2007 B9 Tribeca New Car Test Drive
TriBeCa is a trendy, upscale neighborhood between New York's Soho and Lower Manhattan districts. It isn't cheap real estate. Nor is the Subaru B9 Tribeca cheap transportation. Tribeca is a mid-size SUV with optional seating for seven. Its overall dimensions put it in the same class as the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Murano; it's nearly as big as a Ford Explorer. Properly equipped, the Tribeca can tow up to 3500 pounds. Tribeca is fully competitive in this class, especially given its lengthy list of standard features.
Subaru is becoming a premium brand. It isn't Mercedes-Benz or BMW, nor does it intend to be, but the technology underneath, the stuff you can't see, is cutting edge, giving drivers the latest in all-weather safety and performance. Last year, Tribeca earned the highest possible rating in NHTSA federal crash tests, with five stars in the frontal and side-impact tests for both the driver and front-seat passenger; and a four-star rating in the tests for rollover resistance. (No SUV to date has earned five stars in the rollover test.)
For 2007, Subaru has built more safety into every Tribeca, adding a rollover sensor that automatically activates the seatbelt pre-tensioners and deploys the standard side-curtain airbags. To help avoid accidents, Brake Assist joins Tribeca's extensive array of dynamic handling technology, which already included four-channel anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control and four-wheel traction control. An ultrasonic reverse-parking assist is now available on all models; and models with navigation now come with a backup camera.
Also for 2007, Tribeca's front and rear suspensions have been revised to deliver a smoother ride. All models are now pre-wired for XM Satellite Radio, and the auxiliary jack for connecting iPods and other MP3 units has been relocated to the center console. Top-of-the-line Limited models add a two-position memory sensor for the front seats. A new remote starter option allows the owner to start the vehicle from up to 800 feet away. A window-shade-type retractable rear cargo cover is now available as well.
In case you haven't noticed, all Subaru models are somewhat pricey, but we think they offer a lot of value in terms of technology, handling, foul-weather capability and dependability. And Tribeca is no exception. Extensive mileage in Northern California revealed the Tribeca to be a joy to drive, comfortable and practical. In short, we'd list it as a buy. It's comparable to the Highlander and Murano, and that's high praise indeed.
The 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca is available in base and Limited trim, each in a five- or seven-passenger configuration. All are propelled by the same 250-horsepower, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine driving all four wheels full time through a five-speed SportShift automatic.
The base Tribeca ($29,995) comes with five-passenger seating with an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat and a four-way power passenger's seat, both with manual lumbar adjustment. The second row of seats is almost as flexible as the two front seats, with a 40/20/40-split reclining seatback and a 60/40-split seat bottom adjustable fore and aft. Dual-zone automatic air conditioning is standard, as is a 100-watt, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with six speakers and a new auxiliary input jack. Cruise control is standard. So are power windows, outside mirrors and door locks. The steering wheel, which tilts, and shift knob are covered in leather. And there's an information center displaying audio settings, time, fuel economy and outside temperature. Standard wheels are 18-inch aluminum alloys with low-profile, all-season tires.
The seven-passenger Tribeca ($31,995) adds a third-row seat split 50/50 plus heated front seats and an auxiliary rear air conditioner fan control in the second seating row.
Tribeca Limited in both five-passenger ($32,495) and seven-passenger ($33,495) versions, replaces the standard cloth upholstery with a choice of smooth or perforated leather, and adds a memory feature to the power seats. The stereo is upgraded to a 160-watt system with a in-dash CD6 changer and nine speakers, including a sub-woofer in the rear cargo area. Touch-screen navigation ($2,000) is offered only on Limited, and now includes a rear vision camera. A rear-seat DVD system ($1800) is available on seven-passenger Limited models with navigation.
New options for '07 include ultrasonic reverse parking assist ($270), a remote starter ($335) that allows you to start your Tribeca from up to 800 feet away, and a shade-type retractable rear cargo cover ($149). Also new for '07 is a Special Edition package ($1,295) that combines an exclusive mesh grille, chrome-finish wheels and XM Satellite Radio. XM Satellite Radio ($398) is also available as a stand-alone option. A tow package ($628) combines a trailer hitch and transmission oil cooler. Several accessory packages are offered, allowing buyers to add simple extras such as floor mats, an auto-dimming inside mirror, reading and puddle lights, a shock sensor for the security system, and various bumper-protection and roof-rack systems set up specifically for kayaks, bicycles, or whatever your recreational needs may require.
Safety features on all models include Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control, Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive and all-wheel traction control to help the driver maintain control. Brakes are vented discs with antilock (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist systems. Front seat occupants are protected by dual-stage frontal airbags, seat-mounted side impact airbags and active head restraints, which automatically push forward and up in rear-impact collisions. Curtain airbags insulate the front and second row seats in side impacts. All seating positions get adjustable head restraints, and outboard seats have height-adjustable anchors for seatbelt shoulder straps. Child safety seat anchors (LATCH) are provided for the rear seat(s). A tire-pressure monitoring system is standard.