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When Subaru introduced the B9 Tribeca a few years ago, it was not warmly received in the marketplace. Its styling was charitably described as "not as bad as a Pontiac Aztec," a backhanded compliment if there ever was one. Online auto pundit extraordinaire Robert Farago famously described its nose as a certain part of the female anatomy that had taken flight. Subaru has at last responded and "mainstreamed" the front end of the SUV. Based on this and the beak of the newly-revealed 2008 Impreza, it appears that Subaru has decided to make the forward-facing parts of its cars more palatable to the masses. Additionally (and thankfully), the Tribeca loses the inexplicable B9 part of its nomenclature and gains some displacement and horsepower, now up to 3.6L and 256 hp. Said powerplant is now set up to run on regular unleaded gasoline as well (until now, the Tribeca drank premium). Additionally, new mirrors and rear 3/3 windows help increase visibility.

Official press release after the jump.

[Source: Subaru]

FHI Unveils New Subaru Tribeca at the New York International Auto Show

Tokyo, April 3, 2007 – Fuji Heavy Industries Inc. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced its plan to introduce the redesigned Subaru B9 Tribeca, now named Subaru Tribeca, and to start sales in the U.S. this summer. FHI will unveil the new Tribeca (U.S. specifications) at the New York International Auto Show, which will be held from April 6 through 15. (Press days : April 4 and 5)

Advancing the concept of a progressive sports utility vehicle (SUV), the new Tribeca features powerful new styling, improved performance, enhanced comfort and functionality. Its exterior design stresses a more SUV-like appearance with a new front face design. The revamped Tribeca is equipped with a newly designed 3.6-liter boxer engine. Although larger and more powerful than the previous 3-liter engine, the new engine delivers both improved performance and fuel efficiency in real world driving situations. Design modifications in its cooling system have enabled the use of regular unleaded fuel, a change from premium only-helping to lower consumer operating costs.

Subaru Tribeca (U.S. specifications)

1. Streamlined sophisticated styling
The exterior design of the new Tribeca is streamlined and powerful, building upon the sporty and dynamic feel of its predecessor model. Interior designs express a sophisticated quality look and sportiness.

2. Outstanding performance
The new Tribeca has been developed with the goal of balancing improved performance and environmental considerations.
  • Without increasing the physical dimensions of the power unit, the displacement was expanded from 3.0 to 3.6 liters, which was made possible primarily through design changes involving expanded bore dimensions and a longer stroke.
  • The new engine maintains the same levels of emissions and fuel efficiency as the previous 3-liter unit, despite the larger engine size and more powerful output.
  • The new 3.6-liter boxer engine features Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS) for controlling timing in both the intake and exhaust valves, which helps provide improved low-end torque.
  • Design modifications made to the cooling system allow the use of regular unleaded gasoline, which contributes to lowering consumer operating costs.
  • A substantially revised 5-speed Automatic transmission with newly designed control unit, refined torque converter and optimized gear ratio delivers faster shifting response and smooth and powerful acceleration.
  • The new engine and transmission are lighter weight, achieving a total weight reduction of 4.4 kilograms.
3. Improved comfort and functionality
The new Tribeca offers a pleasant ride with improved access, visibility, and comfort.
  • Third row seating access has been enhanced through a number of changes. The second row seat comes with a tilt-and-slide control on both the driver's and passenger's sides and a new assist spring that reduces the effort needed to slide the second row seat. Also new are molded grab handles on the lower C-pillar to assist in stepping into the third row.
  • With redesigned door mirrors and rear quarter windows, side and rear vision have been improved.
  • Re-calibrated rear suspension with new bushings improves ride comfort.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The important question is, is this fun to drive? What's the wade depth? I would get one of these if I can fjord 250mm of water on my way to work.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For those griping about the power, the HP-to-weight ratio is class-leading and the fuel economy is class-leading. That's an outstanding combination. It's got much more torque (& available at lower RPMs), more HP, is lighter, gets better mileage, and no longer recommends premium fuel. WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT?! #19 is right. People just like to gripe, and without even bothering to find out the facts first.

      On another note, rumor mill says ECU retune & premium fuel gains another 20+/- HP.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This looks much better than before although not particularly original.
      The outgoing model was "distinctive" but it had one of the nastiest grill/front end Ive ever seen.
      This refresh is not a complete loss for looks, but I wouldnt necessarily call it "bland".
      "Average" might be the best way to describe it in my eyes.
      It should be reliable, has more power, is still Awd and will probably not turn off so many buyers.
      There are far worse choices.
      Im sure Subaru will sell noticably more of these.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow, how... pedestrian. That it can be called an improvement is a testement to how weird the B9 was. Shrinking the D-pillar is a good call. Perhaps the blandness will make it easier for buyers to choose it for its compelling features... if it has any.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it looks way more posh.

      The old front was sloppy, indulgent, gorpy and over-designed. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate that design restraint is the secret weapon for timeless style.

      On another note, with super unleaded in California in the $4.00 range these days (and It's not even summer) the switch to regular octane gas will save its owners a fortune at the pump.

      I'd never buy an SUV, but there was no way I'd even RENT the old Tribeca. Now I'd consider it.
      David in PA
      • 8 Years Ago
      Atomicbri, nicely done. Your design is much better then the Subaru design; the original and the new one.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Boy am I glad I got the '06 Tribeca! I never have to hunt for it in a parking lot. This things looks like a chrysler, very safe style, my money is on the distinctive and diffrent, not the blend in. By the way the 3.0 runs just as good on Regular as it does on Premium.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's a Hyundai Santa Fe with a Chrysler grill. Zzzzzzz......
      • 8 Years Ago
      GOD AWFUL.

      They should've played with the last design and kept it looking distinct, instead of this boring, standard Subaru-look.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Ouch. There have been some pretty harsh comments about its styling being bland, but it doesn't seem like anyone can agree on what car Subaru copied.

      Personally, to me, it looks a bit similar to the Chrysler Aspen and new Town & Country from the front end, but it's a million times better, and I'm so glad they dropped the "B9" which never made any sense.

      But anyway, I think the lack of ugly should do it sales numbers some good. I hope for their sake...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with those who see a Chrysler, though I specifically see a minivan. This isn't going to fly.

      The bump in engine displacement is welcome, though. This thing is way too heavy for a 3.0.

      And, best of all, something I predicted from the beginning: the "B9" appears to be gone. Now it's just "Tribeca."

      • 8 Years Ago
      The designers may have missed the ball on making this the best looking SUV but the engineers have nailed it on quality. My husband and I just ordered a 2008 model after exhaustive research and test driving of all the Tribeca's competitors. The AWD, handling and safety of this car are superior as is the gas mileage now that they have improved the engine. Every other SUV that we looked at in this class was more expensive and had horrible gas mileage by the time we added in the AWD not to mention that other manufacturer's definitions of AWD were vastly different. Give Subaru credit where it's due- in performance and engineering. Maybe I could go in and design the body style for 2009!
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