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Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X)



  • junior5junior5 Posts: 15
    Like probably most of us here I have been looking for a vehicle with a proven all wheel drive system , SUV driving height, all available safety features and the cargo capacity and utility to provide for a nuclear family of 2+2 (face it who wants to bring along their in-laws or whiny kid's friends while driving - I never fancied myself as a bus driver.) My search is more personal after having a "near death" experience when I was nearly rammed at the driver's side while driving a camry that had no head curtain or side impact airbags-- hence the need to replace said camry soon..

    Let's face it, we want the subies because of the overall driving package. These subies are never known for their styling, snob appeal, or luxury amenities but instead are known for excellent handling dynamics, durability and all the safety features that your money could afford. Subaru earned my respect from the start when they did not make any practical safety feature "optional" like other manufacturers.

    The Tribeca, in my opinion, does not stray too far from these core subie 'values' even though it is stretching the limits of the value spectrum. Those who want the cargo or seating capacity of a minivan will never find it in this vehicle -- that is already a given and you guys must move on. There are however those among us ( me included) that are hoping that the handling and driving experience of this vehicle will offset the lack of a 90 cubic foot cargo capacity and the absence of a comfortable third row seat. Again, if you need to haul cargo regularly or really need 7 seater capacity - move on to a minivan. There will simply have to be a compromise which is what I have accepted having driven my wife's 03 Forester for the past 2 years. Yes, it has poor second row seating space and may be noisy at highway speeds. But it still has adequate cargo space for the occasional visits to IKEA, provides excellent visibility and on road illumination at night, has five star crash test ratings and is yes, even fun to drive.

    Hence looking at the Tribeca at this point, there will indeed be some compromise but if you really want the handling and stability that subaru always seems to provide, together with no compromises on safety features, useful cargo capacity that does not make a vehicle too bulky or top heavy, with the reliability and quality of a subaru then I think the Tribeca fits the bill.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder how often people really use them. I have two friends that have them and neither one has ever used it, even though they tout it as an advantage.

    One of them has an Avaiator, he even removed the 3rd row seat because it gets him more cargo space some how. So it's taking up space in his garage.

    The other got a Highlander just recently and hasn't used it yet. Funny thing is she has just one kid!

    I think often buyers fantasize about everybody wanting to ride with them, but I wonder how often that will really be.

    For occasional use, I'd pick the fun-to-drove and handling and sacrifice the space, no doubt about it. If I end up never using it, that made the choice even better than a mininvan or a bigger SUV.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    One of them has an Avaiator, he even removed the 3rd row seat because it gets him more cargo space some how. So it's taking up space in his garage.

    I knew I'd be driving my '99 minivan forever so I threw away my middle row seats when the van was five months old. So it's a 5 seater and I haven't missed the extra seats yet (the 3rd row slides up and usually lives mid-ship).

    But there aren't any kids in our equation.

    As far as aftermarket DVDs, you can get kits that tie them down in various ways. Best not to have loose stuff in the cabin that'll become a flying projectile in a panic stop.

    Steve, Host
  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Does anyone have a picture of the under-cargo area storage on both the 5-pass and the 7-pass? I have read many comments that the storage on the 5-pass (in lieu of 3rd row) is cramped. I'd love to see both side-by-side and compare.

    -Karen in AZ- :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Steve - you should remove all rows and have the world's roomiest 2 seater. :o)

    Someone in the Sedona thread paid $15.8k for their van. Buy a 5 seat cloth Tribeca and that van instead of an ML350 and call it good. LOL

    Karen - I have half of what you want. The 7 seater's.

  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Thx, Juice!!!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    remove all rows

    I've done that a few times too, but like removing the back seat bottom in my Outback, it takes wrenches for that last row.

    Here's a UK review from Auto Express.

    "This is not an SUV that lumbers from corner to corner with huge amounts of body roll and lifeless steering. Instead, the chassis remains composed, and it is closer in feel to an X5 than an XC90. The traditional Subaru driving spirit definitely shines through."

    Steve, Host
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    if you have less than 5 people at home, you are less likely to use.

    if you have more than 5 people at home like mine, i will use them often. so, there is no guessing of how many times will i use.
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    +1 for junior5's comments.

    We ordered a 5 seater Ltd. Anyone comparing the Tribeca to a minivan is misguided. A stretch version of the Tribeca? How about the Subaru Excursion? LOL.

    I should mention that we would not have bought a Subaru if not for the Tribeca. We looked at the Outback and it did not measure up in terms of interior quality or exterior style. We test drove an Outback w/ the H6 motor and I liked the handling, acceleration, etc. Subaru's are definitely driver's cars.

    I think the Tribeca is an excellent value. In my book, the price is what pushed it ahead of the Infiniti, Lexus, Volvo and Acura. Use Edmunds comparison tool and see for yourself.
  • tytnsfan1tytnsfan1 Posts: 44
    I agree with you wholeheartedly!!! Some people like comparing apples to oranges. Then they know they made the right choice. If you need a minivan or Excursion, buy a minivan or Excursion already!!!! Like someone else mentioned though the Freestyle should have pretty much room as it is 10 inches longer than either an Explorer or the Tribeca. I know, I know, oogh a Ford, yuck. My 97 Explorer has over 104,000 miles and only maintenance type repairs done so far. My husband has an 99 F250 diesel with probably in the neighborhood of 200,000 miles and same thing only maintenance stuff. Of course for a diesel that is only half the life expectancy hopefully! ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You need a van, then. Don't deny it. ;-)

    A Pilot comes close but it's still cumbersome to flip and fold that 2nd row all the time.

    I like the Mazda MPV because you can slide the seat out of the way even while there is a child in that seat. No other van can do that, you have to tilt or remove the seats completely.

    Consider an MPV. They offer AWD in Japan but sadly not here. :(

  • greyhoundgreyhound Posts: 10
    People - if you want to carry mom, dad, kids in car seats, mothers-in-law, kitchen sinks, tow a boat, etc., etc. a vehicle the size of a B9 ain't gonna make it. In this bounteous automotive marketplace we are experiencing, you can choose from the Suburban, Excursion, Durango, Armada, Land Cruiser and so on if that's what you need or want. A little dinky manufacturer like Subaru has to marshall its resources and pick where it wants to compete. In its "infinite wisdom," Subaru made the decision to target the B9 at near-lux sports crossovers like the X5, RX330, FX-35 instead of family workhorses like the Pilot or behemoths like the Suburban. I for one think they picked the right size. Think about it...the performance and handling of a BMW X5 with the quality and cost of a Subaru. Sounds good to me.
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    yeah,. i have an MPV now. the ride is tooooooooooo stiff. i don;t like 2 seater 2nd row. tribeca is better on this.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    subie, put those 16" wheels on your MPV.

    World of difference.

  • x5killerx5killer Posts: 368
    All this talk of the 3rd row seat being short on leg room. I dont really need and prefer to have the cargo space and the agile ride of the Tribeca. Shame they don't offer NAV with the 5 passenger limited with leather so I am forced to get the 7 passenger I dont need just for NAV.

    I figured it couldn't hurt to have it but now i'm worried even folded down it will just take up room i could use for cargo.

    Also my preorder is delayed because they didn't find out about the puddle light option until mine was already on its way and I definately wanted that cool albeit it mostly cosmetic option.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Keep in mind that the 3rd row is a selling feature at trade in time. Terry over at RWTIV always asks if there is a 3rd row.

    You may not use it, but people want it, just in case.
  • bigelmbigelm Posts: 995
    Did I miss that? Is that by the inside door panel or side mirror?
  • capreciaccapreciac Posts: 12
    I was told by a dealer that the B9 was crash tested, but the results were not in yet. Does anybody know who did the testing and when the results may be out?
  • eric102eric102 Posts: 122
    My F250 diesel is probably more typical of Ford quality than your husbands. 2 sets of head gaskets, a number of oil leaks on the engine and transmission, one fuel injector pump and three alternators in 190,000 miles. Plus the paint started peeling off at 4 years, quality is not job #1 at Ford. No Freestyles for me, the B9 looks pretty good.
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
    The puddle lights are mounted on the rocker panels below each of the 4 doors.

    They emit a blue flourescent type of light - probably from LEDs. They are not overly bright but will illuminate the ground by each door when opened.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    X5killer - I think the puddle-lights are a must-have option, too, unless the only place you get in or out of your vehicle is in a garage. Maybe a little over-the-top making them blue, but what the heck.

    karen - the 7-pass and 5-pass under-floor storage areas are shown side-by-side at the bottom of this webpage:
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    Subaru has always been a niche player and the B9 is one also, if you really need 7 seats and space regularly , get a minivan or large SUV, if you need it occassionally, the B9 is great. I have 2 minivans already but sometimes just driving the Legacy or WRX is not enough ( I got 5 kids!) and the B9 (or something like an XC90) is perfect. MDX/Highlander are really another size up.
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    OK, folks after arguing about space problem in B9. I went and checked the b9 thoroughly. we have 4 adults & 2 small kids. b9 is just fine. white pearl looks gorgeous !!!!

    Definetely, in person it loooks better. it does have very emotional appeal. my wife & i criticize it but when we look it, we both melt away.

    one problem, 3rd row seats for kids too low for them to see outside thru those mini windows.

    but i ain't driving a school bus 9(no oddy/sienna)
  • Depends mostly on your expectations. I was expecting it to be a "real" 7-passenger but I knew once it was more SUV than minivan it was going to be a 4 + 2 vehicle. Space aside, the other issue I have the middling performance for a sporty cross over. I dont know its published performance numbers but having driven one there is no way its any faster than the Sienna/Ody. I really think that Subaru wasted a ton of money developing the H6. Its has impressive hp numbers but its been anemic in both applications this far either because of the power band or because the numbers are inflated. They need to add a turbo to help it out or ditch it and start over with a larger displacement motor.

    It certainly does have better driving dynamics than my Sienna but then again it should because my Sienna AWD is a 4700lb box on wheels. The Tribeca a decent vehicle but its not going to attarct many new customers. In my opinion it managed to capture the worst of both worlds, much like the Pacifica.

    I suspect one should be able to get a loaded 7-passenger for DVD and NAV at $35k before long or about the same street price as a loaded Highlander with DVD/NAV.
  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Anyone have any experience with dealers quoting you a hidden $275 for their "advertising fee" when there's no ads out yet? One dealer told me Subaru requires this fee on all new cars.

    -Karen in AZ- :shades:
  • subienewbie2subienewbie2 Posts: 458
  • popa_sezpopa_sez Posts: 16
    Don't be surprised if a dealer tries to take you to the cleaners. They really prey on weak people. I can tell you that there is no honest dealers out there any where. I never could understand people that can lie to your face, but these dealers will do it to make as much off of you as possible. I understand that everyone has to make a living, but dealers can't tell you the truth or they will not get that extra 1000.00 or so dollars out of you. I figure they make about 5000.00 to 8000.00 off of every deal. That is just the way it is. They do have a lot of overhead expenses, but make no bones about it, they are not your friends. Anyway, I have two things to put out. First is the air pressure monitoring system on my Tribe is blinking. The owners manual says to have it serviced. I did put the correct amount of air pressure in my tires. The blinking stopped on the indicator, but after another 50 miles it started again. I will have to have it serviced. The second thing that I wanted to mention was someone said in a post that the navigation was not able to take street address.' with numbers vice letters. That is not true there is a selection on the street address for others and symbols. You have to push symbols to get the navigations to change from letters to numbers. Once you do that you can put your numbered street address in and off you go. I hope this clears up any confusion that someone might have had. Take care and happy driving.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Some ad fees are legit. If you focus on your out the door price, you can avoid having to worry about the line items, like ad and doc fees.

    Steve, Host
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    Anyone have any experience with dealers quoting you a hidden $275 for their "advertising fee" when there's no ads out yet? One dealer told me Subaru requires this fee on all new cars.

    There is a legitimate advertising fee added to the dealer invoice (at least in the Penn Jersey region). Not sure of the amount for the Tribeca but it was $125 for my '03 Outback in August 2002.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    I understand that everyone has to make a living, but dealers can't tell you the truth or they will not get that extra 1000.00 or so dollars out of you. I figure they make about 5000.00 to 8000.00 off of every deal.

    Assuming your figures are in US dollars, you are way off.

    For example:
    - The top of the line Tribeca has a MSRP of $38,320, and an invoice of $35,411 for a difference of approx. $2900 (maybe less if an advertising fee is added to the dealer invoice).
    - I believe the holdback on Subaru's is 2% of MSRP (less destination). So in the above case the holdback would be 38,320 - 695 dest = 37,695 * 2% = $754
    - IF the dealer sells this example at MSRP, their total gross profit is $3654.

    $3654 is no where near $5000 to $8000 and it is a rare day that a Subaru sells for MSRP.

    Dealer's make their money on extended warranties, financing, used car sales, service, etc.

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