Consider it a bad sign that a new-for-2006 model has already been deemed in need of changes, both by the market and the company that builds it. Consider it a positive indicator, at least, that Subaru has reacted quickly enough to respond with anything at all, even if it is just a subtle nip/tuck inside-and-out.
Subaru's quizzically-styled B9 Tribeca debuted to decidedly mixed reviews and more than a few guffaws about its challenging visuals. For 2007, Subaru has attempted to address some of these concerns without incurring the cost and time required of a full refresh. Thus, it may take a little squinting and some fine-print culling to see the improvements in the new Tribeca... but as ever, Autoblog's here to help.
It breaks down like this: a slightly revamped standard nose, featuring less prominent grill vanes (read: blacked-out in lieu of chrome) gives the big Scooby a less jarring countenance (if only just), along with the Special Edition package seen above (more on this in a moment). Underneath, Subaru has responded to criticisms of the B9's dynamics by revamping the suspension, including revised strut tuning front and rear, along with gerrymandered spring rates and rear stabilizer bar adjustments.
(Hop to the jump for hardware changes and original shots of the retouched standard B9, plus more "chainmail" action)
Inside, Subaru has pre-wired all B9 Tribecas for XM Satellite Radio and iPod connectivity, and a backup camera and rear park-assist sensors are now an option for those who throw down for the satellite-navigation system. Other new options include remote start and a retractable cargo cover, and the power chairs on Limited models now feature 2-position memory.
On the safety front, some genuine advancements have been wrought over the 2006 iteration, including the inclusion of a standard rollover sensor that governs the curtain airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners, and the 4-channel ABS has been augmented by a Brake Assist proportioning system.
No word of any driveline improvements for 2007, so B9 pilots will have to slake themselves with merely adequate thrust.
Subie's new Special Edition package (above), replaces the blacked-out grille with mesh fitments (which were colorfully described by one wag as a "chainmail vagina"). Naturally, beauty remains firmly in the eye of the beholder, but at least ticking the 'SE' box also nets buyers 7-spoke chrome wheels and XM radio. The package commands a $1,295 premium.