What am I looking at?
So what's new?
Well, not a lot really. This Black is pretty much a box-ticking exercise, with around 1,600-worth of the XV's option list added atop the SE specification for a thousand pound premium over the regular XV. You do get an exclusive paint finish - Crystal Black Silica - and a few extra visual accoutrements, like the silver coloured skid guards.
What powers it?
Black buyers can choose from either of the XV's 150hp 2.0 Boxer engines, with petrol buyers limited to the Lineatronic automatic transmission and the diesels using the six speed manual.
The diesel car is marginally the quicker of the two and sits slightly lower in the VED banding, with 146g/km (equivalent to 50mpg) slotting into Band F compared to the petrol's Band G.
Other than the exterior gewgaws, it's actually quite tricky to tell what's been added to the Black to elevate it over the SE - but then in all fairness the XV isn't really short on kit to start with.
The XV has already benefitted from a value-for-money move earlier in the year too, when Subaru hacked 2,300 off the price of each and every one.
How much will it cost me?
Each version is 1,000 more expensive than the SE it's based on, so that's 24,495 for the petrol car and 24,995 for the diesel.
What could I buy instead?
Let's face it, the crossover market isn't exactly short on competition. Your 25 grand could easily go on Honda's CR-V instead - with the new Earth Dreams diesel we talked about last week being particularly enticing. Nissan's Qashqai can't go without a mention, nor can Mazda's CX-5, with a new SE-L Lux trim handily coming in at exactly the same price.
The needlessly aspirational will find the MINI Countryman All4, BMW X1 or the Volkswagen Tiguan available at this money too - in fact just about any non-prestige brand crossover has a model at this price point and all net better aggregate reviews than the XV.
In a line?
A thousand pound lick of paint with the same underdog beneath.