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For at least one Japanese OEM, a persistently down economy means an ongoing uptick in sales. No other Japanese carmaker has done better than Subaru in communicating its message to a wary buying public. Credit goes to credible product, established brand identity and a fiscally conservative target audience. In Frankfurt, Subaru showed a small crossover that helped reinforce those attributes.

With 'urban adventure' serving as the design mandate, Subaru's new XV plays where most car-based crossovers go to play anyway: on the highways and byways of urban centers. Its upright stance and generous cabin heighten driver visibility, while ensuring the new XV is also more visible to other drivers. And with Subaru's next-gen 2.0-liter Boxer engine propelling the package, the XV promises to match its established AWD versatility with new levels of efficiency.

Inside, Subaru's design team strived to move the needle. Leather, metal and cloth are combined to create an upmarket feel, while a multi-function display is positioned prominently in the instrument panel's center stack. Higher spec models will be equipped with a 4.3-inch screen featuring advanced infotainment. Notably, attention was paid to outward visibility both front and rear. And given its urban target, that initiative should make a great deal of sense.


See more coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.


DAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.
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