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Subaru VIZIV-7 Concept: LA Auto Show


author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2016

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.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Subaru VIZIV-7 Concept: LA Auto Show - Autotrader