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New York Auto Show: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Ups the Outdoorsy Image -

Subaru announced at the New York International Auto Show it will add a more SUV-like version of the Impreza model, called the 2013 Suburu XV Crosstrek, with sales starting this fall.

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is basically a Subaru Impreza which has been raised to create more ground clearance, and with a few exterior styling changes around the front and rear bumpers, and the grille. Sticker prices are expected to start around $25,000.

“This will bring us a new customer mindset,” said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO of Subaru of America Inc., the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary, Cherry Hill, N.J. Its parent company is Japan-based Fuji Heavy Industries.

Subaru’s customers like its outdoorsy image. Even if they don’t always do much in the great outdoors, they like to know they could if they wanted. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is aimed at the more-outdoorsy end of the spectrum.

In other world markets, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is called simply the Subaru XV. The “Crosstrek” was added for the U.S. market. The underlying Impreza model was totally redesigned last year for the 2012 model year.

Subaru is on a big-time roll in the U.S. market. The company said it’s the only brand that chalked up its fifth year in a row of sales increases in 2011. Sales last year set a record of just under 270,000. In 2012, U.S. sales were up 19.4 percent to 80,568 through the end of March, according to AutoData Corp., Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

That puts Subaru on track to set another all-time U.S. sales record of 320,000, Doll said. Subaru probably would have broken 300,000 units in U.S. sales in 2011, only the deadly tsunami and earthquakes in Japan disrupted production.

“We would have done it last year for sure, if not for the tsunami,” said Subaru dealer Don Hicks, the owner of Shortline Subaru, Aurora, Colo.

I remember in late 2009, Doll first mentioning out loud that the company had its sights on the 300,000-unit mark. It seemed a little far-fetched at the time, but with a bunch of new models, including the all-new Subaru BRZ sports car as a “halo” car, it looks like this could be the year.
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