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2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca - Subaru's First Seven Passenger Vehicle

The 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca is a large SUV that provides a lot of value in terms of technology, handling, foul-weather capability and dependability. Before the Tribeca, Subaru had never offered a model in the United States that could hold more than five occupants. The Tribeca can seat five or seven people.  Subaru is becoming a premium brand; the technology underneath is cutting edge, giving drivers the latest in all-weather safety and performance. The Tribeca earned the highest possible rating in NHTSA federal crash tests, with five stars in the frontal and side-impact tests for both the driver and front-seat passenger; it received a four-star rating in the tests for rollover resistance. In sharp contrast to its controversial exterior, the 2007 Subaru Tribeca's interior is a stunning styling statement.

For 2007, safety features have been added. Also for 2007, Tribeca's front and rear suspensions have been revised to deliver a smoother ride. All models are now pre-wired for XM Satellite Radio, and the auxiliary jack for connecting iPods and other MP3 units has been relocated to the center console. Top-of-the-line Limited models add a two-position memory sensor for the front seats. A window-shade-type retractable rear cargo cover is now available as well.

Tribeca Design

Positioned above the company's Legacy and Outback, the B9 Tribeca is Subaru's largest model. The B9 Tribeca rides a 108.2-inch wheelbase that's 3 inches longer than the Outback's. It measures 189.8 inches long overall, 73.9 inches wide and 66.4 inches tall. The spare tire is mounted underneath the vehicle and seven-spoke cast-aluminum wheels hold 18-inch tires. Overall, there is an undeniable aero-sleekness to the flow of the various surface planes and sculpting. Headlights are integrated into the leading edges of the front fenders. In plan view, the front end's curvature can be seen to ease the movement of the Tribeca through the air. The steeply raked windshield and A-pillars pull the eye up and over the tall glass house to a spoiler laid atop an acutely angled back window. A central air intake dominates the front end and is flanked by twin "wings." For 2007, the grille centers are black and a Special Edition option package includes a new mesh grille design and chrome wheels. Projector-beam headlights incorporate a series of cylindrical bulb housings. An upswept character line starts at the base of the A-pillar and extends back to the rear hatch; the curved roofline slopes down at the rear. Elliptical taillamps positioned above dual exhaust outlets bring up the rear. Ground clearance is 8.4 inches.

Power for the Subaru B9 Tribeca

Both models of the 2007 share the same powertrain, a 250-horsepower, six-cylinder engine driving all four wheels full time through a five-speed SportShift automatic. The B9 Tribeca is equipped with standard symmetrical Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive. It's powered by an all-aluminum horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine and the five-speed automatic transmission. The B9 Tribeca can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

B9 Tribeca Cabin Features

Two versions of the Tribeca are available: a five-passenger and a seven-passenger. Beyond the bits and pieces, the organic, almost-wholesome sweep of the dash as it flows into the door panels creates cocoon-like comfort zones for front seat occupants. Arms and hands rest naturally on nicely textured surfaces with the requisite buttons and levers where they should be. For 2007, Subaru adds a host of options, including reverse-assist sensors, a remote starter and a rear cargo cover. There's also an optional rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen, wireless headphones and a remote. Steering wheel-mounted supplemental controls are styled into the sweep of the wheel's spokes. The shift lever's SportShift slot, which allows the driver to manually select the desired gear, is properly placed to the driver's side of the primary gate. The front seat cushions could be deeper for more thigh support, and back support isn't great, either. The second-row bench seat offers 8 inches of fore/aft travel and is split 40/20/40; each section can recline independently. When a 50/50-split third-row seat is installed, it can hold two additional occupants.

Driving a Tribeca

The 2007 Tribeca offers responsive power. Only slight pressure on the gas pedal brings up sufficient power for passing. Shifts up and down are managed almost invisibly; even when executed manually through the SportShift there is only the slightest interruption in the energy flow. Subaru revised nearly all the suspension settings on the 2007 Tribeca, including spring rates and strut valves front and rear, and the thickness of the rear anti-roll bar, all with the goal of smoothing the ride and improving after-shock damping on rough surfaces. In addition to the practical merits of all-wheel drive and available seven-passenger seating, the B9 Tribeca delivers energetic performance. Like the driving experience in general, automatic-transmission behavior is refined and satisfying.


All Subaru models are somewhat pricey, but they offer a lot of value in terms of technology, handling, foul-weather capability and dependability; Tribeca is no exception. For 2007, Subaru has built more safety into every Tribeca, adding a rollover sensor that automatically activates the seatbelt pre-tensioners and deploys the standard side-curtain airbags. To help avoid accidents, Brake Assist joins Tribeca's extensive array of dynamic handling technology, which already included four-channel anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control and four-wheel traction control. An ultrasonic reverse-parking assist is now available on all models; models with navigation now come with a backup camera. Third-row space is tight in seven-passenger models, and getting to that seat could be easier. Cargo space with all the seats raised is modest. Otherwise, flaws are few in Subaru's largest model. Electroluminescent gauges are easy to read, and the control layout though hardly traditional is effective.


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