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Looking @ Subaru's B9 Tribeca

The name sounds like a vitamin shot administered in Robert De Niro's New York neighborhood, but belongs to the first 7-passenger vehicle in Subaru's lineup: B9 Tribeca.

The name sounds like a vitamin shot administered in Robert De Niro's New York neighborhood, but belongs to the first 7-passenger vehicle in Subaru's lineup: B9 Tribeca. It's a "Progressive SUV" in Subaru's parlance, which means it has off-road agility married with a flexible interior and a package larger than the firm's Outback SUV. And, despite the "it-will-take-time-to-get-used-to" nose and Alfa Romeo taillights, the B9 Tribeca has a most un-Subaru interior. That is to say, the interior is fresh, modern, and decidedly upscale. One more thing, Saab will get its own version of the B9 Tribeca, extending the relationship forged with the introduction of the Impreza-based Saab 9-2X.

 

IN BRIEF

  • The Legacy/Outback platform provides the base for the Tribeca, but is larger in all dimensions. Wheelbase grows to 108.2 in. (+3.1 in.). Front and rear track increase by 3.3 in. and 3.4 in., respectively. Overall length is 189.8 in., an increase of 1.2 in.
  • Torsional rigidity is up 22% and bending stiffness rises 55% compared to the Outback/Legacy. High-strength steel accounts for 39.6% of the Tribeca's mass.
  • The donor platform's multi-link rear suspension is replaced by a double-wishbone design to maximize room for third-row passengers. It sits on an M-shaped steel subframe.
  • The McPherson strut front suspension uses larger struts with thicker mounting plates, internal rebound springs, and a 25-mm anti-roll bar.
  • Subaru's "Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive" is carried over from the Legacy/Outback, and contributes to a center of gravity that is a claimed 1.6-in. lower than many competing unit-body crossover vehicles.
  • Discs are used at each corner, with front rotors measuring 12.3 x 1.2-in., and the rears 12.4 x 0.71-in. Front dual-piston floating calipers are joined by single-piston floating calipers in the rear.
  • ABS, traction control and ESC are standard, as is Electronic Brake-force Distribution.
  • A 250-hp flat six powers the Tribeca; it is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Peak torque of 219 lb-ft arrives at 4,200 rpm. The 3.0-liter unit includes variable valve timing and lift.
  • Both 5- and 7-passenger versions are available, each with two trim levels. The second row of seats is a 60/40 split bench with a 40/20/40 backrest, while the third row is split 50/50 and can be folded flat.
  • The second row seats can slide fore and aft a maximum of 8 inches, and have reclining seatbacks. If the center section of the seatback is not in use, it can be folded forward for use as an armrest with integral cupholders.
  • With all seats folded, maximum cargo area is 74.4 ft3. —CAS