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So we know that Subaru has great design talent; the concepts have proven that. The problem, as I see it, is those in a position to approve design for production don't seem to understand design. Now I'm sure it's a lot more complicated than just that. It involves marketing folks, engineers, as well as those suits that call the shots at FHI. Many of those in decision-making positions just don't seem to get it. However I do have to say that each succeeding generation of Subaru has got better looking. So slowly (very slowly) they are making progress. The problem is, the competition has gotten better too — much better. Hyundai, Kia, Honda and Mazda have been hitting it out of the park when it comes to styling; all the while Subaru has been hitting solid singles along with a few walks.
That said I do have a good feeling about this new XV concept. It really does look close to being production-ready. The proportions are right, there is nothing outrageous or impractical here. There are even small non-roll-down (visually distracting, but absolutely necessary) side windows, which I rarely if ever see on concepts. The proof will be in the pudding when the new Impreza debuts at the New York Auto Show later this month. Fingers crossed.