The Subaru Exiga, a seven seater multi-purpose vehicle comes in 2.0i and 2.0 GT Turbo. Both models run on the signature DOHC horizontally opposed Boxer engine, 4 cylinders, 16 Valve. Difference between the two are:
- The ground clearance, with the GT being 10mm higher,
- Weight additional 70Kgs,
- Gear ratios (2.0i – E4AT sportshift & GT – E5AT sportshift),
- Tyre and rims size (2.0i – 205/60/R16 & GT – 215/50/R17),
- Automatic driver seat adjustment for the GT model and
- HID headlamps against Halogen for the 2.0i.
Both models come with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and Subaru-Intelligent Chassis (S-I Chassis). The AWD system enhances torque transfer from the front wheels to the rear thus ensuring better manoeuvrability around curves or rugged terrains. The S-I Chassis however is a newly developed suspension system by Subaru that provide better stability and control.
The test drive model that was provided was the 2.0i. Although it was a very short test drive, I could instantly felt that the steering response was good and it certainly does not feel like driving a slightly over 4.7m long MPV. Suspension comes in the form of double wishbone for the rear and combination of springs and absorbers for the front. Drive comfort was excellent. Even though the Exiga does not have any air conditioning vent for the rear, the unique wide blower situated at the top part of the front dashboard does a good job delivering the air along the roof up to the 3rd row seats.
Seating space is reasonably roomy on the 2nd row but a bit of a tight squeeze on the 3rd. Subaru has designed a theatrical seating layout, meaning that seats are gradually elevated from the 2nd row to the 3rd. This according to Mr. Hiroya Okuma, (project General manager in charge of Exiga Development project) is allows each passenger to enjoy a 360-degree scenic view. Coupled with the creative design and positioning of pillars and windows, its front and rear visibility is maximised. For Exiga 2.0GT owners, they will get an additional panoramic glass roof and power shield switch.
Some of the safety features of the Exiga include whiplash minimising front seats, SRS dual front air bags, frontal three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners, two and three-point seatbelts for its centre and rear outer positions and ABS with electronic Brake –force Distribution (EBD).
The only slack part about the 2.0i is the power. We need to stamp on the throttle to actually have the MPV pull out of a junction. This especially will apply in situation when you have those high powered with practically non-existence brakes of the mat rempit bikes or racer boy cars threatening to T-bone you. However I am sure the GT model will fare better with an additional of 135Nm of torque at 4400rpm against the 2.0i 191Nm at 3200rpm. Sad news will be that the Exiga won’t be reaching our Malaysian shores any time soon.