• Jan 3, 2011
2010 Subaru Tribeca – Click above for high-res image gallery

From the sound of things, Subaru and Toyota are getting cozier than ever. According to Motor Trend, the two companies are currently exploring ways to integrate platforms, and the fruit of that exploration may very well be the next Tribeca. MT is reporting that engineers are currently looking for ways to base the next-generation Subaru crossover on the bones of the Toyota Highlander. Both models are slated for replacement in 2014, and there's some indication that the two vehicles will share more than a few bolts when they debut.

According to MT, the project isn't without hiccups, however. As with the FT-86, both companies need to find a way to work around the Subaru 3.6-liter flat-six found in the nose of the current Tribeca. MT points out that the FT-86 avoided this issue by simply using the Subaru engine in the Toyota variant of the sports coupe, though at this point it's unclear how the Tribeca/Highlander will overcome that particular hurdle. In addition, the crossover platform will also need room for the Highlander hybrid model's battery packs, which may mean that Subaru will jump into the gas-electric game as well.



[Source: Motor Trend]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "As with the FT-86, both companies need to find a way to work around the Subaru 3.6-liter flat-six found in the nose of the current Tribeca. MT points out that the FT-86 avoided this issue by simply using the Subaru engine in the Toyota variant of the sports coupe"

      The FT-86 is getting is getting a 3.6-liter flat-six? Time to celebrate?


      no, most likely poor writing and it still gets a 4cl.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Subaru used to use the slogan "inexpensive and built to stay that way." What happened? They moved away from that marketing philosophy and their sales have never looked back. Instead of competing with the the high volume brands, they went to higher priced, blander looking models, and the darn things sell. The (no longer called B9) Tribeca didn't sell well, so throwing a rebadged Highlander can't hurt. In Japan, Subaru sells a rebadged Sion XB called the DEX. The mainstream Subarus will be the Legacy/Outback, Impreza, and Forester, what they do with the rest is fine with me, although I wish that they would consider bringing some of their other Japan-only models here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering how non-core and non-halo the Tribeca is, I'm not having an issue with a Highlander-based Tribeca.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Styling is in the eye of the beholder but agree with you, also its hard to make a vehicle more odd looking then the current tribeca... maybe the aztec.... sot this will probably be a success even as shared platform.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2006 Legacy wagon, which I absolutely love, but I also have a growing family. I'd buy a Tribeca, even if it was more Toyota than Subie, just to stay a loyal customer. Then when the kids move out, I'll buy a Legacy GT (and hopefully they'll have the wagons back).
        • 4 Years Ago
        We have both a 2005 Legacy GT wagon (MT!) and a 2007 B9 Tribeca in our garage, some of the "quirkiest" cars ever built by Subaru, and we love them both. The Legacy, now Stage 2, is a blast to drive, and is one of the best looking vehicles out on the road, and the Tribeca is extremely comfortable but maintains the sportiness of other Subies. With that said...

        I think this is a fairly good idea, as long as the Tribeca gets a boxer engine and all wheel drive. With the current Outback the size of the Tribeca, it only makes sense for the Tribeca to grow, and this platform will no doubt help.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a good move for the Tribeca.
      There is no way they'll keep the 3.6L in the next-gen Tribeca, it'll get a Toyota V6. I don't think it makes engineering sence to try and put the H6 and the V6 on the same platform.
      As long as the next gen Tribeca has AWD, and gets better gas mileage than the current one, then the public will be satisfied.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There is no way a V6 will be in the next Tribeca. Subaru broke it off with GM because GM kept pushing them to use I4 engines rather then H4, it was one of the reasons anyway. Boxer engines are part of what makes a Subaru a Subaru, and if the CEO is worried about a RWD coupe diluting the brand, I really don't think he would allow a V6.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the H6 and V6 could be done with a common frame / unibody, though they'd probably need to use Subaru-specific or Toyota-specific subframes for engine mounting / hybrid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They still sell the Tribeca?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, less than they would like to.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm really disappointed with the Toyota-Subaru union. I respect Toyota for what it is, even though its cars hold little appeal to me. I always liked Subaru despite its quirkiness, maybe even because of it. Now Subies are getting bigger and more appliance-like in an attempt (I assume) to appeal to a wider audience. What happens to the niche consumer market they once had? To what brand do we go now?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota only became the majority shareholder of Fuji in 2005.

        The fact that Subarus have been getting bigger (Legacy, Outback) has nothing to do with Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it's just that every single automaker has made their models bigger and bigger. It's just an industry-wide thing that's bloated the Civic to the size of an Accord so that they can't even sell it in Japan anymore.
        But I do wonder what will happen if Subaru and Toyota really start platform sharing a lot....if they overdo it it'll turn Subaru into another Toyota brand of sorts and there isn't really a need for such a thing. Would it just be the AWD+Boxer division?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Subie still holds a goodly chunk of their niche, but they're larger and more profitable with a bit of the mainstream. If you want a moderately-sized, good performing Subie, instead of getting the upsized Legacy, you simply get the upsized Impreza which is now the size of the 10-year-old Legacy you're retiring.

        So much so that one of their big recent advert campaigns was to make charitable donations on behalf of the car buyer. Subie had so much cash from profits, they literally needed to give it away!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hm... perhaps I'm indeed misplacing blame on Toyota, but regardless, I'm disappointed in Subaru lately. The '05-'07 Legacy Outback wagon was one of my favorites, and I still watch the ads for a good used round-eye WRX wagon. I like old Volvo wagons as well (there's a reserved spot for a 122s in my garage). I suppose I'm just part of a dwindling market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree...I don't think Subarus abandoning of the appropriate mid-size station wagon had anything to do with Toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Subie will be out of business and their executives in US jails unless they can leverage Toyota's investment in fuel-efficient technologoes. This is a match made in heaven with both parties taking something from the deal (Toyota getting sportier vehicles, Subie getting more efficient vehicles).

      Most Subies are innefficient for their vehicle footprint and will not pass emissions by 2015. Read up on CAFE/CAFC regulations.

      Watch the industry consolidations over the next 5-10 years!! Inevitable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is mostly to blame on the 4wd system they use. It's just less efficient to turn that many wheels. They'll need to suck it up and release some front wheel drivers in North America in order to bump their efficiency averages.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why is the Tribeca still around anyway? It's a pretty good CUV on its own merits, no doubt, but relatively speaking, it has flopped pretty badly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was thinking it looks more like a Chrysler/Dodge.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You dont know the difference between badge-engineering and platform sharing. The last time Toyota badge engineered we got the ES250. And even that had some significant changes. The last time Subaru was badge-engineered we got the 9-2x (thanks GM!). Any Subaru Tribeca-based on the Highlander would look much different. Toyotas may be boring but the company is not stupid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Realistically, I can see why they would do this. I don't think the Tribeca was ever a huge sales hit for Subaru (then again, I don't think it was a total flop either after they redesigned the nose), so sharing a platform with the Highlander makes economic sense.

      I just am no fan of the direction that Toyota has been going lately in terms of design - seems that every new generation of vehicle is bigger than the one that it replaces and of course they tend to be boring as hell to drive.

      Sharing some components takes sense, as long as it doesn't kill the uniqueness of Subaru vehicles.
    • Load More Comments