Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Styling 101

Okay, I seem to be posting a lot lately about styling and some automakers' lack of creativity with their new models. Subaru has been featured in the last two posts, the latter declaring that they seemed to have ripped off some Mazda mojo. Well, the fact is, Subaru landed itself in a bit of a styling crisis with its new winged design theme. This is no secret. Now the company has realized the error of its ways, and is bringing its styling dept back down to planet earth. Problem is, they've plunged back down too fast, and seem to have burned up upon reentry. Subaru had some solid bright spots in styling, most notably in my mind the current Legacy (above).

But now panic has set in, and the home office seems to be directing the design squad to be as bland and conservative as possible. Case in point the new Tribeca ("B9" is history). When I saw it, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Not to say it's not an improvement--my god, the B9 was a train wreck. But this new effort seems a bit...Magoo. Autoblog pointed out some Pacifica and Touareg influence, but I'm thinking next-gen Chrysler Town & Country, complete with winged badge crowning the grille. The Tribeca is a great vehicle, with an interior unparalleled in its class. But with styling like this, how will it possibly stand out in the sea of CUVs hitting the market?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Subaru has bigger problems than "Who shall we copy today?". Their entire buisness model is in shambles. Their product differentiator for years was AWD. Now everybody and their brother has AWD, from luxury cars (GM Sigma sedans) to B cars (Suzuki SX4 sedan). Now what? Boxer engines. Wrong. The only people that care about H-motors already subscribe to Christophorus. So what is left for Subi that may appeal to anyone south of the Green Mountains? (Having troubles with my account - Show Goer 33)