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Kez Casey | Nov, 12 2015 | 0 Comments

A replacement for Subaru’s somewhat lacklustre SUV, the Tribeca, is set to launch in 2018 in the form of a larger SUV ready to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kluger and Pathfinder.

As with the Tribeca before it, the new model will be built at Subaru’s Lafayette, Indiana plant in the United States, but this time around the Tribeca name will be ditched, and so too will the new vehicles export prospects.

Instead the new SUV will be offered solely in North America, where the Tribeca enjoyed the greatest share of its moderate sales, a market that sees plenty of activity amongst seven-seat offerings.

The Tribeca in its original form
The Tribeca in its original form

To better match the space and versatility of recent three row offerings in that market, the new SUV will grow to offer a more spacious third row, and improved luggage carrying capacity

Subaru is also keen to leave the Tribeca - phased out in 2014 - in its past, with a focus group survey in June revealing that the brand has alternative names under consideration.

Expect a naming convention that conveys a sense of ruggedness, the way Outback and Forester do, in place of Tribeca, named after a trendy - but completely urban - region in New York.

A heavily updated Tribeca in 2009 wasn't enough to turn the tide
A heavily updated Tribeca in 2009 wasn't enough to turn the tide

The upcoming SUV will join the Legacy (sold here as the Liberty), Outback, and forthcoming Impreza ranges (the hatch was previewed at Tokyo, with the sedan to be shown in LA) in being built in the United States for North American consumption.

For the time being all Australian-delivered variants of those vehicles are sourced from Japan, and will remain so in the foreseeable future.

The short-run three-row Liberty Exiga
The short-run three-row Liberty Exiga

After phasing out the Tribeca in Australia, Subaru offered the seven-seat Exiga for a limited time between 2009 and 2012 as a variant of the Liberty range. Once again slow sales saw the model discontinued, unable to compete with high riding SUVs and more versatile people movers.

Powertrain details for the new model are still under wraps for the time being, but expect Subaru to follow the downsizing path, however with a 3.6 litre Boxer six-cylinder engine still in its catalog at least one variant may feature this engine.

MORE: Subaru News and Reviews

 
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