The Subaru XV has been crowned SUV of the Year within 12 months of its UK launch.
The Japanese compact crossover faced stiff competition from the likes of Nissan, Audi, Mazda, Volkswagen and Kia to win the SUV category in 4x4 Magazine's "4x4 of the Year" issue.
The all-wheel drive motors were put through their paces both on the open highway and off-road, with fuel economy, driver handling and customer service packages among the factors taken into account by the judging panel.
Magazine editor Nigel Fryatt said the category is among the toughest to win because of the explosion in the number of quality compact crossovers produced by car manufacturers in the last decade.
The XV won plaudits for its involving and enjoyable drive, and also demonstrated it is possible to have a car that combines both a rewarding driving experience and off-road mastery by easily completing the magazine's off-road challenge.
Mr Fryatt said the XV proved its capabilities away from the open roads by dealing with everything the challenging off-road test route had to offer, despite the potential limitations of its low ground clearance.
But the factor that set the XV apart for the judges was the Everything Taken Care of (ETCo) package offered by its manufacturer Subaru, which the magazine declared to be one of the best on the market.
All models in the Subaru stable now qualify for a winter vehicle inspection at any Subaru dealer across the country free of charge.
The comprehensive check is carried out by qualified Subaru technicians, who test the car's tyre pressure and ensure the gearbox and engine fluids are topped up, as well as the engine coolant and screenwash. But that's not all - they will also carry out a full visual inspection to spot any potential problems.
The initiative is a timely one, bearing in mind the AA recently published research showing that four out of five vehicle breakdowns would have been avoidable if drivers had checked their fluid levels and topped them up.
Subaru UK's marketing director, Haydn Davies, said the car features a symmetrical all-wheel drive system that is designed to ensure the vehicle is safe and reliable, no matter what the weather throws at it.
The Subaru XV is available as a 1.6 petrol in either CVT or manual, a 2.0 petrol CVT or manual, as well as a manual 2.0 diesel. On-the-road prices start at £21,295.
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