The Subaru Crosstrek Is More Than Just Big Volume for Subaru, It's Good Volume

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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the subaru crosstrek is more than just big volume for subaru it s em good em

After the Impreza-based Subaru Outback Sport failed to catch fire with all the ignition of the Legacy-based Subaru Outback, Subaru’s approach differed only slightly when the XV Crosstrek debuted as an upsized rival for vehicles such as the Nissan Juke. Beating the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade to the punch, the XV Crosstrek produced consistent and significant year-over-year U.S. sales growth.

From the 53,741 sold in 2013, Subaru reported a 32-percent improvement in 2014, a 25-percent gain in 2015, and a further 8-percent uptick to 95,677 in 2016.

Now that Subaru is preparing to launch the second-generation Crosstrek — the XV tag disappeared after MY2015 — it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Subaru isn’t just making hay off the Crosstrek by selling a whole bunch of Impreza-based tall hatchbacks.

Subaru also sells Crosstreks to the right people.

In 2018, after this transition phase (Crosstrek sales were flat, year-over-year, in 2017’s first-half) is over, you can expect to see substantially more than the 95,677 Crosstrek sales Subaru managed in the United States last year.

For a Subaru brand that’s also selling far more Impreza sedans and hatchbacks this year than last, 45-percent more to be exact, the addition of even more Impreza-based volume is something to behold. Subaru isn’t producing record sales on the backs of the Forester and Outback alone, not by any means.

“It’s been a huge part of growing sales during the past couple years,” Subaru’s Todd Hill tells Automotive News, as the Crosstrek claims 14 percent of the brand’s volume.

But in addition to being plentiful, Crosstrek buyers are also young — the youngest for any Subaru product, in fact. This means Subaru has time, decades even, to turn these Crosstrek buyers into owners of many future Subarus.

Moreover, Subaru says nearly two-thirds of Crosstrek buyers are first-time Subaru owners. That’s both Subaru’s way of stealing market share from rivals and the beginning of its intention to inspire loyalty. If the Crosstrek experience is good, perhaps the buyer becomes a Forester or Outback owner, and someday an Ascent driver.

Throw in the fact that some 40 percent of buyers of the new Crosstrek, Subaru believes, will opt for EyeSight, and the automaker will also be selling plenty of more profitable Crosstreks to plenty of the right buyers.

Now Subaru just needs to sell the second-generation Crosstreks. To do so, designers did not stray from established themes. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is different, but it’s every inch a Crosstrek, instantly recognizable as something other than an HR-V, CX-3, Renegade, Trax, Encore, or Rogue Sport.

[Images: Subaru]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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5 of 52 comments
  • Kosmo Kosmo on Aug 01, 2017

    Subaru, PLEASE use this car as the basis of the next WRX!

  • Matt3319 Matt3319 on Aug 01, 2017

    Gotta say I love these Crosstreks. When my daughter gets my current car next year Im certainly going to consider a MT Crosstrek. I know going in that it will be slow as molasses even with a MT. Even slower than my CVT SE Corolla. Subie has got know that(us enthusiasts) want more power. But I just dont see it happening. It would probably price it somewhere in the low to mid $30's. I bet Subie thinks that not a good idea. We(us enthusiasts)can wish though.

    • See 2 previous
    • MeJ MeJ on Aug 02, 2017

      @gtem Let me quote myself to try and make it clear... "...I never feel it lacks for power for what it is. This is not a sports car..." Make sense now?

  • MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
  • Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
  • Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
  • Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
  • John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..