the previous XV rated it at around 11 seconds for the 0-100 and remarked that the car felt 'tardy'.

Subaru have continued to make vague remarks about improved performance relating to the slightly more powerful motor (an extra 4 hp), the improved gearing of the CVT (especially in the 0-60 kph range), the overall lower weight of the car, and improved engine electronics. But the reality is that there are still no actual numbers available and the sceptics among us are beginning to wonder why these numbers are not being made available.