Cars

Subaru Viziv-7 Concept: Second Time’s the Charm?

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After axing the seven-passenger Tribeca in 2014, Subaru is preparing to re-enter the three-row, mid-size crossover SUV segment. With the Viziv-7 concept—the name Viziv stands for “Vision for Innovation”—the Japanese automaker provides our best look yet at what’s to come.

Measuring 204.7 inches long and sitting on a 117.7-inch wheelbase, the Viziv-7 is some 15 inches longer than Subaru’s Outback, and its wheelbase is more than nine inches greater. The Viziv-7 also is larger than most mainstream three-row, mid-size crossover SUVs. While the Buick Enclave, the Chevrolet Traverse, the Dodge Durango, and the Ford Flex ride on longer wheelbases, the Subaru’s overall length is greater than all four. Additionally, the Viziv-7’s 79.9-inch width and 72.0-inch height (73.2 inches including the roof rails) are tops among today’s segment offerings. Needless to say, if the Viziv-7’s dimensions carry over to the production vehicle, Subaru’s new SUV promises to dwarf the other models in the lineup as it attempts to move far beyond the cramped Tribeca.

Big and boxy, the Viziv-7 sports a bold grille and massive fog lights, while its headlight design and window profile echo those of the smaller Outback. If past Subaru concepts are any guide, the production vehicle can be expected to wear much tamer bodywork than the Viziv-7.

We believe the production vehicle will go by the name Ascent, given that Subaru recently registered that moniker with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Spy photographers recently caught Subaru testing its new three-row crossover, and along for comparison was both a Mazda CX-9 and a Ford Explorer; like them, we expect the Ascent to offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, although the 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine that’s optional in the Outback is also a possibility. We’ll know more in the coming months, as Subaru says its production three-row crossover will enter our market in early 2018.

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