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Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X)

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Comments

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    there is no gap when the 3rd row is folded down, unless I suppose you push the 2nd row all the way as far forward as you can which would give very little leg space in the 2nd row if the front row is anywhere but way far forward.

    I'm 5' 8" and I was testing all the cars by getting into the front passenger seat, getting comfortable in it without giving myself a mile of leg room, then setting the 2nd row for similar comfort and then checking out the 3rd row. The B9 certainly has no gap between 2nd and 3rd doing that.
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    "

    Maybe they don't understand Canadian. ;-)

      

    (Sorry Sly, couldn't help it)

      

    tom"


     

    Good sense of humoUr there neighboUr, do you sell it by the litRE?

     

    But I think you meant "maybe they don't understand proper English" :)

     

    Sly
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    were you comfortable sitting in 3rd row ? or you think it is really for kids
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    That's what Subaru has that's unique, and that's what they should focus their marketing efforts on.

     

    99% of the market could give a rat's patoot about the boxer engine. You know that most folks could barely distinguish between an inline configuation and a V layout engine. How many times have you heard the phrase V-4 - even here at Edmunds?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    99% of the market could give a rat's patoot about the boxer engine.

     

    You're right—and that's exactly the problem! There are distinct advantages to a boxer layout—lower center of gravity, which allows for better handling.

     

    So Subaru is not "successfully" getting the word out. Yeah, some Subie fans know that, but not the car audience at large. This engine is unique to this class of car, and Subaru needs to do a better job of promoting the advantages of this type of layout.

     

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    You're right—and that's exactly the problem! There are distinct advantages to a boxer layout—lower center of gravity, which allows for better handling.

     

    But is the buying public going to care? Will they brag to their Pilot driving neighbor: "Hey my Tribeca has a boxer engine and it'll out handle your Pilot". I doubt it.

     

    They can advertise XXX HP Boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD, but the buying public will hear XXX HP and AWD. Boxer and Symmetrical will be skipped. It's too hard to compare it to other systems.

     

    Now an enthusiast will care.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    But is the buying public going to care?

     

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

     

    Only now is the general public becoming aware of the advantages of AWD. It took years and years of hammering the same message, over and over again, but it's now beginning to sink in.

     

    I remember years ago, when VW had their "air-cooled" Beetle boxers, just about everyone knew you didn't have to worry about antifreeze with those engines, and that the engine would never freeze in cold weather. VW was very successful in educating the public back then about the advantages of air-cooling vs water-cooling. Subaru need to do the same with it's boxer engine.

     

    In the future the boxer engine is what's going to distinguish Subaru from the other brands. Not AWD; but the boxer engine. That's why it's so important to get the word out.

     

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    Only now is the general public becoming aware of the advantages of AWD. It took years and years of hammering the same message, over and over again, but it's now beginning to sink in.

     

    I don't think Subaru can take credit for that. It may have blazed the trail but IMHO AWD has become populat because SUV's have become so prevalent. Now more mainstream manufacturers have been offering it as well because not everyone wants an SUV.

     

    I remember years ago, when VW had their "air-cooled" Beetle boxers, just about everyone knew you didn't have to worry about antifreeze with those engines, and that the engine would never freeze in cold weather.

     

    Before my time but wasn't that back in the day when people actually changed between water and antifreeze and swapped out thermostats twice a year? Also wasn't air cooled a pretty radical departure from the norm? Further, VW was a foreign car - it also had to overcome that stigma.

     

    IMHO, I don't see how touting the advantages of the boxer engine is going to make a difference to the average consumer with regards to an accepted brand. Then what happens when the market demands an 8 cylinder? Does Subaru toss out the boxer design?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    The point I'm making is Subaru has a story to tell here. With effective advertising—it can work. Without effective advertising—nothing will happen.

     

    "That thing got a Hemi?" is a perfect example of how effective advertising can become a buzz phrase that's become the national craze. Just about everyone has heard—and remembered that phrase. Granted, that's not the image Subaru wants, but it illustrates how powerful an effective a successful ad campaign can be.

     

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    Then what happens when the market demands an 8 cylinder? Does Subaru toss out the boxer design?

     

    No, just build a boxer 8.

     

    Bob
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    Let's just hope it works. I don't think they should pin all their hopes on just differentiating based on the boxer engine. There has to be more of a story to tell IMHO.

     

    As for Hemi - it's has a history associated with it. Boxer does as well but it would involve using a competitor's (well at least juice thinks so) name.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    will be the only major distinguishing feature between Subaru and the others out there. That's their trump card—and they need to play it.

     

    Bob
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The true upshot of the boxer engine and the symmetrical AWD platform is how the vehicle handles. It's the reason my Outback XT handles and corners so well despite the 8.7" of ground clearance and the long travel suspension. Low CG and central drivetrain layout is everything in this regard. It will be *the* reason the Tribeca is unique and compelling (to certain people) when compared to the competition, and why they want the vehicle even if it costs a little more.

     

    Unfortunately, most customers don't put a premium on handling in a wagon, minivan, or SUV. We can probably conclude that based on the large number of people driving vehicles with lousy handling and poor stability.

     

    So that is the real battle -- getting customers to care about handling and stability and then showing them that Subaru's platform is one of the few that can deliver that in a wagon/SUV type of vehicle. I think that's a tough battle.

     

    Craig
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,481
    Guy / Gal lifts the hood on his / her Cayenne.

     

    Scratching head. "Where's the boxer?"

     

    Fades to Tribeca.

     

    Voice over: "Introducing the new Subaru B9 Tribeca. Boxer engine included."

     

    DaveM
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    So that is the real battle -- getting customers to care about handling and stability and then showing them that Subaru's platform is one of the few that can deliver that in a wagon/SUV type of vehicle. I think that's a tough battle.

     

    Bingo.

     

    Perhaps Subaru needs to reposition the brand as hip, performance AWD - not just premium.

     

    The Tribeca name and all the city oriented ads I've seen recently for the Legacy GT seem to be doing that already. When was the last time anyone saw a commercial for the Outback?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    Scratching head. "Where's the boxer?

     

    99.9% of the viewers will scratch their heads and say "Huh?"

     

    Boxer doesn't mean anything to most of the buying public.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think I see Outback commercials at least 5-6 times a week -- I remember because they show a blue XT scrambling over some rocks and I like that color! They do mention one thing in particular -- the turbo motor (and 250 HP if I remember right) which ought to push some buttons with customers but maybe not the big "handling" button.

     

    I don't have any good ideas how Subaru can go after the hip/performance AWD image, but then again I am not a marketing person. Anybody have creative ideas? I always liked the WRX commercials where they showed the car in some pretty spirited driving with the awesome boxer engine sound and fades to rally-car clips. Maybe more commercials like that? Certainly got me excited (damn, now I miss my old WRX!)

     

    Craig
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    see weather channel, 2-3 ads per hour.

     

    They tout forester & OB's crash test ratings which is good.

     

    I see a lot of legacy ads too, they tout Car of the Year in Japan
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think it depends on how many rows you have folded.

     

    Like Cptplt wrote earlier, there is no significant gap between the rear cargo area and 2nd row if the 2nd row is upright.

     

    I was not allowed to climb around inside the Tribeca at the RI auto show. However, as the reps showed the features, I saw what looked like large gaps when both rows are folded forward.

     

    Here's a pic.

     

    That said, I kinda doubt you'll need to fold both rows to fit one dog. Even a Berner or Swissie should do okay with the amount of space behind the second row.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The rep at the Soob display told me that the Tribeca would be the only SUV without the Gov't roll-over sticker.

     

    I dunno if that's true or not, but that would be a good way for Subaru to start their focus on the boxer. Mention that fact at the top of an ad, then explain that the boxer design helps them achieve it.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    Here in Boston, I'm guaranteed to see the Subaru Legacy GT ad touting COY Japan at least 2-3 times per night. It done at night time and looks like it's running on an elevated expressway in the city. But I think they are done by NE Subaru.

     

    As for Outback ads, they only one I recall seeing with the new model was done by NE Subaru and that hasn't been on in months. No national type ads that I can recall.

     

    sweet subie - I don't hang around the weather channel long enough to see any commericials. Local on the 8's and I'm out of there.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Here are some good ones:

     

    http://www.ravensblade-impreza.com/download/video/video.html

     

    WRX commercials #1, #2, and #3 are the ones I remember seeing on TV that were pretty exciting.

     

    Craig
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    Roll Over Sticker??

     

    Did they mean the hey idiot sticker on the visor or the roll over rating on the msrp label?

     

    If it's a truck, it's supposed to have the hey idiot sticker on the visor IIRC.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    Boxer engine = more fun = better handling = safer handling, and so forth...

     

    All it takes is a strong message, hammered over and over, over a long period of time; just like with any successful advertising campaign.

     

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's true, though, if I had a dime for every time people ask about new Subaru V6...

     

    I like that Porsche ad idea, however. You'd have to start with some background:

     

    Voiceover: the 911 has a wonderfully smooth boxer engine....so does the Boxster...let's see what's under the hood of the new Cayenne...WHOOPS, where's the boxer engine?

     

    Needs work but you get the idea. Subaru stayed true to its heritage while Porsche sold out.

     

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Reps are often wrong, I bet they're wrong about that rollover sticker on the visor. It's required on all light trucks, and I doubt Subaru will certify the Tribeca as a passenger vehicle.

     

    -juice
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Companies need to be clever when planning an ad campaign. Just because the ad and it's associated components are popular does not mean the consumer understands the value of what is being communicated or in the worst case, the product being promoted.

     

    While the boxer engine could be a proxy for Subaru's value proposition, there needs to be more than just focus on the engine itself. An end benefit the customer can understand like better handling, as Bob mentioned, is what such an ad campaign needs to solidify.

     

    The Hemi ads are a good example. While it certainly is a high output engine, the overall ads communicate the brawn associated with the products that use the Hemi.

     

    Take Audi's new slogan about being a leader. Here's an example where no tangible hardware is called out, yet I think it successfully communicates their technological and design leadership in their products.

     

    What I think Subaru needs is a bit of soul searching to what kind of value proposition it wants to deliver to customers. Unfortunately "Premium" is too vague and doesn't clearly communicate an end benefit to the customer -- premium features at a premium price? A very good ad agency can help, but it sounds to me they need to make some internal decisions as well.

     

    Ken

    (with is Product Manager hat on)

     

    Ken
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    I agree Ken. What I've been saying is that the boxer engine, in all likelihood, is going to be the only significant item that will differentiate Subaru from other carmakers as they all begin to offer AWD.

     

    The trick is Subaru has to convince the public of why a boxer engine is better than other engine layouts.

     

    Bob
  • agreed, boxer and symetrical AWD are where its at.

     

    Highlights from the Chicago show: Dodge Nitro SUV gets 20" wheels and AWD.

     

    This market niche will be loaded with competition, one thing is for sure, someones will win and someones will lose as Lou Rukeyser used to say.

     

    John
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Touche! (Eh?) ;-)

     

    tom
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