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Subaru Minivan in 2007?

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited March 21 in Subaru
Subaru May Field Minivan for U.S.
Subaru could be the next brand to bring a minivan to the United States to compete with the heavy-hitting Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. Reports last week indicated that the new vehicle could be offered sometime after 2007, when the company redesigns its Legacy sedan and bumps it up into a larger size class. A Legacy-derived minivan could be built in the U.S. as well. The proposed van would be a seven-seater with all-wheel drive and a flat-six engine.
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Comments

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    nothing less than odyssey / sienna size for me
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,689
    Sylvia, a few things:

    • There was a report of this, as you mentioned, last week. However the FHI guy was quoted as saying this minivan would be a "global" product, which suggests to me that it might not be quite as big as the not-so-mini Chrysler, Toyota, and Honda minivans. I hope I'm wrong here, because I think a Subie minivan needs to be the size of those in order to stand a chance. That maxi-minivan size is clearly what America wants.

    • In order to do this Subaru needs to have a much more torque-friendly engine. There is a rumor that a H-6 turbo is just around the corner. Frankly, I'm not sure if a turbo is the best answer for minivan customers. My choice would be for a larger non-turbo H-6. I think it would be cheaper to build and buy, could be tuned to run on regular gas, and won't "scare" the average minivan customer who generally are skeptcal of turbos.

    • A larger Legacy? Interesting... I wonder if it will be built off the Tribeca platform?

    Bob
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think that it probably won't be as large as the current Sienna and Odyssey unless its a US/Canada only product.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm in the minority but I'd like to see something MPV-sized, now that everyone else seems to have vacated that size segment.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,689
    Everybody vacated the MPV size for a good reason, very few people were buying them. That size might do okay on the "world market," but not here in North America. Then again, if gas prices keep rising, who knows... Maybe American minivan tastes will change.

    Bob
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    same here, i would love MPV size.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Something MPV sized would do wonders for the handling because of less weight, however...

    If Subaru even wants a chance at competing, or even toppling the Odyssey/Sienna/Caravan from the minivan throne, it needs to be fullsized, offering fold flat third row seat, Nav, DVD entertainment, refined powertrain, and storage space. You can't do all this with something MPV sized.

    Mitsubishi makes the Space Wagon and Honda makes the Stream. Both are tall station wagons/minivans but they can't compete in North America because of their small size. Everyone's vacated that size segment because those vehicles dont sell (remember the Nissan Axxess, Eagle Summit?)

    A large minivan doesnt mean sloppy handling. The Odyssey/Caravan are large, yet they handle the best in the segment.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think Subaru has the resources to aim to topple those on the throne currently, and in fact it might be a costly/risky strategy to try.

    Toyota has more dealers, tenfold more, and tenfold R&D resources as well.

    Subaru has to play a little on the fringe, it doesn't necessarily have to be smaller in size, but something about it must be unique.

    They'd be looking for 40-50k sales per year, and could achieve that with an AWD MPV, which Mazda never offered here.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,689
    Subaru has to play a little on the fringe, it doesn't necessarily have to be smaller in size, but something about it must be unique.

    Yep, boxer engine (and its inherent advantages) plus AWD. Also, nobody has done a high-performance minivan yet.

    Bob
  • chris65amgchris65amg Posts: 372
    I hope they don't. Performance minivan, indeed!
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    It would be interesting if they did. We have performance trucks, wagons and SUVs - whats next? Minivans.

    And who knows? Maybe someone will make a high performance minivan, with a V8 and 300+hp.

    After all, two years ago did we ever think we'd have performance versions of the Trailblazer and Grand Cherokee?
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    I'm not exactly up on my MPV trivia, but Mazda offered AWD in the US on the first generation MPV, right? Apparently it didn't sell well enough to carry over.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,900
    But that was a total cluster IMHO. It wasn't a minivan. It really was an SUV - the new GM UpTerraMonSaturnwhatchamacallit really reminds me of it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually the last generation had 4WD, not AWD. And it was all truck, not very car-like, nor did it handle particularly well.

    -juice
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    new GM UpTerraMonSaturnwhatchamacallit really reminds me of it.
    Never pondered that similarity before, but you're right on in your comparison. (Well, except those are vans trying for an SUV look rather than an SUV trying to be a van.) :)

    juice - thanks for the clarification on the 4WD.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I owned one. Very truck like. But it only had 3 doors, like the Chrysler vans of yore.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,900
    But it only had 3 doors, like the Chrysler vans of yore.

    It did? I thought it had 4 swinging doors. Then again, I'm getting older.

    Speaking of 3 doors - why did it take manufacturers so long to figure out a fourth door was a good idea? Honestly, it was only when I saw a fourth door that it dawned on me.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,689
    Same thing happened with extended cab pickups, remember? First 2-door models, then 3-door models, and then (finally!) 4-door models.

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,900
    IIRC, Chevy and GMC are finally equipping their work vans with an optional 4th door. Some trades may not like it but for delivery vans, it makes tremendous sense.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,689
    I agree.

    Bob
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    look like the new Mazda5 vanlet, but with AWD and of course the boxer?

    It looks like there is a lot of interest in the Mazda5. An economical, sporty, true six seater? With 5 speed MT? Subaru needs to keep an eye on their sales.

    John
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I hope they don't. Performance minivan, indeed!


    Doesn't that describe the upcoming Mercedes R-Class?

    Ed
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    but isn't performance defined by the eye of the beholder? We don't need a 300 hp touring minivan, I agree. But a light weight kick in the pants 250 hp turbo boxer minivan? That seats 6? And handles like a Forester?

    Yumm.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    as I would love a heavy weight 300hp minivan
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    hopefully they will not build something we both do not like
  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    I have two very large dogs (Great Pyrenes and Alaskan Malamute) so my Legacy 2.5i wagon is my sporty minivan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    People are already complaining that Mazda didn't produce enough manual tranny 5s.

    R class is priced in the stratosphere, though I do like it. Subaru could do something like it for $15 grand less.

    -juice
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