Cars and Concepts

Subaru aims to raise baby crossover bar with XV concept

The next-generation Crosstrek -- or XV in markets outside the U.S. -- will share a new modular platform with the redesigned and re-engineered Impreza compact car that goes on sale later this year. Photo credit: NEWSPRESS

Subaru, one of the first brands to successfully target the subcompact crossover market, with the Crosstrek, is reloading with a redesigned 2018 model based on a new concept it pledges will raise the bar in the segment.

The five-seat XV concept unveiled at the Geneva auto show Tuesday illustrates Subaru’s new design language, dubbed Dynamic X Solid, planned for a new generation of vehicles.

The next-generation Crosstrek -- or XV in markets outside the U.S. -- will share a new modular platform with the redesigned and re-engineered Impreza compact car that goes on sale later this year.

Subaru says the new design elements show “the powerful form of a crossover, and a quality feel beyond its class -- previewing the design direction of the next-generation Subaru XV.

“The dynamism is enhanced by well-placed character lines on the compact body shape,” Subaru added.

The XV concept features a hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights, hallmarks of Subaru styling. The crossover has an athletic and sporty look that ties it to the new appearance of the Impreza.

Photo credit: SUBARU

Since the crossover was launched in the U.S. as the XV Crosstrek in Fall 2012, it has quietly become the biggest seller in the segment, fending off newer entries including the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax.

U.S. sales of the Crosstrek have far exceeded Subaru’s initial target of 18,000 units a year, and it has become the brand’s fourth-largest seller. Last year, U.S. deliveries of the Crosstrek totaled 88,927, easily outselling the midsize Legacy.

Since its launch, Subaru has sold 227,468 Crosstreks in the United States, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Tom Libby, an IHS automotive analyst, said the Crosstrek competes with passenger cars of the same size, or in Subaru’s case, the Impreza, and that buyers tend to cross shop the same brand.

“It will be cross shopped against the contiguous products” in the Subaru lineup, Libby said.

The next-generation Crosstrek is expected to go on sale next year as a 2018 model.

You can reach Diana T. Kurylko at dkurylko@crain.com -- Follow Diana T. on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dianakurylko

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