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New Subaru Tribeca Coming, But Styling Path Still Unclear Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Mar, 24 2015 | 1 Comment

Subaru has again confirmed it will return to the three-row SUV market it vacated when the Tribeca was put out to pasture in 2013.

But, while the carmaker continues to develop the architecture of its big new Kluger and Pathfinder rival, a question mark still hangs over one key point: styling.

The carmaker is reportedly weighing whether to style the SUV as a ‘big brother’ to the new Outback - similar to the path taken by Nissan with its new Qashqai and X-Trail models - or if it should instead wear a distinctive new look.

Above: the Tribeca's original look.
Above: the Tribeca's original look.

"How can we differentiate the position of our product?" Subaru marketing executive Nobuhiko Murakami told industry paper Automotive News this week. "That is the fundamental strategy."

The now retired Tribeca debuted in 2005 with what was to be a new front-end styling language for the brand, wearing a broad three-port grille design and high-mounted headlights.

The new look worked out for the smaller Impreza, which gained a more compact version of the grille that same year, but criticism of the Tribeca's face saw it given a makeover less than two years later.

So, the issue of styling is an understandably sensitive point for the Tribeca replacement’s design team.

Above: the new Outback wears a more conventional design.
Above: the new Outback wears a more conventional design.

It is unclear if the new Tribeca will come to Australia, and Subaru has confirmed its main focus will be the US.

"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,” Murakami said.

MORE: Subaru | Seven-Seat SUVs

 
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