By on November 17, 2016

2016 Subaru Viziv-7 Concept Los Angeles - Source: Subaru via NASIOC Subaru has perched a three-row crossover atop its lineup before.

It didn’t work. (And not just because of some things TTAC may or may not have said about the general appearance of the B9 Tribeca.)

Set to be revealed today at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Subaru Viziv-7 Concept previews the arrival of a genuinely large Subaru family crossover. Don’t expect the Viziv name to carry forward – that’s merely how Subaru tags its concepts. Do expect a production version loosely based on the design of the Viziv-7 Concept in the early stages of 2018.With a wheelbase stretching 117.7 inches and a bumper-to-bumper length of 204.7 inches, the Viziv-7 Concept’s wheelbase is a third-row-favoring 9.5 inches longer than the departed Tribeca’s. The whole vehicle is 13.2 inches longer than the Tribeca — a rare but indisputable flop for Subaru.

Nearly a decade of production produced only 76,774 Tribeca sales in the United States, or roughly the number of Ford Explorers sold every four months.

But the B9 Tribeca wasn’t just ugly — in fact, the Tribeca was rather innocuous after a MY2008 facelift. Cramped inside, overpriced, somewhat ponderous to drive — Subaru’s first three-row vehicle was undesirable for a number of reasons.

The Tribeca was also the three-row family crossover effort from a brand that owned just 1.2 percent of the market.2016 Subaru Viziv-7 Concept Los Angeles - Source: Subaru via NASIOCThe production version of the LA auto show’s Viziv-7 Concept will fight on behalf of a Subaru brand that’s seen its market share triple since the B9 Tribeca hit the market. And if the concept’s dimensions are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be too cramped.

At 204.7 inches long, the Viziv-7 stretches two feet farther than the Forester, Subaru’s best-selling model. The concept is 15 inches longer than the Subaru Outback, Subaru’s biggest current model. The Viziv-7 is even longer than the Chevrolet Traverse and Dodge Durango, both big players in the three-row crossover segment.

We have more faith in the Viziv-7 Concept’s dimensions carrying forward to production than its styling. Historically, Subaru concepts have not accurately predicted production cars, even when the Viziv tag isn’t used. The Impreza Concept from last year’s Tokyo auto show (and then the Impreza Sedan Concept from last year’s LA auto show) is recognizable as an Imprezaesque car, but it’s wildly better looking than the humble production car. Subaru’s three-year-old Legacy Concept has themes that carried forward to the production Legacy sedan, but it’s in a whole different league.

So, this isn’t merely a matter of toning down the wheels and headlights. A production Subaru three-row crossover might not resemble this Viziv-7 in any meaningful way.

But for the growing legions of Subaru loyalists who need something bigger — a lot bigger — something good this way comes. Expect the production U.S.-built Subaru flagship to be called the Ascent.

[Images: Subaru via NASIOC Forum]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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41 Comments on “Subaru Viziv-7 Concept Revealed: Subaru’s New Three-Row Flagship Is Huge...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They should call it the Tribeca II, because that’s all I can see here.

    At least the B9 Tribeca had a cool name.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not bad but fairly derivative of every other CUV. It will be interesting to see what it is eventually powered by. The Flat 6 is very long in the tooth and the Flat 4 engines don’t make nearly enough power.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m sure it will sell well. Just don’t compare its grille to a “flying vagina” this time, and maybe they’ll send us one…haha

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And thus, the conflict for the Birkenstock-and-granola set in Boulder, who have made owning a Subaru dealership the next best thing to a possessing a Federal money printing facility: do we a) buy it, because Subaru, or b) trash it, because huge SUV?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Or worse (for Subaru): Do we still covet the smaller models, now that we risk running across a Trump supporter with the same badge on the hood as us?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Surely those B&g people remember riding in their grandpa’s 1975 Chrysler Newport, with the 124″ wheelbase and 225″ overall length. Cars are much smaller now: what Timothy calls huge is the same size as a 1968 Dodge Coronet wagon (117″ wheelbase, 207″ length) and that was midsize back then.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    This is close to what I’ve been calling for, except I had a roomier crossover-ized Minivan ala-Mitsu Delica in mind. Subaru folks tend to be pragmatists IMO, and would be more appreciative of the utility of added interior room than the demerits of a minivan-profile. Looking at this design, Subaru marketing obviously thinks different.

    • 0 avatar

      Subaru folks are pragmatists, not idiots. Sorry, but minivans just don’t sell in the numbers or at the prices that SUVs do, especially given the fact that the Subaru brand has some cachet in the offroading world. Believe it or not, this concept IS the pragmatic approach.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Please note by “Subaru folks” I mean Subaru BUYERS. They’ve shunned sexy looks for visibility and utility. Minivans are the ultimate utilitarian tool for MOST (not all) everyday duties. Perhaps if Subaru made an AWD minivan ala Sienna AWD, they could both retain their customers whose families simply outgrow their current offerings (especially with the obligatory dogs that Subaru buyers seem to all own), but could capitalize on the AWD= safe bandwagon with a van (but make it look offroady). It’s kind of funny actually, what I’m describing is exactly what Mazda had throughout the 1990s, the MPV 4wd. In the late 90s near the end of the run they “outback-ed” it with fender flares, two tone paint schemes (tan/grey on bottom), and gave it fatter white letter tires. Worth noting that not many of them sold, they were always very pricey for the era (close to $50k in today’s money).

        • 0 avatar
          kosmo

          Yes, only an insecure person that ties their personal identity to something as ridiculous as a utility vehicle would choose this over an AWD Sienna.

          But I bet sales figures will prove me wrong!

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Based on the length, I am guessing it has nothing to do with Toyota Highlander, but at first glance, I thought maybe it was a rebadge.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “A production Subaru three-row crossover might not resemble this Viziv-7 in any meaningful way.”

    The exterior is pretty generic. How different could it be?

    If I was a designer for Subaru, I doubt that I would have come up with something radically different from this. With this body style and current design trends, there is only so much that you can do to vary the look while appealing to mainstream tastes.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    We are Levorg. You will be assimilated.

  • avatar
    Von

    Clicked just to look for a picture of the center console, didn’t read any of it without seeing the picture.

    PS not including that picture is a disservice to long time readers of TTAC, seriously.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Front clip whispers GMC

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Headlights look like the XC90’s. Front end looks like Ford and Toyota co-designed. The side looks like a Honda Pilot. The back looks like a Ford Edge. The tires look like Tonka and Legos. The blue LED’s on the cladding over the wheels is strange.

      It’s a good looking mashup.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It does need a new name. How about “Vehemouth”?

    It will have a tough row to hoe – appeal to Subaru shoppers without cannibalizing sales from other models, as well as compete with GM and Toyota versions of the same car – it will have to have something special that they haven’t thought of, or at least a noticebaly lower price.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Isn’t that the name of a Pokemon?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure it’ll be that tough. The whole reason for this vehicle to exist is that Subaru Outback owners are coming in wanting something larger than an Outback and Subaru has to tell them to go elsewhere. This isn’t going to be cannibalizing sales in any meaningful way, and even if it did, it would be cannibalizing them in favour of a vehicle with (presumably) even higher profit margins than their other offerings.

      As for pricing against competition, again, I don’t see this as an issue. Subaru has never gone the route of ‘price below your competitors’ and I don’t think it’ll start here. They have gone the route of ‘design intelligent, practical vehicles that make sense and the buyers will come.’ And come they have. Your point is no more valid here than the small CUV market, where the Forester does quite well selling against the likes of the CR-V, Escape, RAV4, and Equinox while maintaining their MSRP quite nicely.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Agree with your analysis. Gas is cheap and may well get cheaper. Most families want to buy the biggest hauler they can afford / fit in the garage. SUVs in general are way more profitable than sedans and I’d bet the cost of tooling / development pays off.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Its not bad. Doesn’t look as fat as the Explorer.

    It looks like something that was retrieved from a Volvo design studio floor. Like a cheaper XC90 clone for the Chinese brand(s).

  • avatar
    05lgt

    You sure that’s not a Ford?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Square it off in the back and adopt Toyota’s Highlander hybrid system and they’d sell a lot more than 72,000…..maybe even in 5 years.

  • avatar
    derekson

    This bears more than a passing resemblance to VW’s new 3 row CUV (the Atlas).

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    This is the vehicle for mom and mom, their adopted African boy toddler from Ghana, their turkey basted infant daughter, 4 cats and 2 schnauzers. Di-Viziv

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    Highlander at the front, Edge at the back no? That’s all I am seeing.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Am I the only one that see a giant Forester here from the looks department?

  • avatar
    kosmo

    It’s got to be giant, since I’m pretty sure the current Outback has grown to within a couple of inches of the old Tribecca.

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