Subaru Exiga: first pictures

Published: 19 May 2008

Subaru doesn't like to follow the herd. It's why the Japanese car maker sticks to boxer engines and four-wheel drive where others pick the cheaper, simpler option. And when it comes to MPVs, it's the same story. Not for Subaru the big, boxy people carriers of the Lego building block school of design. This new Exiga, announced today with this sketchy teaser image, is more like a big estate than a sensible seven-seater.

Sadly, the Exiga is aimed squarely at the Japanese domestic market and won't be coming to Europe – yet. It's fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, and not the diesel power we demand over here. If that changes, UK bosses admit they would be interested.

Subaru Exiga – based on the concept of the same name

The Exiga follows the concept car of the same name shown at the 2007 Tokyo motor show. Think big, stretched wheelbase Legacy estate and you're on the right lines.

Company officials who've seen the car claim the third row of two seats offers decent space ('not at all cramped like most third rows,' claimed one), with the three rows of seats banked theatre-style to improve visibility. The car was developed by the same team which designed the Legacy – they apparently split in two with the aim of building two distinct bodystyles.

This shadowy teaser shot reveals an upright mix of estate and people carrier. Guess we'll have to wait until 17 June 2008 when the final car is unveiled... But it's clear to see that the spirit of the concept car (third picture, above) is alive and well.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet