2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca: Ugly or Not?
Controversial looks and a small engine may hamper sales of Subaru’s first “big” SUV. Is the product what consumers want or will it be avoided by them at all costs? You decide.
Subaru parts, B9 Tribeca, Subaru Outback, Subaru cars, car parts, car accessories, all wheel drive
Okay, Subaru fans…listen up! Do you think that the all new B9 Tribeca is a beautiful vehicle or is it an ugly duckling? As for me, I have mixed feelings. This particular SUV certainly doesn’t look like any other Subaru, nor does it easily get confused with any other SUV on the market. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; let’s take a look at what sets the B9 Tribeca apart from the pack.
The first time I saw Subaru’s new entry up close I first thought it was Porsche’s Cayenne. No, the vehicles don’t look alike, but the B9 Tribeca evoked a similar response for me: like the Cayenne, it represents a major departure from all other models. For example, the B9 Tribeca offers the following:
<li>5 or 7 passenger seating. This is the first Subaru built that will seat more than five adults.
<li>Big prices: The B9’s base price starts at about $32K.
<li>Side curtain airbags for front seating passengers and second seating passengers [except for the person stuck in the middle seat]
<li>All wheel drive, but you knew that already.
<li>A plush interior. Subaru says that leather trimmed upholstery is available as are heated seats, rear cabin air conditioning, and a sliding glass moon roof.
The B9 is built on a stretched Outback platform and at 66.4 inches it is the tallest vehicle made be Subaru. Oddly, it shares the same 3.0L V6 engine as the Outback, so one can only wonder how hard it will work with 7 passengers onboard navigating steep hills and rounding corners?
I searched far and wide for the reason behind the name B9 Tribeca and found nothing definitive. One auto critic contended that the B9 part of the name came from a previous concept car that was shown by Subaru at car shows, while two reports say that the Tribeca part of the name is from the area of New York City that is the TRIangle BEneath CAnal Street neighborhood of Manhattan. Other than the vehicle being built in Indiana, there isn’t any relevancy in the name. One may think that the B9 portion of the name will prove to be more of a nuisance to remember as consumers have a difficult enough time remembering some two syllable model names, let alone two words.
Personally, I think the idea of building a larger Subaru is wise, especially since Subaru owners previously had no where to go beyond the current crop of compact SUVS and cars in their line up. Beyond that I believe the controversial looks and small engine will disappoint buyers and it may take new sheet metal and a beefier engine to stimulate sales.