Subaru may be designing a new seven-seat SUV that will replace the outgoing Tribeca and it could arrive as a 2017 model. Subaru axed the Tribeca seven-seat SUV because it was underperforming in the U.S. and other global markets. Subaru had seen sales of the Tribeca decline to some of the worst in the Japanese automakers history. Ever since they made the decision to discontinue the Tribeca, there have been rumors of another seven-seat replacement for the SUV.
Seven-seat EXIGA launched in Japan
Subaru already has the seven-seat EXIGA that was launched on August 22 in Japan and according to Motoring.com.au in Australia, a new flagship SUV could be in the works for the U.S. and Australian markets. Subaru is always tight-lipped about any future projects, but according to Motoring, Masayuki Uchida, the Senior Product General Manager of Liberty (Legacy in the U.S.) and Outback products in Australia, told them that the Tribeca's replacement could be based on a modified version of the platform used by the Liberty and Outback.
A new 7-seat SUV to sit atop the Subaru lineup
The new flagship SUV from Subaru would need to be larger than the outgoing Tribeca because of its cramped third-row seating and limited cargo capacity. Subaru will be competing in the fast-growing segment with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Uchida went on to say, "The Three-row SUV has to be bigger than Liberty and Outback."
Because Subaru is expanding their production capacity at their Indiana plant, the new seven-seat Subaru SUV would be built here in the U.S. Expansion at the Indiana factory will be completed by 2017 and would be ready to handle production of the new model. Uchida acknowledged there will be strong interest from many other markets, including Australia for the new seven-seat vehicle.
Motoring.com.au also reported that the Subaru project boss told them a new Subaru concept car would be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, but wouldn't say for sure whether it would be the new seven-seater. If Subaru is previewing a concept flagship model next year, the new Subaru 7-seat SUV would likely arrive as a production version and be in U.S. showrooms in late 2016 or early 2017. The Tokyo Motor Show 2015 runs from October 29-November 8, 2015. Stay tuned.