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Subaru B9 Tribeca (B9X)



  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Saw the Tribeca today at the Philly auto show. Got there when the doors opened and the girl let me sit in it briefly until she was told by another person to stop letting patrons behind the chains. No matter, I'm headed back down there Tuesday for one of those VIP invitation sessions where I'll get to sit in it a lot more.


    Just want to back up Juice with my very first impression -- like he said, when I saw the nose in person, it just didn't look as bad as the pictures, period. I really does look smaller than the photos and fits the car quite nicely. The bright lights made the chrome look classy, dare I say. It really was a great looking car all the way around, and everyone I overheard looking at it was making positive statements.


    The only thing I can add that I haven't seen in the hundreds of pictures and posts is that I confirmed that the headrests in the 3rd row do in fact slide up so that an adult sitting there would be protected.


    Oh, and while some have criticized the sculptured headlights, the bubbled shape on the top makes them visible from the drivers's seat, which gives me a better feel for where the front of the car is. That's my #1 gripe with minivans -- can't see the corners -- and that's why every minivan I see on the road has dents and scratches on every corner!


    Bottom line is that, while I am a huge Subaru fan and think the B9 will be a success, I still saw a lot of good competition from the Pilot, MDX, XC90, etc., and the bar keeps getting raised, E.G., the Pilot is getting refreshed for 2006 and will have side curtains, and I would guess some tweaks to the styling.


    Oh, and no one has a better looking center console, period. First class all the way.


    My $.02


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thank you, E.


    Note that of a large group of people that have now seen the Tribeca in person, only two felt their opinion on the styling did not improve. And one is a died-in-the-wool Honda fan.


    That says a lot.


  • Well, Subaru has taken the raps off this car and introduced it to us. Now, where is the followup information?


    I have read several articles about the origin and engineering of this new vehicle. The latest Car & Driver says its based off of a modified Outback platform. Another website I read said it was based on a new platform that would eventually serve as the platform for the next GM minivans. Yet another website says it is an all new platform that is not shared, nor will not be shared with anything else.


    Subaru wants us to buy a new $30k+ vehicle, offer no engineering details, offers 'odd' styling and we already know that there will be a Saab equivalent.


    Sounds like the Subaru SVX all over again. However, at least then, they were offering lots of engineering details.


    I'm betting on a failure.



    03 Legacy

    04 Quest



    96 Outback

    95 Legacy

    91 Legacy

    88 GL

    84 GL
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I showed a picture of it in Automobile to my wife. She didn't have a problem with the nose but said no way to the rear quarter.


    The nose has grown on me but I'm still trying to get used to the bulbuos headlights. I'm not a fan of that design on any vehicle.


    Oh and no scratched bumpers on my mini-van either.
  • SAAB says that the primary for the center console ignition is for safety purposes. In case of an accident, the key doesn't get lodged in the knee of the driver. I had a couple of SAAB's in the past and liked that location for the key (never had an accident to validate their claim though).
  • Just so everyone knows. It's 100% its own platform and it's all new. Anything else you read is wrong. Fuji / SIA actually spent like $$100 million plus to redo the Isuzu side of the plant to be able to create this new and very flexible platform. Unlike many of the Japanese companies, like Honda, Toyota, they can use one platform for many things...even different size vehicles Aka Odyssey, Pilot, MDX, Accord, Altima, Maxima, 350z, etc (there is a great article in Automotive News like 3 years ago about how Honda can do that, how they can make these adjustments to the Accord platform and create an Odyssey at the same plant)...They can manufacture many different cars from one similar platform, although some might say the Odyssey and Accord are different platforms..that's true but they are just adjusted for size. Subaru has not really had this capability yet. I know Forester and Impreza are one and obviously we all know Baja and Legacy, but there technology was very limited to size of the vehicle in the factory. Now with the NEW Tribeca platform they can do much much more after the improvements to the plant. So for example Subaru could produce a larger sedan off that platform or something else. It's really a huge advancement for them. (there was an article in the Lafyette news paper from last year discussing how they made this huge investment to have this new awesome line and platform. Anyways, it's just a much bigger deal then most really even know, and it is a Fuji platform and it's all Fuji. There will be only the Saab sharing as we all know so far.


    Go Subaru!!!


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    It's definitely a "new" platform based on the Legacy/Outback -- the wheelbase and track were enlarged. The core Leg/OB platform is used worldwide, hence it's kind of small. The Tribeca is the first Subaru I know of to have a larger platform specifically for the US market. I'm sure it will get exported at some point.


    The vehicle is not on sale yet, so cool your jets. In fact, they don't even have EPA gas mileage numbers, and they have not announced trim levels or pricing. This sort of pre-sale lack of information is typical. In this case, being a US-only model, we can't even look to global sales for clues, like we could with other Subarus that went on sale outside the US first. That said, there is a ton of info on the vehicle if you are willing to spend some time researching on the internet. You can certainly ask here (or read the post from the last month) if you want to know something -- we know quite a bit already.


    Having seen/sat in the Tribeca at an auto show and researched it, there is no doubt in my mind it will be a success (and how much of a success depends on the pricing). Subaru has managed to come up with a unique vehicle, which means it will be different from the pack in several ways, and that's good. I really see nothing about the vehicle that remotely suggests it will be a failure.


    If the 5-pax version stickers for $30-32K as the facts point to, and the usual Subaru discounts apply, it will be a compelling vehicle with a very fair price point.


  • Saw the Tribeca yesterday. It looks much better in person than it does in pictures. I found the infamous "nose" to be a bit odd, but not annoying. No "wow" factor for me, but the design, inside and out, could grow on me. As others have said, it looks well made, and roomy (but I wasn't able to sit in it.) Thought the light-colored leather interior will require lots of work to keep clean and hope there's an option for dark leather. There were a number of families looking at the car, people new to Subaru who didn't know one from a Suzuki and number of local Subaru sales people (no one from SOA) and they were busy explaining the car's features. One salesperson was telling people the car came with a V6, the same engine as in other Subarus. Thats a new fact for me. I also looked around at the competition. My quick impressions were that the Tribeca is not a "love it or hate it" design like the Murano or FX 35, and is put together better than the Murano with better materials , lacks the interior roominess of the Pilot, is similar in luxury to the MDX and not quite up to the Lexus 330. Even if the Tribeca is well made, is fun to drive, comes loaded up and gets great reviews, with a 40k price point, it will be a tough sell. People don't know Subaru and its not thought of in that price range. I remember when the VDC came out in 2000, and the reviews were "Nice car, but $32k for a Subaru?" I know others have different opinions. Martin
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Martin, what show was this?


    BTW, it's an H-6, not a V-6.


  • Bob: Syracuse, NY, and SOA didn't even send me an invite even though I registered. I was being sarcastic. I know its an H-6. We have two in our garage. You would think a Subaru salesperson would know what's under the hood.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Whoops, sorry. :)


  • No problem Bob. I also overheard this salesperson telling people that they "had just learned this week that Tribeca was a neighborhood in NYC." The Tribeca here was Atlantic Blue Pearl which is a great color, but doesn't do as well inside under the lights (I think).
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    were the Mahogany Red (tan interior) and a light silver-green (black interior). Both are great colors. I prefer the black interior, although juice prefers the tan interior.


  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    1. yes, they have dark gray interior (which i saw in RI show).


    2. I think they are merely targetting Subaru customers & entice them to sell their OBs, Minivans & SUVs & buy this. So, the fact that they are NOT known to a lot of people shouldn't be a problem


    3. You can see from Reviews on OB/Legacies, that a lot of new folks bought the 2005s & very impressed. So, why wouldn;t Tribeca do that as well ?


    4.Its unique styling will raise eyebrows & get people to go see it.


    5. I have a feeling, if this is priced right, this vehicle will slow down LUX SUV sales & force them to reduce prices/offer incentives.


    Good Move, Subaru !!!
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    FYI, unless there is someone there from headquarters, the rep is usually from a marketing firm and not necessarily a salesperson.


  • In this case, the 4/5 reps hanging around the Tribeca I saw were all salespeople from a local dealership.
  • Just came back from the Phila Show on Sunday where the new Tribeca was on display accompanied by a very informative public introduction done expertly by an enthusiastic individual from the Subaru Team. Then today, out of curiosity I decided to research this vehicle on the Web. I searched around for photos of the Tribeca and was confronted by a hideous front view of some monster which strangely resembled the Ford Edsel! I thought to myself “No, This can’t be true! This can’t be the Tribeca! But sure enough, What Subaru did the the Phila Show was place the Tribeca on display with the front of the vehicle facing the wall, hindering anyone there at the show from getting a look at the vehicle from the front! I’ve never visited this site before and I signed on to post a message wondering if anyone out there had the same shocking experience that I did?
  • The Tribeca I saw was in plain view, although parked in a way that you'd most likely see if from the side first. I think the consensus here is that the "nose" isn't photogenic and that the car looks pretty much ok and maybe even better than that in person.
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    What Subaru did the the Phila Show was place the Tribeca on display with the front of the vehicle facing the wall, hindering anyone there at the show from getting a look at the vehicle from the front! I’ve never visited this site before and I signed on to post a message wondering if anyone out there had the same shocking experience that I did?


    That's odd, I was at the Phila. Show this weekend as well. There were two Tribecas there; one was on a rotating stand and the other in the middle of the show floor, facing outward into the middle of the Convention Center floor.


    That fact, combined with the fact that you refer to the Edsel as a "Ford Edsel" when, in fact, Ford Motor Company never did so itself, puts your credence in doubt. In other words, what I'm trying to say nicely is: You're a troll.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Here's one thing I have noticed -- in photos, the nose is very obtrusive and in most cases, ugly looking. In person, when you are in the proper perspective to observe the car in a "real" scale environment, the nose is just one more styling element of the vehicle. Taken as a whole, which you can only do in person, the vehicle actually looks quite good.


    So I think it's an odd case where you have to see/experience the whole vehicle in realtime 3D to get an honest feel for the styling.


    Myself, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Tribeca in person -- it was a much smaller overall size than I pictured (not much larger than my Outback) and the nose was no big deal (only about a square foot of grill in the center, which is tiny). Just weeks earlier, I felt it was the ugliest thing since the Aztek!


  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    While I have to admit I'm still not a fan of the B9's nose, I'll agree with the others who say it looks better in person than in photos.


    The rest of the vehicle was nicer than I expected. It has far and away the nicest interior I've ever seen in a Subaru. Starting with the second-generation Forester and continuing with the new Legacy/Outback and now the Tribeca, the interiors just keep getting least in terms of look, feel, and quality of materials. I did see what could be a possible problem in the the controls on the right side on the center console angled away from the driver. This will pose a problem unless those controls are designed specifically for the front passenger's use only (e.g., dual zone climate control).


    I don't have a lot on which to base my comparison except my wife's Pilot, so the following are just opinions: front and second-row seats are more comfortable in the Tribeca; legroom about the same in each; driving position better in the Tribeca; third-row seating room better in the Pilot; cargo capacity better in the Pilot, both with third-row seats up and down. Again mind you I wasn't crawling around in the Tribeca with a tape measure. I'm not sure people will look at the B9 as a serious cargo hauler.


    The blind spot created by the D-pillars (technically E-pillars I guess, given the tiny window between the front doors and windshield) gives me pause, as it's not what I expect from Subaru. The Forester and Legacy/Outback wagons have some of the best outward visibility of any cars on the road; this doesn't follow that tradition.


    I liked the colors of both the display vehicles - a mahogany red metallic and a light gray-green. I preferred the gray/black interior to the beige one, however.


    All in all I'd venture a guess that the B9 will be shopped against the Murano and MDX, maybe even the FX35/45 and XC90, moreso than the Pilot, Highlander, X3/X5 or the domestics. Most of the people I overheard discussing the B9 compared it to the Murano both visually and in terms of content.


    Driving the B9 will be the proof in the pudding.


  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I started investigating the Tribeca rather late in the game. By the time I gave it a serious look, many photos had been published. Perhaps that gives me a different perspective than those who watched it unfold from spy pics to auto show release. I suppose my limited studies in studio art might give me a better eye, as well...


    But anyway... for whatever reason, I found that the pics posted on the internet look exactly like what I saw at the auto show.


    No surprises here. Same odd nose. Same odd hood lines. Same love handles. Same poorly-proportioned taillights.


    On the other hand, I also saw the same spacious cabin, same stylish dash, and same sensible ergonomics. And, yes, the same clever details in the exterior styling. I just wish they added up to something more cohesive.


    I have no doubt the Tribeca will be a success on the Subaru scale. And the important information (stuff the specs don't reveal) are the deciding factors. But I believe this vehicle will have to offer far superior subjectives than the competition if it is to be considered a success by the larger market.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The platform is new. The wheelbase is actually the same as the WX-01 concept car from a few years back. That's the only Subaru it shares a platform with.


    They do have a dark interior - dark gray. I prefer the two-tone gray and beige, though, as Bob mentioned.


    Same odd nose. Same odd hood lines. Same love handles. Same poorly-proportioned taillights.


    Are we talking about the Ridgeline, or what? LOL


    I mean, c'mon, seriously, the ugly car that everyone is talking about is the Ridgeline, not the Tribeca.


    Yes, it's utility and function will likely win over tons of buyers, but if you ask around the buzz about the Ugly Car of the Year is all about the Honda.


    And yes, it'll outsell the Tribeca, easily. Lower price and plenty of utility and clever functionality.


    Just focus on its personality.


  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Just back from the Philly show, and FWIW, here's my take-


    This is a very likeable vehicle. I personally dont share the view that the grille is less of an issue in person- its still noticeably ugly (there's something about the way the headlights seem to just sit there on the edge of the hood), but it seems to integrate well with the rest of the vehicle, which makes it tolerable. I do very much like the fairly odd tail treatment, though. This Subaru (like all) has personality- but unlike other Subarus- in the styling department. Overall- I agree with the comment 'No WOW factor. But its not Aztek like, as I think once many of us feared.


    The burgundy vehicle I spent time examining was pointed toward the wall of the room, and the side profile that show attendees viewed upon entrance is arguably the vehicles best (which I think was already noted).


    I was struck by the Tribeca's size- its not very large at all, but Subaru seems to have managed to create a very spacious and liveable interior. And DAMN!!! That's one hell of an interior! One of my favorites by far! Did anyone else note the similarity to the BMW Z4 in presentation of the tach/speedo in chromed barrels? Very slick. Quality materials abound. I begged and pleaded to get in, as I was one of the first in the Subaru display at 12, but I was rebuked. (I also tried to ask about reactions to the vehicle, and brought up, but the rep misunderstood and started talking about 'Edmonton' and wintry weather, so I changed the subject, lol).


    When I built my Tribeca per the marketing email survey, I included NAV, leather and 7 passenger seating. If Subaru offers that, I think its a great combo- not having leather in a vehicle like this would hurt resalability and why not have the 7 pass seating flexibility if its available.


    I'm not really looking for a near-lux sporting SUV, but I still cant wait to take the Tribeca on a test drive when we have our Legacy in for servicing!


    Did I ever mention that Im really glad they're not calling it the Benign-ex?



    Overall, very nice.




    And I just have to throw it in, since I'm part of the demographic- the biggest disappointment I saw was the VW Jetta. A seeming waste of a redesign, if you ask me. Bleh. The Honda Ridgeline definitely takes the cake as the most insanely ugly vehicle, but that sentiment hasnt stopped them from selling a good number of the equally heinous Element. Go figure.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Honda Ridgeline definitely takes the cake as the most insanely ugly vehicle, but that sentiment hasnt stopped them from selling a good number of the equally heinous Element. Go figure.


    Maybe so, but I think the Ridgeline is the most significant new model launch of the Detroit show, and quite possibly the most important new model of the entire 2005 model year. This vehicle will have auto executives from Detroit and Tokyo losing many hours of sleep, wondering why they didn't think of such a clever vehicle. This will be one example of a vehicle being a HUGE success—in spite of it's styling.


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I agree with your thoughts on the Jetta. It's larger, but I was not very impressed with the overall vehicle.


  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Overall, I think the article came off pretty well. And wasn't that one of the Daves in the crew who was quoted? (Sorry, can't remember screen name).


  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    When I was at the show on Saturday the mahogany colored B9 was facing outward toward the middle of the Convention Center. Did it generate so much negative comments that it got turned around? Is the green-gray one still on the raised platform?


    If so, then I owe someone an open apology - but not about the Edsel.


    As for the fifth-gen Jetta: yes, very underwhelming. I saw many fifth-gen Golfs already on the roads when I was in Germany last October so it came as no surprise though.


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