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William Maley

Subaru News: Subaru Debates Which Design Approach to Go With Seven-Seat Crossover

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Subaru is planning a new seven-seat crossover for the U.S. marketplace that will be out in the next couple of years. But there is one problem the company is dealing with at the moment: should we go with a Forester-inspired or Outback-inspired look?

"How can we differentiate the position of our product? That is the fundamental strategy," said " said Nobuhiko Murakami, senior vice president of global marketing for Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries.

Both options have advantages: the Forester is easily-recognizable as a crossover, while the Outback has the rugged, off-road look. The one option Subaru will be avoiding is the Tribeca - the automaker's first attempt at a seven-seat crossover. The odd looks made the Tribeca a poor seller.

But one thing is for certain - the seven seat crossover is a U.S. only affair.

"Our resources are limited, and we have to develop our product by putting our major focus on the United States. This is the only way we will survive," said Murakami.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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They are right on both accounts. I think the Outback would be the best approach for them in a 7 seater. Good Luck!

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I think the Outback approach would make a better wagon/crossover than the Legacy purely because of the impact it has on people because of its reliability and durability. Outbacks have always been the most rugged car I've ever driven, and they can get you out of any situation. I think that if Subaru goes with the Legacy approach, it would be to close to the stereotypical Subaru buyer people tend to make fun of.

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I think it's a shame that Subaru thinks they need a 7-seater, but if they go through with it, it should be Outback-based, ensuring uniqueness in a crowded CUV market.

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Definnately should be the Outback. Not sure why they think a 7-seater is critical and is needed, but I guess that's what they think and that is what they want to do, but yea the Outback is a good viable option.

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I'd like to see them do a Jeep Grand Cherokee style competitor before they do a 7-seater.  After they get that going, extend it to a 7-seater also if needed.

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