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2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca

Overview
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2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca Review

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Subaru's spin on the crossover SUV weds the company's legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive System to a seven-passenger vehicle wrapped in a sleek shell. The B9 Tribeca is based on the Legacy/Outback platform, but features a longer wheelbase and a wider track. Unlike many crossovers, the B9 Tribeca can actually tackle some pretty tough terrain, with over eight inches of ground clearance and an all-wheel-drive system that can route power between the front and rear wheels, depending on which set has the best traction. Although it can't tow as heavy a load as a traditional body-on-frame SUV, the B9 Tribeca does excel in the areas of passenger safety, comfort and economy.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like a higher seating position that mimics conventional SUVs, but prefer the step-in height of a sport wagon, the B9 stands ready to provide comfortable seating and commanding views of the road.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you carry more than five adult passengers, remember that squeezing a third row into a smaller midsize SUV results in less-than-generous back-row passenger space, despite a second-row seat that moves 7.8 inches fore and aft. Cargo space with the third seat in place is modest, too.

What's New for 2007

New safety features include a Roll Sensor System and Brake Assist, which increases hydraulic boost during panic braking. New options include a Rear Vision Camera and Remote Start.

Driving the B9 Tribeca
Driving Impressions

Comfort and performance highlight the civilized B9 experience. Ride quality ranks close to blissful on good pavement - several cuts above the SUV norm. Although the Tribeca can hit an...

... occasional rough spot a bit hard, the suspension recovers smartly. Steering is relatively light, but maneuverability is impressively easy, though not quite as frisky as Subaru's Forester. There's no shortage of refined energy, with no SUV-like crudeness whatsoever. Automatic-transmission shifts are barely noticed. Console controls are non-traditional but easy enough to use, complemented by very legible brightly-lit gauges. Quietness is another virtue, though the engine gets a touch loud under harder acceleration.

Sliding Second-Row Seats
The ability to slide the second-row seat forward and back makes a significant difference in passenger comfort.

Distinctive Dashboard
Not only does the dashboard and broad, flowing console stand out in appearance, but the instruments and controls are designed for easy viewing and operation. Use of the front display screen for viewing DVD movies (if so equipped) might be a handy bonus.

2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca Details
2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca photo Interior

Either five or seven passengers fit inside, depending on whether a third-row seat is installed. Each section of the 40/20/40-split folding second-row seat slides fore/aft independently, which translates to plenty of second-row leg space. The center spot is somewhat hard and high, but generally tolerable. The available 50/50-split third-row bench incorporates integral headrests and carpeted backs. Passengers won't be at a loss when thirst strikes, with 10 cupholders capable of stocking refreshment. The twin-cockpit layout contains a long, wide console and a "sculptured" dashboard that features electroluminescent gauges. Interiors may be finished in Slate Gray or Desert Beige.

Exterior
2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca photo

Built on a modified Outback platform, the B9 Tribeca has a longer (108.2-inch) wheelbase and wider track, as well as 8.4 inches of ground clearance. Subaru says the B9 Tribeca's center of gravity is 1.5-inches lower than that of a BMW X5. Although not intended for Rubicon-style off-road adventures, the B9 Tribeca excels when confronted by deep snow or unpaved roads. Leading off the new design theme, a protruding nose contains a narrow trapezoidal grille flanked by wing-shaped side grilles. Alloy wheels hold 18-inch tires, and a spoiler tops the rear liftgate. Measuring 189.8 inches long and 66.4 inches tall, the Tribeca is the only Subaru without frameless door glass.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Curtain-type and side-impact airbags are on all B9 Tribecas, along with eight-way driver and four-way power passenger seats. The tinted-glass moonroof includes a sliding shade. An overhead console, dual-zone automatic climate control and HomeLink system are standard, as is a 100-watt, six-speaker CD stereo with MP3 capability, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution. Moving up to the Limited Edition adds leather seating surfaces, a 160-watt stereo with six-CD changer and rear subwoofer. Seven-passenger models have three-stage heated front seats and rear air-conditioning controls.

Optional Equipment

Popular options include Remote Start, Rear Vision Camera, DVD navigation and XM Satellite Radio. Seven-passenger models can be equipped with a DVD-based entertainment system with a nine-inch screen. The seven-inch display screen on the dashboard may also be used for viewing DVD movies when the vehicle's gear selector is in the Park position.

Under the Hood

Subaru's horizontally-opposed ("boxer" configuration) 3.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam six-cylinder engine mates with a five-speed Sportshift automatic transmission that permits manually-selected gear changes. Subaru's Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel-drive system normally sends more power to the rear wheels for enhanced handling, but automatically alters the split in response to changing conditions.

3.0-liter Boxer-6
245 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
215 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/23

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