I just found you guys here today, pointed out to me by a member on one of the other boards. Looks like a great site
I'm from Sydney and I've owned my MY13 XV 2.0iS (all the sugar) since March '13. I've just joined the Subaru Club here in Sydney and have just come back from a great little offroad trip to River Island 4WD Park near southern Sydney.
I took the plunge and decided on the new Subaru XV 2.0iS, in preference to a Forester - a larger vehicle that has done very well for itself here in Australia. I'm a bit like that - I like to explore the fringe a little and see if things can be done that otherwise might not be by others. I knew that the XV has the same basic ride height of the Forester, so in theory should do reasonably well off road. The only disadvantage (apart from the lack of the new Forester's X-Mode HDC) was the XV's seemingly poor approach angle. Mine has the new CVT with centre electronically-controlled clutch pack, so that was another unknown. Coming previously from a fully blown and lifted Defender, this was going to be an interesting experience down at River Island.
Stock Geolandar tyres aside, and aired down to 18 pounds, the little car did very well for itself this weekend. It had obvious trouble up the steeper and more rutted tracks coming up from the river where the lack of articulation and subsequent loss of immediate traction meant that more momentum would have required to cross the dips. Centre line clearance isn't what you'd call "abundant" on these vehicles either. I saw myself losing a few kilos of plastic and the likelihood of knocking my front spoiler off if I had done this. So I didn't. Golly - it hasn't even been in for its first service yet! LOL
Where it could get traction, it climbed without drama. The CVT was progressive and performed well up hill. Coming down was a different matter, without low range and heavy engine braking it was a case of using the brakes sparingly the whole way down. It wasn't a real problem and I never lost traction - I just had a sore right leg at the bottom! The water crossing was also great fun in it. No water entered and the engine was pretty dry afterwards. The air intake is up high, but right at the front behind the sealed bonnet lip. I thank that I might relocate it further back towards the firewall one day, but this time around my Akubra hat squashed under the closed bonnet saved the day and took the brunt of the water before it made the intake.
All in all - a great weekend. I have a bunch of scratches and scrapes, mostly on the body "armor" mouldings and alloys to prove that I was there. I don't buy cars to pamper them - I buy them to be used. I may buy myself an alternate set of wheels with decent AT rubber mounted, and these will replace the nice shiny alloys and highway rubber on weekends like these. I hope to go away with the club more often, and look forward to longer trips once the XV has been set up for touring a little more. A roof pod and lightweight alloy trailer are next.
I've made a little video of my weekend, but the site won't allow me to show external youTube links? Maybe they are allowed after five posts or so. I've attached some of my photos as well as a couple from a friend along on the trip.