New Crosstrek will be the same as the old crosstrek.

But stick with me here, Subaru are being a bit clever.

The Crosstrek XV Concept
The Crosstrek XV Concept

Earlier this year Subaru unveiled the XV Concept as the precursor to the new Crosstrek and as Subaru like to do, they then threw the whole idea out the window after they got the desired headlines.  They then threw  more ground clearance on an Impreza, and served it up knowing people will buy it anyway.

The XV Crosstrek in reality.
The XV Crosstrek in reality.

According to Subaru, the new-generation Subaru XV crossover model will debut mid-way through 2017 and will basically be the same as the 2016. The complete lack of anything to denote it of being a next generation was announced by the company’s project senior manager for the product and portfolio planning division at Fuji Heavy Industries to Car Advice.

[It will be the] same level as current Impreza and XV. The idea is the same – next-generation Impreza, next-generation XV. Same concept, up and cute, higher road clearance, and some cladding, and some cute colours,

Masahiko Inoue, who has must need huge business cards, comes across as having completely phoned this one in if you judge this other quote:

Body is the same, basically the same. Some cladding or something, bumpers. Same body. This one [the current Crosstrek] is a very exciting shape, with same body.

It would be easy to be cynical here, but there is huge value in basically making the Impreza with higher ground clearance. A whole new model means huge R&D costs, a bucketload of new tooling costs and the extended time it would take to get to market. The upside of developing just one main vehicle with minor differences is that the vast majority of developing new features and generations is only done once.

The issue of not giving it a new body to improve space inside the vehicle sounds like a downside, but Subaru are actually doing something up in the sharp end of smart thinking. As we know, the main reason people purchase this type of SUV is based on perception over reality. Talk to anyone with a nice new SUV and the high driving position is likely to be the first positive feature listed.

Nick Senior, the Subaru Australia managing director and carrier of reasonable sized business cards, pointed out that buyers don’t really see those types of SUV by size brackets, but rather by pricing and positioning. That logic is hard to argue with, and I suspect a nice window into the thinking that has built Subaru into such a strong brand with a loyal customer base without having to reach the kind of volume sales their Japanese competition have grown.

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