Subaru is arriving to the luxury crossover party late, without anything special to distinguish itself, and wearing a garish bowtie. Nevertheless, the company hopes that the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca, a seven-seat SUV that is designed to compete against segment stalwarts like the Acura MDX and Lexus RX 330, will convince consumers to part with significant chunks of their disposable income.
Safety equipment includes standard side-impact and side-curtain airbags, as well as a tire pressure monitoring system. Further contributing to safety is a standard Vehicle Dynamics Control stability system that works in tandem with Subaru's symmetrical AWD system to ensure that the B9 Tribeca remains in control. Other standard features include a power moonroof, heated front seats and side mirrors, and electroluminescent gauges. A touch-screen navigation system, a 160-watt stereo, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are optional.
Riding on 18-inch aluminum wheels wearing 255/55 Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires, the Subaru B9 Tribeca is supported by coil-spring struts in front and double-wishbone suspension in back for an optimum balance of ride and handling. Ground clearance measures 8.4 inches.
Traditional Subaru buyers are accustomed to unusual styling and have already been sold on the merits of boxer engines and all-wheel-drive systems. They will love the B9 Tribeca. People intending to buy loaded mainstream SUVs or base-model luxury crossovers need a more obvious value equation to try something new and different, especially when the badge of the back won't impress friends and neighbors.
In it's quest to expand market share and move upscale, Subaru appears at first glance to have an uphill battle on its hands with the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca.
Photos courtesy of Subaru of America