2021 Subaru XV 2.0i-P updated – leather seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity; RM131,788

No, the Subaru XV has yet to receive its facelift in Malaysia, but distributor Motor Image has introduced a mild update for the range-topping 2.0i-P variant for the 2021 model year with some added kit.

With extra bits comes extra cost, with the model now retailing RM3,000 higher at RM131,788 on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of the sales and service tax (SST) exemption and a five-year/100,000 km warranty. The base 2.0i has been discontinued, so the 2.0i-P now sits at the bottom of the local XV range, with the pricier RM137,788 GT Edition being the only other variant.

The additions are relatively minor and centred around the interior of the car. The 2.0i-P now gets black-and-silver leather-and-suede upholstery with orange stitching, replacing the previous fabric and faux leather. This new trim is exclusive to Malaysian and Thai markets – both of which Motor Image handles – and take after the GT Edition’s seat design with the exception of the suede centre panels.

Also added is a new head unit that retains an eight-inch touchscreen but adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. This is likely the Panasonic infotainment system promised last year and should be far easier to use than the outgoing unit with its washed-out display. It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the 360-degree camera system announced earlier, however – that appears to be limited to the GT Edition.

Otherwise, the equipment count should be largely identical, with the previous model fitted with adaptive LED headlights, LED taillights, 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, silver roof rails, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.3-inch central multi-info display, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, six speakers and a reverse camera.

No apparent changes to the safety equipment, which consists of six airbags and stability control. You still don’t get the EyeSight suite of driver assistance systems such as autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control – as previously reported, Motor Image is reserving that for the facelifted model.

There are also no mechanical tweaks, so the FB20D 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated and direct-injected flat-four engine remains, pushing out 156 PS at 6,000 rpm and 196 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. These outputs are routed through a Lineartronic CVT with seven virtual ratios and Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the latter incorporating an X-Mode function designed to deliver greater traction off-road.

The upgrades should help tide buyers over until the facelifted XV arrives. That car looks to have been delayed – last we heard, it was supposed to be launched at the end of last year.

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