Fugly then, fugly now.

February 24, 2007 at 9:39 pm (Cars & Trucks, General, The Economy)

It’s been a busy few weeks, but I was unstoppably moved to post an entry this evening. What, you may ask (I can hear you now, asking) would move you, Dave, to write a post tonight? It was simply the sighting of one of the fugliest cars ever made. The Subaru B9 Tribeca.

First, Tribeca is a lower Manhattan neighborhood. And it’s not even a real name, just a dumb contraction, not even an acronym. I wonder how many soccer moms here on the left coast know that, or even care. It’s a stupid name for an SUV, or any vehicle, for that matter. (And where does the “B9” come from? What the hell?)

Next, the styling on this urban assault vehicle is… well… off-putting. Barf making. One reviewer likened it to “Hannibal-Lecter-in-a-face-mask“. And if you know your automotive history, it’s been done. Almost 50 years ago, Ford made a legendary styling error known as – the Edsel.

Take a look. Both cars, side by side, both butt ugly.

Butt ugly then Butt ugly now

What’s still more hilarious, is that the resemblance doesn’t stop at the grille! Take a look at the rear views of the two vehicles:

edsel_rearview.jpg subaru_tribeca.jpg

Look at both the tail lights, and the shape of the roof line! (The “C-pillar“, for us car nuts.) The only thing that this grotesque Subaru lacks is a two-tone paint job and fender skirts. Dear old H. L. Mencken put his finger right on the nub: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

Ford sold about 110,800 Edsels during 3 years of production. Subaru has apparently sold fewer than 36,000 of their fugly station-wagons-on-steroids since the model’s introduction in mid-2005. Wow. Looks like Subaru is out to prove H. L. Mencken wrong at last. Pity, really. The Tribeca is built in Lafayette, IN by American workers, and we can use all the manufacturing jobs we can get.

I blame management.

UPDATE: July 12, 2007

As I was a’sitting and a’watching the boob toob tonight, I was astonished to see this:

2008 Subaru Tribeca

That’s right, campers! You’re looking at the 2008 Tribeca. Finally! They yielded to good taste and lost that stupid Edsel horse-collar grille! The crowning glory was the voice-over in the commercial – “the ALL NEW Tribeca”! Snort. Not even. All new from the front wheels forward, maybe. Tail lights are the same, doors are the same, C pillar is the same… not only does Subaru think we have no aesthetics, they also seem to think we have no eyes and no brains. Lord help us.



  1. lordhelpus said,

    As an afterthought, I note that another cringe – inducingly horrid – looking SUV went out of production in 2005… the Pontiac Aztek. Hallelujah! America got just a little more beautiful. And yes, it was another GM product, designed by committee. Keep blaming management. Pack of clueless bastards. Who else would name a car the “Vibe“? If this an indication of what they’re smoking in the GM boardroom, I want some of that herb, too.

  2. Drive Different. (ly) « We all in trouble now…. said,

    […] all in trouble now…. Look out, kids. The Reagan era MBAs are now in charge. « Fugly then, fugly now. Drive Different. (ly) March 10th, 2007 To balance out my last post, I suppose I ought to […]

  3. Ow. Hot. « We all in trouble now…. | Dlock’s Pop Culture Blog said,

    […] It’s worth the effort to try. I’m putting my money where my mouth is. All you truck and SUV drivers – here’s the line in the sand – my throw down. Bring it, gas hogs, if you dare. If you can be […]

  4. Philippe Starck says it’s all been wasted time. « We all in trouble now…. | Dlock’s Pop Culture Blog said,

    […] marketplace that are poorly, haphazardly designed (see my earlier entries on the Jeep Compass and Subaru Tribeca); or are simply designed to look great but fail to function […]

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