The Subaru B9 Tribeca is the company’s brand new flagship vehicle, as well as the largest and most expensive Subaru to date. This car-based SUV offers a formidable mix of technology, strength, and modern styling, making it a worthy competitor in the crossover SUV field.
The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca comes standard with five-passenger seating, with seven-passenger seating also available, a first among Subaru vehicles. Its body structure is essentially a longer, wider adaptation of the Subaru Outback, with a rigid platform and a new, double-wishbone rear suspension providing a smooth and secure ride. The B9 Tribeca’s airplane-shaped grille and aerodynamic profile are a nod to Subaru’s origins as an aircraft manufacturer. While some buyers will find the unique exterior design appealing, others are likely to be turned off by its unorthodox approach. Both the five-passenger and the seven-passenger models are available with an additional Limited trim, which includes a variety of comfort and technological additions from leather seating to a built-in navigational system.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: three-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Subaru B9 Tribeca five-passenger, Subaru B9 Tribeca limited five-passenger, Subaru B9 Tribeca seven-passenger, Subaru B9 Tribeca limited seven-passenger
Subaru’s flagship B9 Tribeca is all new for 2006. This crossover SUV’s platform is based on an expanded version of the Subaru Legacy and Outback. No noteworthy technological innovations are introduced with the new B9 Tribeca; its primary attraction is the availability of a seven-passenger model.
The B9 Tribeca’s unique exterior design sets it visibly apart from the competition, although whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is left to personal taste. There are a number of fresh and original style elements that indicate a new design aesthetic for Subaru. The B9 Tribeca clearly hearkens back to Subaru’s aircraft-making roots with its wing-shape central air intake, a curved roofline that sweeps up over the back hatch, elliptical tail lamps, and subtle wheel flares.
The 2006 B9 Tribeca rides on a 108.2-inch wheelbase, which is three inches more than the Outback’s. This midsize SUV is the largest vehicle in the Subaru lineup, at 189.8 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 66.4 inches tall. Yet it’s relatively lightweight, despite its extended size, and very space-efficient.
Standard exterior features for the B9 Tribeca include alloy wheels, daytime running lights and fog lights, mud guards, powered and heated exterior mirrors, and privacy glass. Only two exterior paint colors are available.
The 2006 B9 Tribeca is available with either five or seven-passenger seating. Adjustable seats allow for generous legroom in the second row, while the optional third row is, as is normal in this class, a bit cramped. The second-row curbside seat includes a tilt-and-slide feature that allows for easier entry to the third row. The second-row bench seat is designed to seat three passengers, and is split 40/20/40. The 50/50-split third row is built for two people.
The base five-passenger model only includes the most basic standard features for its class. Standard interior equipment includes dual zone climate control, a CD MP3 Playback stereo with six total speakers, external temperature display, and audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel. A wider range of technological and entertainment accessories are available as add-ons or in the higher trim levels. A navigational aid and leather seats offered only with the Limited trim packages, while an optional backseat DVD player is available with the seven-passenger model.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca runs with a three-liter, six-cylinder engine, which is the same one used in the Outback. It rates at 250 horsepower and 219 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed automatic transmission, which is a modified version that's in the Outback, comes equipped with SportShift, which allows for manual shifting. As with all Subaru vehicles, only all-wheel drive is available.
For an SUV of its size and weight, the B9 Tribeca packs a fair amount of power, especially when it comes to midrange muscle. While not designed specifically for off-road driving, it’s still capable of handling a range of terrains without trouble. The B9 Tribeca handles with ease, although steering is a bit light compared to other crossovers. The midsize SUV has the balance and flexibility of a smaller Subaru and maneuvers with plenty of ease to satisfy most drivers.
The Subaru B9 Tribeca comes with a complete range of standard safety features. The list includes stability control and traction control, four-channel/four-sensor brakes with ABS and Electronic Brake force Distribution, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and a vehicle anti-theft system. Side-impact airbags come standard, along with second-row side curtain airbags. There are no additional safety features available with different trim packages, the only optional inclusion, for all models, is a first aid kit. The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca earned perfect scores on both frontal and side crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Subaru B9 Tribeca: 16/21 mpg city/highway
- Ample seating
- Safety features
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Good acceleration
You Won't Like
- Limited cargo room
- Unorthodox style not for everyone
- Expensive for a Subaru
Combines lots of seating with sturdy handling and wraps it all up in an unorthodox design.
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