When the completely updated 2017 Subaru Impreza debuted last year on an all-new global platform, it was logical to assume that a new Crosstrek would soon follow, since the small crossover is built on the same platform as Impreza. Call it a confirmation of logical assumptions — the Impreza-based XV crossover debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Although called the XV in Geneva, the Crosstrek name will remain for the U.S. market.
When the XV Crosstrek debuted in 2012, it was a brilliant move by Subaru. Capitalizing on the idea of the raised, rugged-looking wagon that was the impetus for the first Outback, the automaker morphed Impreza into a crossover that quickly became one of the more popular models in the lineup. This debut in Geneva represents the first major redesign since that initial introduction.
The new XV is slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, which not only provides more interior space but also gives the crossover a more aggressive look. Like the new Impreza, the XV features the updated hexagonal grille and “hawk-eye” headlights. With a sculpted hood, larger fender flares, matte-black cladding and more than 8 inches of ground clearance, the XV will be easily differentiated from its Impreza sibling.
The XV’s new interior receives many improvements including updated seats, a redesigned steering wheel and more space for passengers and cargo. The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen display, which is a noticeable improvement over the previous generation. We anticipate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity availability similar to Impreza.
Powering the XV will be the revised 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine shared with the Impreza, producing 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque — a slight increase compared to the outgoing model. Subaru has not indicated that a manual transmission will be available on the U.S.-spec Crosstrek, so most likely it will feature the updated Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission that includes a 7-speed manual mode with preset ratios and paddle shifters.
Built on the all-new global platform designed to significantly enhance body and chassis rigidity and strength, the Subaru XV should exhibit excellent driving dynamics similar to the all-new Impreza, aided by suspension improvements, a lower center of gravity and more responsive steering. The overall frame rigidity has been increased by 70 percent, which not only aids in performance but should also provide a solid, quiet ride.
Of course, the standard setup on the new XV will be Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Active Torque Vectoring will improve cornering and handling, while the new X-MODE will enhance performance on poor road surfaces with optimized integration of engine control, four-wheel braking and stability control systems. The XV will also offer hill descent control for maintaining low speeds on downhill slopes even when traction is at a minimum.
The new XV will also be available with the latest version of Eye Sight, Subaru’s innovative driver assist system that utilizes stereo forward-facing cameras as well as other sensors. In keeping with features available on the new Impreza, we expect XV to also offer Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Another feature likely to be available will be reverse Automatic Braking, which stops the car if an obstacle in the car’s path gets detected while backing up.
U.S. Specs Coming Soon
The XV on display at the Geneva show and the information released along with it are based on European specs. The U.S. version of the Crosstrek will debut next month at the New York Auto Show; however, we don’t anticipate significant differences in specs and features.