Subaru Lays Claim to First CUV Title

Which auto maker introduced the first cross/utility vehicle? Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru of America Inc. lays claim to that title with its Forester, introduced 11 years ago but not called a CUV back then. It wasn't a truck, and it wasn't a car. People had a hard time defining it, says Tom Doll, Subaru's executive vice president. We called it a hybrid (not to be confused with today's hybrid-electric

Which auto maker introduced the first cross/utility vehicle?

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru of America Inc. lays claim to that title with its Forester, introduced 11 years ago but not called a CUV back then.

“It wasn't a truck, and it wasn't a car. People had a hard time defining it,” says Tom Doll, Subaru's executive vice president. “We called it a hybrid (not to be confused with today's hybrid-electric vehicles). It's now called a CUV.”

The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V were introduced at about the same time, but Subaru's sales chief Tim Colbeck says, although they currently are car-based, originally they were truck-based.

“We like to think we had the first CUV,” Colbeck tells Ward's.

Subaru introduces an all-new, third-generation '09 Forester, touted as bigger and safer, with interior improvements that include more rear-seat legroom.

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