Subaru B9 Tribeca...the next Aztek?

Sweet baby Jesus and the choclate factory! Call me crazy, but this has to be one of the most butt-ugly rigs in recent memory! Could this go down in the books as the next Pontiac Aztek? And Subaru seemed to be on the up and up with the redesigned Legacy, STI, etc.

I completely dissagree with you. I had a chance to see one up close in person at a car show and think it was very well designed. You see details of the Porshe Cayenne (front end), BMW X3 (rear) and a trademark Alfa Romeo grille (upside down). Overall, the cars lines work well together

I don’t see how you could even compare it to the Aztec which is basically a box on wheels.

True, Aztek was very boxy and none of the element worked together at all. I probably should’ve withheld judgement until I’ve seen one in the flesh, but my knee jerk reaction was that the front end just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the body (which looks quite nice…)

Carry on…

Ummm…it’s not like Porsche hit the design equilivent of a home run with styling of the Cayenne. In comparision to their other designs, the Cayenne gets a “D” at best. To me it’s butt ugly… and I agree that the Subaru also falls in the catagory…IMO of course.

Wow, that’s a lot of originality there!

The triangular grill is from the design cue of WWII fighter planes that Fuji Heavy Industries( Subaru’s parent company) used to make. The CEO liked it, so the designers had to swallow it.

I’ve always been a fan of Subaru (I had a red 5-speed ‘88 DL wagon that was flippin’ sweet!) but they’ve been all over the map with their design language over the past 10 years. I’m glad they finally got rid of those overly bubble-like headlamp treatments. I think I read somewhere that they new design language is being showcased with the Tribeca. The grill detailing will be a big part of it. I’ve always felt that if you put too much emphasis mainting a strong grill detail you can really limit yourself…just look at the Pontiac offering where EVERYTHING has the same grill pasted on it. The Solstice concept is the first Pontiac in a long while to not be tied down to the literal “Pontiac” front end. Hopefully the new Subarus won’t fall into the Pontiac “copy and paste design language” trap…

On a side note, wouldn’t it be awesome if they launched a “Fuji Heavy” line of cars to compete with the Scion market? I picture all kinds of tuning packages and supergraphics with HUGE Fuji Heavy logos…

I don’t think it’s that unattractive a car, for an SUV. I’ve never found an SUV to be elegant, or pretty…the only one I think I’d actually be happy driving (based on styling) is the Infiniti FX series.

And yes, porsche hit a real low with the Cayenne, though it’s not like they haven’t before. I always thought the 944 and 914 were pretty ugly cars. Give me a 959 anyday…:stuck_out_tongue:

As for a grille, I’d like to see more cars with no grille at all. Look at various 911s over the years (lots of mid or rear engine cars, for that matter) to see what I mean.

The Scooby looks pretty good apart from the overly-emphasized grille. IMO it doesn’t fit well with the rest of the vehicle; almost looks like a pasted-on after thought (a la the previously mentioned Pontial grilles).

Maybe they are trying to ride the coattails of Chrysler’s recent grille styling choices?

I can’t say that I think the Tribeca is a good design. Of course I don’t like the x3 (looks like the cheap knock off of the x5 which is cool as hell, why go backwards?), I loath that “Porsche” (for god’s sake why would you buy an overpriced VW tourag that doesn’t even look as good) and it I think it should be sacreligious to rip on an Alfa’s grill… but that is just this guys opinion.

Objectively the front overhang looks to long and the styling can’t seem to make up it’s mind whether it wants to be agressive, cute, retro, or nowtro.

Ironicly Subaru nailed this front end in several concept cars. They really should have stayed closer to the origional language they where going for, this whole Tibeca, name and all, reeks of marketing’s dirty work!!!

here’s the concepts that predated this vehicle:

they could have picked anyone of those front end graphics IMO, the blue and yellow cars are great.

I don’t like the alfa grill either it doesn’t suit subaru in my opinion with alfa it’s ok, something that people are used to and ties their products together over many years but seems out of place on staid old subaru with their reputation for reliable and (mostly) understated cars. Where did this new look come from? You guessed it subarus new head of design was alfas former designer.

And yes, porsche hit a real low with the Cayenne, though it’s not like they haven’t before. I always thought the 944 and 914 were pretty ugly cars.

Somedays it is harder being a moderator than others.

I saw the Tribeca at the car show too. The front was ok, though huge. The rear was a huge blob of various design ideas. Apparently the design team thought, “hmm, we have this huge @$$ to work with, let’s through all the ideas we have on it”. Quantity doesn’t outdo quality here.

The grille is mildly a knock off of an Alfa. In Japan, car buffs would recognize it as retro immidiately. Subaru used to use this oval-ish grille. Of course, Alfa hasn’t been in the US for 13 years, so why would most common people there recognize it as such.

Interestingly, Subaru used to be quite liberal with their interpretations of the grille:

I read an article on the new york times about the tribeca’s design and how its an attempt at breaking free from the subaru brand’s traits of being rugged,well engineered but not having particularly noteworthy styling. Ironically while the tribeca stands out as being an ugly design, it doesn’t seem to stand out in ,y ,ind at all because it looks like an amalgamation of so many other cars that it doesn’t have a character. At least the old bug eyed wrx’s were unique in the car landscape- personally i thought they were great.

It seems like car design across the industry is in a phase of homologating- I can’t tell one brand from the other. At a time when design is ‘in the drivers seat’ comparatively to other periods, there doesn’t seem to much unique out there.

I’ll follow that last post up with this- if any brand has found a unique style and committed its Cadilac. I don’t particularly love their aesthetic, but they have it nailed and are doing an amazing job with the brand.

Some of my fellow students and I were arguing about that over lunch…As to which brands have actually crated a style for themselves. I feel, as you do, that cadillac has done a brilliant job of creating a consistent style among the CTS, STS, XLR and escalade - you can certainly tell that they’re all related in some way.

I dislike it when car manufacturers fall back on the grille as a way of identifying their cars. Yes, it is the “Face”, and grilles are definitely the best method of identifying a car in many cases, but I still find it hard to tell a BMW from a Mercedes from an Audi sedan, somply because they rely on nothing other than their logo (and BMW’s kidney grille) to tell them apart.

Lamborghini ahs also done an excellent job of keeping their styles similar, but updating them periodically - a Countach, Diablo, Murcielago and Gallardo are all obviously lambos. I don’t think Ferrari has got it down quite as well (flame-bait!) - yes, you can identify a car as a ferrari, but the 430 doesn’t remind you of the Enzo or the Scaglietti.

Ah well.

I agree about Cadillac having a consistent aesthetic. However, note that their “edgy” styling is also cheaper to tool than more organic shapes. For some reason they don’t mention that in their ads…hmmm. I also wonder if they did research and found that their potential customers (Acura, Lexus, BMW, Merc owners) wanted this, or was it a cheap shot in the dark?

I was reading that Bangle has declared the end of the flame aesthetic revolution at BMW. Despite that, I agree with him that it was a big and risky change at BMW. Personally, I like it. I also think that, although the end results are very different, it is consistently applied throughout the product line. Despite that, it also has enough evolutionary ideas to remain BMWs.

VW is ruthlessly consistent as well. Note, Lambo is owned by VW Group.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery… ?

Bugatti Chiron _ circa 1981

I still haven’t made up my mind about this one…but discuss!


I donno, it’s muscular, but not in the same way as the previous WRX’s, it’s bringing a lot more attention to the center, where before it was a broad front end that I apprieciated a lot, and everything was very functional. I have to wonder what they’re gaining from the big central opening, from an engineering standpoint.

I would still take it over an EVO though, something about that boxer motor sound with a hot exhaust, so raspy and thumpy, makes me want to find a big mud puddle.