By on November 19, 2010

Subaru’s search for a consistent design language is the stuff of automotive legend, as the brand has flitted from one theme to the next, seemingly coming up with a new direction with each new vehicle. Now, starting with the Hybrid Tourer Concept from the last Geneva Show, Subaru seems to have settled into something of a groove. It’s a sleek, stripped-down, mature look that might stray towards the bland side for some Subaru fans… but at least it’s a direction. With this peek at a future look for the Impreza, we’re getting a little closer to the day when Subaru actually offers a line of consistently-styled vehicles.

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28 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Subaru Gives It Another Shot Edition...”

  • avatar

    Nothing. There is nothing wrong with that picture. B-E-A-utiful.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      And it looks just as good, in the sheetmetal, which is better, because it means production is more likely.

      It’s been over a decade since Subies looked good, so I really hope Subie goes forward with this look.

      Oh yeah, a proper coupe version to replace the long-lost XT / SVX would be highly welcome!

    • 0 avatar
      Amendment X

      Just for the record, I want to state that I am a fan of the engineering that Subarus possess. However, you cannot say that there was time when Subarus were ever attractive to look at. Until recently, they were overall the ugliest-styled brand on the market. As of late it appears that Chevrolet and Acura are headed to the bottom to supplant Subaru.

    • 0 avatar

      @Amendment X and SVX pearlie: for the most part I would agree, however the Legacy/Outback trio went through a very nice set of years between 2006/2009. Some of the best looking sedans and wagons available, if a tad bland.

  • avatar

    The Subaru/Toyota collaboration is already going a bit too far. Did we really need a Subaru badged version of the Scion TC?

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Eh. Not much there there.  Another sedan with no rear-seat headroom and swollen wheel wells.  The side gills in the front bumper are big enough to eat little children and dogs; after beating AWD to death glad to see that Subaru is finally trying to develop new market niches.
    BTW, now that they are entering the RWD sporty coupe market isn’t the next step a RWD luxury sedan?  Toyota would surely help with that.

  • avatar

    Maybe if the next WRX isn’t ass-ugly I’ll give it a look.

  • avatar

    The grill shape reminds me of the new Ford Taurus.  My first thought that this was a rebadged Taurus.  Looks like a Ford design to me.  Looks good, just not like a Subaru.

  • avatar

    It’s very pretty, but when are manufacturers going back to designing cars around the passengers? I think it should be mandatory that if you’re going to call it a “four seater” that it should be designed from the inside out to be a proper four seater (i.e. comfortably accomodates four six-footers). The rear doors are beginning to look siilly on some of these cars — they make me think of Cousin It’s little door in the Addams family house.
    No wonder CUVs and SUVs are so popular. I doubt anyone over the age of 13 will be happy to ride in these tiny rear seats under fastback rooflines for more than a few minutes.  Bring back the sedan, I say!

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Given the rarity with which the average driver carries 6-footers in the rear seats, I say that the rears in most cars should be designed for carrying a couple of 5’6″ children / full-size car seats.

      The cars which should be designed 6-foot passengers would be livery types like BMW 7L / A8L / Town Car.

    • 0 avatar

      “The cars which should be designed 6-foot passengers would be livery types like BMW 7L / A8L / Town Car.”
      So the fact that I have friends and often carry two or three adults in my back seat means I should have to buy a land barge? That’s backwards. Why can’t there be small, reasonably priced, economical sedans made to carry four or five adults? You make it sound like it’s an unreasonable request, but once upon a time most cars on the road were sedans that seated four to six adults comfortably. In fact, even the old Renault 10 could seat four adults pretty comfortably compared to most modern sedans, and it was really quite tiny. This isn’t about natural limitation, it’s about stupid car companies (and stupid consumers) prioritizing fashion over function.
      BTW, there’s nothing terribly unusual about having adult friends who ride in your car — for most people I know, anyway…

    • 0 avatar

      Why can’t there be small, reasonably priced, economical sedans made to carry four or five adults

      Because such sedans end up looking like the Nissan Versa.  Now, I’m fine with this and think that the Versa is probably Nature’s Most Perfect Passenger Transport Pod, but many people want something a little more jet-fighterish.

    • 0 avatar

      Well stated beelze. It has been a self-reinforcing cycle where most cars stopped being real passenger sedans so people bought SUVs, then the next series of cars became even more stylized at the expense of space since no adults are sitting in the back.

      I’d like to see the major mid-size sedans offer two body styles on the same chassis:
      1) Formal roof line with upright glass which in turn would allow more upright seating
      2) Sport roof with more aggressive sloping glass
      Sportiness loses it special appeal when nearly everything is fastback styled.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      You want a “proper” sedan for 6-foot passengers, you’ll get a barge.

      OTOH, if you just want to 6-foot passengers, you can look at a Mazda5 or minivan. :P

    • 0 avatar

      Buy a station wagon. Same dynamics (sometimes better) as the sedan, plenty of rear seat headroom, even more useful cargo space. Problem solved. Of course thanks to the SUV stupidity your options will be quite limited.

  • avatar

    Incoherent jumbled mess. Another design-by-focus-group car.

  • avatar

    For Subaru this isn’t a bad design. That being said it means that they’ll keep it only for this car and then come up with some new crazy nonsensical design that everyone will complain about until they change it and then people will say how much they miss it, like the did with the bug eye and pig snout imprezzas.

  • avatar

    Frumpy isn’t a consistent automotive design language?

  • avatar

    At first glance I didn’t notice the stars in that blue oval and thought it was white script.  Hence my thought was: “Taurus Coupe?!”

  • avatar

    I see shades of the Chevy Volt in the front clip, with a sprinkling of Ford.  I like it, very nice.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I hate to do this… but the word “derivative” comes to mind.  Still, I think it has more to do with the state of automotive design rather than any major mistake on the part of Subaru.  Almost every automaker has derivative designs.  One guy gets an idea and it’s copied by everyone else.

    I first saw a photo of the Impreza concept on display at the L-A Auto Show on Road & Track’s website.  Coincidentally, an ad for the Chevy Cruze popped up next to it and I instantly thought how similar the designs appeared – at least in those photos.  I see a bit of an angry Cruze, a touch of Mazda 6 from the side view and, of course, some Subaru Legacy in the grille.  But, overall, the design isn’t bad at all. The interior is quite impressive, however.

    As the current owner of a 2010 Impreza (Outback Sport), I’ll wait until until I see a production car in person before deciding if I would spend my own money on one.  Auto show info indicates there’ll be a 2-liter version of Subie’s boxer four under the hood… connected to a CVT.  One can only hope that flat four will feature direct injction and that a six-speed manual will also be offered.

    Incidentally… I received the last of my three ownership surveys from Subaru this week (stretched out over 7 months).  In it, they go into depth to find out what I think of cars in general and my Subaru.  They also spend quite a bit of time asking me what I think of Toyota.  I let them know that I didn’t want Subarus to become any more like Toyotas and that they would lose me as a customer if they did.  

  • avatar

    Looks good.  What I’d rather see though are DI turbo engines.  The current Outback is about the slowest car you can buy today, and the WRX has unbearable amounts of lag, and poor efficiency for it’s size.

  • avatar

    A good looking Scoobie? I haven’t seen one of them since they rectified the bugeyed headlights on the 2nd generation Impreza.

  • avatar

    Who wins when you’re an automaker building a car that looks exactly like everyone else’s car and vice versa? Quirky and unusual may drive some people away, but at least they know who you are.

  • avatar

    Design seems OK, but screams to me like weird combination of new Volvo-s grills + Fords headlights + Mazda 6 sides to me. If it will make it to real produced cars, probably will be blander then in pic though.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    I’ve never liked Subies. With the exception of the goofy looking but amazing WRX, they all appeal to Crock-wearing Greenpeace earth mothers or flannel-wearing lesbian audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just not my gig.
    But I like this. I like it a lot.

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