What Is It?
The Subaru VIZIV-7 Concept is a crossover concept car that previews Subaru’s future plans for a 3-row SUV with seven seats, a long overdue rival to popular models like the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander.
On the outside, the VIZIV-7 Concept incorporates a few unusual concept-car details — like the oddly shaped lights in the front and rear bumper and the strange front-wheel arch — but it clearly reveals the direction Subaru intends to take when they reveal a midsize crossover. Subaru has not yet revealed any images of the VIZIV-7’s interior, promising only that it will be “the biggest Subaru vehicle ever” and offer “full 3-row capability.”
While Subaru has not announced what engine will power the VIZIV-7, its “biggest Subaru ever” pronouncement seems to hold true. The automaker says the concept SUV is 204.7 inches long, which makes it more than 2 feet longer than a Subaru Forester and even a foot longer than the midsize Toyota Highlander.
Will They Ever Sell It?
While we’re certain the Subaru VIZIV-7 Concept won’t reach production with this name or this exact design, we’re just as certain Subaru is planning to build a 3-row, midsize SUV, and we suspect the VIZIV-7 gives us a good preview of what it’ll look like.
Why It’s Important
Although Subaru continues to gain more momentum, success and sales — particularly in the U.S. market — the brand lacks entrants into several key segments. The most obvious is the ultra-hot midsize SUV segment, currently populated by popular models like the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander. Subaru’s largest SUV, the Forester, is a compact model, competing with the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.
While Subaru once had a 3-row SUV competitor — the B9 Tribeca, later renamed simply the Tribeca — it was canceled after the 2014 model year following slow sales. The arrival of this concept vehicle proves that Subaru is planning to recommit itself to this segment, though we suspect a production version is still at least 2 years away from reaching the market.