Subaru was one of the first automakers to effectively target the subcompact crossover market. Some would even say they created it. Now Subaru is heading into the next two years with a brand new version of the Crosstrek. The 2018 model is based on a new concept that the company says will raise the bar in the subcompact crossover market.
The XV concept is a five-seat that perfectly translated Subaru’s new design language, called Dynamic X Solid, which it plans to incorporate into its new lineup of vehicles. The XV was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show earlier today. This next-gen Crosstrek will be called the XV in markets outside of the United States. It shares a new modular platform with the Impreza’s redesigned and re-engineered compact car, which will go on sale later in 2016.
According to Subaru, 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 commented via press release.
The distinctive design feature of the XV is a hexagonal grille, topped by hawk-eye headlights, which definitely harken back to years of Subaru style cues. The XV also has a sporty, outdoors feel that keeps it close in line to the appearance of the 2016 Impreza.
The new XV rides on 19-inch wheels, which are of course unlikely to ever make it to production. Although Subaru did not release many details, we can assume it will add a four-cylinder engine to drive power to all four wheels.
When the crossover was launched in 2012 in the United States, marketed as the XV Crosstrek, it immediately made waves. It is now the biggest seller in the segment, besting new cars such as the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and Jeep Renegade.
The American sales for the Crosstrek went far beyond Subaru’s first goal of 18,000 units a year. It is now the brand’s fourth-largest seller and one of its most recognizable vehicles. In 2015, deliveries of the Crosstrek in the US totaled 88,927, which far outpaces Subaru’s sales on its midsize Legacy. The Automotive News Data Center says Subaru has sold a total of 227,468 Crosstreks in the the USA alone since its launch.
IHS automotive analyst Tom Libby believes the Crosstrek competes with passenger cars of the same size, or in Subaru’s case, the Impreza, and points out that buyers often decide to cross shop the same brand. Libby concludes that the SV “will be cross shopped against the contiguous products” in the Subaru lineup. The next-generation Crosstrek will most likely go on sale next year as a 2018 model.