Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,100 – $32,500*


2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca


2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca


2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca


20067Subaru B9 Tribeca

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Control layout and materials
  • Passenger room and comfort
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Acceleration (highway)
  • Fuel economy
  • Brake-pedal feel

Subaru’s largest SUV delivers fine handling, versatile interior accommodations, and a generous list of standard equipment. On the down side, acceleration is lackluster. Tribeca pricing when new reached into the upper realm of midsize SUVs, where compelling alternatives can be found. Resale value has been quite good, so secondhand prices tend to be on the high side.

Overview

Subaru introduced its largest-ever vehicle for 2006: a midsize sport-utility vehicle with available seven-passenger seating and a standard six-cylinder “boxer” engine. Similar in size to Toyota’s Highlander, the B9 Tribeca shared its architecture and powertrain with Subaru’s Outback and Legacy. Tribeca was the first Subaru SUV that could hold as many as seven occupants. Distinctive, if ultimately controversial, styling was led by a unique shield-shaped grille, inspired by the company’s aircraft heritage.

Considered a “crossover” model and billed as a “progressive SUV,” Tribecas came in base and Limited trim. Both had all-wheel drive without low-range gearing. The sole powertrain consisted of a 250-horsepower 3.0-liter horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine that mated with a five-speed automatic transmission, which incorporated a Sportshift manual shift gate.

Seating for five was standard; a two-passenger third-row seat was optional. An antiskid system, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, and 18-inch alloy wheels were standard. So were front side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags that covered the first and second seating rows.

Standard equipment included automatic climate control, a CD player, and power front seats. All Tribecas had a sunroof and 40/20/40 split folding second-row seats. Seven-passenger models added a 50/50 split folding third-row seat, rear climate controls, and heated front seats. Limited models added leather upholstery and an in-dash six-CD changer. Rear DVD entertainment was optional on seven-passenger models. A navigation system was available for Limited models.

In addition to the Highlander, B9 Tribeca competitors included the Ford Freestyle and Nissan Murano.

Yearly Updates

2007 B9 Tribeca
Subaru’s crossover SUV got freshened styling and additional features for its second season on the market. The standard antiskid system gained rollover sensors. Grille inserts went from chrome to matte black, but a new Special Edition package uses bright mesh inserts. New options included a rearview camera and rear obstacle detection system.
2008 Tribeca
Fresh styling and more power highlighted changes to the 2008 Subaru Tribeca, which dropped the B9 prefix from its name. For 2008, the engine grew from 3.0 to 3.6 liters to yield 256 hp, up from 245.
2009 Tribeca
Tribeca was unchanged for 2009.
2010 Tribeca
The 2010 Subaru Tribeca gets a few changes, including new trim levels and standard 7-passenger seating. For 2010, Tribeca came in mid-level Limited and new-for-2010 entry-level Premium and top-line Touring trim levels. Five-passenger Base and Limited versions were discontinued.
2011 Tribeca
The 2011 Subaru Tribeca is largely unchanged.
2012 Tribeca
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Subaru Tribeca.
2013 Tribeca
The big news for 2013 was that Subaru discontinued Tribeca’s previously available base Premium and top-of-the-line Touring trim levels. This meant that all 2013 Tribecas were Limiteds, which was the previous year’s mid-grade model.
2014 Tribeca
The only change for the 2014 Tribeca was that a sunroof was now standard equipment.

Engines

transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

Only one powertrain has been available for the all-wheel-drive B9 Tribeca: a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission. Engine output was rated at 250 horsepower in 2006, 245 in 2007. For 2008, the engine grew from 3.0 to 3.6 liters to yield 256 hp, up from 245.

dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 245-250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 215-219
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

18/23

19.4

dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/222
Engine HP 256
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 247
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

16/21

19.2

Road Test

Subaru’s B9 Tribeca delivers sufficient power for around-town driving, but feels strained in highway passing or uphill climbs. The engine is rough at idle, but smooth once underway. Maximum towing capacity is 3500 pounds.

Fuel economy could be better. A test B9 Tribeca averaged 18.3 to 19.4 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. Subaru recommends premium-grade fuel.

Ride comfort generally satisfies. Expect good bump absorption overall, though some choppiness is evident over rough surfaces. Solid body structure contributes to buttoned-down feel.

Well balanced in turns, the Tribeca suffers no undue body lean. Steering is linear, but transmits little road feel. Adequate braking power is masked by a spongy pedal.

Quietness is the rule, most of the time. The Tribeca’s engine is refined and whisper-quiet at cruise. Some wind rush is heard at highway speeds. Road noise is well quelled, though tires roar on rough surfaces.

Main gauges are simply marked and easy to read, but fuel and engine-temperature gauges may be blocked by the steering wheel. Climate and audio controls are neatly arranged, clearly marked, and easy to access. Navigation-system controls are intuitive, but a long reach for both driver and passenger. Nicely textured matte-finish interior panels impart an upscale look and feel to the cabin.

Comfortable, supportive seats provide adequate room up front. The driving position is upright, though tall drivers may wish for a wider range of seat adjustments. Visibility is good overall, though the view to the rear is obscured by thick rear pillars. Ride height is only slightly elevated, permitting easy entry/exit. Versatile second-row seats slide fore and aft up to 8 inches for ample legroom, but head space is limited for six-footers. Third-row seats are sized for kids, and offer no leg room if second-row seats are in rearward position. They’re awkward to access, too.

There’s enough space for a single golf bag or several grocery bags behind the raised third-row seats, which fold flush into the floor. Convenient small-items storage space is a bonus. A handy console-mounted drawer in the second row holds about five DVD cases.

Ratings

Model Tested: Subaru B9 Tribeca Limited

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.2 189.8 73.9 66.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
74.4 16.9 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 38.2 42.3 34.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 B9 Tribeca 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: Water may collect on the front floor due to a plugged air conditioner evaporator hose which should be cut shorter to prevent spiders from entering. (2006-09)
Automatic transmission
Description: A shudder or vibration may be felt as the automatic transmission shifts into 3rd. 4th. or 5th. gear due to problem with torque converter lock-up. (2008-09)
Coolant leak
Description: A campaign was conducted to replace the coolant and, if not done, aluminum components can get damaged by original coolant’s high chlorine content. (2006)
Doors
Description: The gas-filled support struts for the liftgate may leak over time making it heavy to lift and eventually not staying open. (2006)
Doors
Description: The rear hatch may rattle when going over bumps due to inadequate weatherstrip. (2006)
Seat
Description: The second row seat may not release as the cable detaches from its holder. (2006)
Seat
Description: There was a campaign to replace the hinges on the second row seats because the original ones were not heat treated for strength. (2006-07)
Starter
Description: The remote starter may quit working due to failure of the system’s antenna. (2007-08)
Vehicle noise
Description: Squeaking or rubbing noise from the front end in cold weather requires replacement of the sway bar bushings with improved ones. (2006-09)

Recall History

2006-2012 Tribeca
Description: Vehicles may have been equipped with accessory puddle lights that can short circuit under salty and moist conditions and potentially cause a fire.
2008-09 Tribeca
Description: The vehicle dynamic control G-sensor may have been installed backwards. If so, vehicle handling characteristics during hard braking, sudden turns, or other quick maneuvers could cause it to react in an unexpected manner or result in unstable handling. Dealers will inspect the position of the VDC G-sensor.
2010 Tribeca
Description: The door latch cables located inside the vehicle’s driver and front passenger doors were improperly positioned during production. As a result, a cable can catch in the door glass regulator when a window is opened or closed. Should that occur, it may unlatch the door, causing it to come open unexpectedly when raising or lowering the window. This condition may also result in the failure of a door latch to operate, in which case occupants would be unable to open the door to exit the vehicle. Subaru will notify owners and dealers and will repair the vehicles by repositioning and securing the latch cable in both front doors free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.