The next Subaru three-row will be the biggest Subaru ever
18 November 2016 - Autoblog
Subaru's trying to fix what hobbled the too-small, too-odd Tribeca, the company's last attempt at a three-row SUV, with a truly American-sized vehicle that will resemble the Viziv-7 Concept the company showed off at the LA Auto Show.
We caught up with Dominick Infante, National Manager of Product Communications, to get the story about what that future SUV will be like.
While he couldn't talk about engines ("[W]e'll have big news on that coming up," he said), Infante told us that the production SUV would be based on the new global architecture, a version of which underpins the new Impreza. That car, and its architecture, were "designed to meet crash testing out to 2025, so it's very overbuilt which is why we can go to something as large as this," Infante said.
It's also coming soon. Infante told us that the production version be on the road in 2018, which we assume means it'll be a 2019 model year vehicle.
Don't expect it to diverge from the company's general styling themes, either. Infante mentioned that the Tribeca, "was a very stylized vehicle ... [it] kind of didn't fit with the brand." We'd say that's an accurate assessment of a vehicle that always stood apart from the rest of the lineup. Subaru will play it safe to avoid that problem, making sure the production version of the Viziv-7 will be immediately identifiable as a Subaru. As Infante put it, "It's not going to be overly fancy or pretty; it'll be rough and tumble. We're going to stick with our Subaru DNA."
And it'll also fix the Tribeca's other problem, which was size, particularly in the third row. Infante promised us that adults would fit in the Viziv-7's rear seats, although a quick glance in the Concept didn't confirm this because there wasn't an interior at all. So we'll have to wait and see, and note that there was no discussion of the size of those adults. Infante also promised configurable seating and cargo arrangements that would go beyond anything Subaru's done before – and since Subaru's only done one proper three-row, that means the Tribeca.
Since it's debuting in 2018, it's a safe bet we'll see a concept that's much closer to production form next year. Stay tuned.