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2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

7-Pass w/DVD Beige Int

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway

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  • $34,195 original MSRP
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Printable Version

2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

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2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

Subaru is becoming a premium brand. It isn't Mercedes 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. The latest example of this strategy is the all-new 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca.

The first thing you should know about the Tribeca is that it's a big SUV, as big or bigger than a Nissan Murano or Toyota Highlander or even a Ford Explorer. It seats up to seven passengers.

The first thing you're likely to notice, however, is the styling, particularly that grille. It looks like something from an Alfa Romeo. Subaru's new chief designer came from Alfa, but he told us the grille was already set in stone when he arrived. The design of the Tribeca doesn't please everyone, but seems to grow on some people with time.

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 Tribeca cheap transportation. 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. For its part, the Tribeca is competitive in the class, especially given the lengthy list of features with which it comes standard, much of which are optional or not even available elsewhere.

Extensive driving in Northern California revealed the Tribeca to be a joy to drive, comfortable and practical. In short, we'd list it as a buy. That's a strong recommendation, given that we think highly of the Highlander and Murano.

Model Lineup

Two versions of the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca are available: a five-passenger ($30,695) and a seven-passenger ($32,395). Both share the same powertrain, a 250-horsepower, six-cylinder engine driving all four wheels full time through a five-speed SportShift automatic. Each is available in standard and Limited trim.

Neither trim package is lacking in function or comfort. All Tribecas, for instance, have Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control system, which joins forces with Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive and all-wheel traction control to help the driver maintain control. Standard wheels are 18-inch aluminum alloys with low-profile, all-season tires; a tire pressure monitoring system is standard, too. Brakes are vented discs with antilock and Electronic Brake-force Distribution systems.

Safety features include Subaru's unique auto-retracting brake pedal assembly designed to lessen exposure to crash-related injury for the driver's feet and lower legs. 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).

Inside, all Tribeca models give the driver an eight-way power adjustable seat and the front passenger a four-way power seat, both with manual lumbar. 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. Cruise control is standard. So are power windows, outside mirrors and door locks. The steering wheel, which also tilts, and shift knob are covered in leather. And there's an information center displaying audio settings, time, fuel economy and outside temperature.

The seven-passenger Tribeca gets that way via the addition of a third-row seat split 50/50. It also adds heated front seats and an auxiliary rear air conditioner fan control in the second seating row.

Moving up to the Limited in both the five-passenger ($32,295) and seven-passenger ($33,895) versions replaces the standard cloth upholstery with a choice of smooth or perforated leather seating surfaces. The stereo is upgraded to a 160-watt system with a six-disc, in-dash CD changer and nine speakers, including a sub-woofer in the rear cargo area.

Factory options are offered only on the seven-passenger model and include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1800) and a touch-screen, DVD-based, GPS navigation system ($2000). Subaru-approved options for both models and installed either at the port or by the dealer (installation costs are extra) number some 20 or so and include an assortment of features. Among them: an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror ($183), battery warmer ($30), engine block heater ($30), hood protector ($73), roof rack-mounted kayak carrier ($147), roof-rack mounted bike carrier ($140), and towing package with hitch and oil cooler ($514).

Walkaround

The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca shows a new, soon-to-be trademark face to the world. Purportedly patterned in a manner to remind us of its parent company's history as an aircraft manufacturer, with a central air intake flanked by grilles that look like wings, the new front end reminds us more of a poorly executed knockoff of classic Alfa Romeos. But that's a personal opinion. Some of our colleagues like the design. But we have better taste than they do. In any case, we don't consider the grille a deal breaker.

Moving past the odd grille arrangement, there is an undeniable aero-sleekness to the flow of the various surface planes and scupltings. Headlights are integrated into the leading edges of the front fenders. In plan view, the front end's curvature can be seen to ease the movement of the Tribeca through the air. The steeply raked windshield and A-pillars pull the eye up and over the tall glass house to a spoiler laid atop an acutely angled back window.

Body side panels are mostly vertical, not quite slab-like, their expanse broken by mild fender blisters circling properly proportioned tires and wheels. Beginning at the trailing edge of the front door and even with the door handles, a soft crease grows as it moves rearward, giving the rear portions substance before ending in the wraparound taillights. An understated character line etched into the doors and running between the wheel arches draws attention to the matte-black rocker panels and subtly reminds the observant of the Tribeca's 8.4-inch ground clearance.

As unsatisfied as we are with the Tribeca's front end, the back end leaves us wondering what exactly the theme was supposed to be there as well. The top half, above the continuation of the waist-high side crease, comprising the rear window and spoiler and looking rather light and airy, looks as if it came from a different vehicle than the bottom half, comprising most of the liftgate, the license plate surround, the bumper and lower trim panel and looking somewhat ponderous. Perhaps it's a consequence of having to package sufficient interior room for a third-row seat, but like the front end, it's a departure from the Subaru look we've come to know and will require some acclimation. And as fondly as we recall the previous century's hot rod era, the dual exhausts don't quite fit.

By the way, the B9 designates the platform. Why did Subaru find it necessary to plug this into the name? We didn't have much luck getting that out of them. So we'll just call it the Tribeca, a name that goes well with Forester, Outback and Impreza.

Interior Features

The Subaru Tribeca's interior is a stunning styling statement. Visually, and ergonomically, it's a delight. It's been a long time since we've felt so immediately comfortable climbing into a new car for the first time. A little more time behind the wheel revealed that it's not perfect: the front seat cushions could be deeper for more thigh support, and the back support isn't great.

Right off, we didn't have to climb up into it, despite its positioning as a hybridization of wagon, minivan and sport utility. Rather, we simply opened the door and sat down. The relatively high seating position allowed us to check traffic several cars ahead, and outward visibility is marred only by seemingly overly thick A-pillars. More than once, we overlooked a pedestrian or another car at an intersection because the pillar blocked our vision. We expect, though, that this is something we'd learn to work around.

Once buckled in, all the controls fell right to hand, and the gauges and panels tasked with communicating important information did so quite naturally. Well, maybe the fuel and coolant temperature gauges weren't completely intuitive, tucked away in the lower outboard corners of the instrument cluster and utilizing LEDs in lieu of the analog style. But we found it hard to imagine ways to improve the remainder, including the large, easily scanned tachometer and speedometer.

Beyond the bits and pieces, the organic, almost-wholesome sweep of the dash as it flows into the door panels creates cocoon-like comfort zones for front seat occupants. Arms and hands rest naturally on nicely textured surfaces with the requisite buttons and levers where they should be. Steering wheel-mounted supplemental controls are styled into the sweep of the wheel's spokes. The shift lever's SportShift slot, which allows the driver to manually select the desired gear, is properly placed to the driver's side of the primary gate.

The rounded center stack extends into the cockpit for easy access to its controls and features. The primary audio control knob is centered within ready reach of the driver and front-seat passenger. The heating and ventilation controls are really cool, with big knobs that feature digital readouts. The front passenger's air conditioning temperature control knob is thoughtfully positioned facing the passenger. As an aside, while the stereo handles MP3 media, it isn't strictly designed with iPod compatibility. For the truly dedicated, however, an auxiliary jack in the upper left rear quarter panel for CD players will accommodate input from iPods, although control of play sequence has to remain with the iPod. An elaborate information screen and navigation system display is centered in the upper half of the dash with controls that are accessible to both the driver and front passenger.

The second row of seats is one of the most flexible we've seen in terms of configurations and range of adjustments, as we learned on routine trips to grocery store, post office and just generally running around town for a week. The rear rows of seats are more bench-like with shallower side bolsters for easier ingress and egress and space conservation. The second row is more comfortable than it looks, however, something we discovered during a day of driving between California's Central Valley and the Bay Area. The seatbacks can be reclined and we discovered two adults can be quite comfortable back there.

Getting in and out of the third row on seven-passenger models isn't easy for adults; it's best left to the younger set.

The glove box holds more than gloves, with space for the owner's manual, cell phones, garage door remotes, etc. Two cup holders are concealed beneath a well-damped cover in the center console aft of the shift lever. Rearward of this is the padded center armrest covering a respectably sized storage bin. Two more cup holders can be found in the fold-down middl

Driving Impressions

The more time we spent with the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca and the more miles we put into its rearview mirror the more we liked it.

Not that it didn't impress from the get go, which was south of Market Street in San Francisco. From there, through the streets and across the Golden Gate, up U.S. 101 a ways, then over to the coast and up to a lunch stop along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay, the Tribeca never disappointed. Actually, it quite impressed. Multi-lane, divided highways passed under its impressively quiet tires as smoothly and as rapidly as did winding, switchback-laden two-lanes.

Credit for the smooth ride goes to the high degree of refinement Subaru's engineers have achieved in development of the horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engine. As with other SUVs, there is some road vibration. Credit for the Tribeca's nimble handling goes to the relatively low center of gravity that comes with that essentially flat engine placed low in the chassis. The Tribeca is no lightweight at 4,400 pounds, and it feels bigger than it looks, but it handles surprisingly well. By way of comparison, the Tribeca's track, which is the distance between the tires side to side, is fully two inches narrower than the Nissan Murano's track, and they're the same height. And the Tribeca tracked through the same series of tight, left-right-left transitions as the Murano with less body lean and at measurably higher rates of travel. The steering is accurate, though a little slow.

Passing power came on immediately with only slight pressure on the gas. Shifts up and down were managed almost invisibly; even when executed manually through the SportShift, there was only the slightest interruption in the energy flow. Speaking of the manual characteristics of the SportShift, the Tribeca will shift up a gear at engine redline; it will not, however, drop down a gear without the driver tapping the lever forward. Fuel economy isn't a standout feature, however. The Tribeca earns an EPA rating of just 18/23 mpg City/Highway.

Brake feel was not ideal, or at least not to our liking; it wasn't truly linear, but somewhat spongy. And the steering column was offset a smidgen to the right, toward the centerline of the vehicle. We're used to this awkwardness in GM vehicles but were surprised to find it in a Subaru.

When our time with the Tribeca came to an end, we were sorry to see it go. Not in the same way we sometimes are with a Porsche, a Dodge Ram SRT/10 or a BMW, but because we really could see ourselves owning the Tribeca and being quite content with life as a one-car household.

Summary

The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca is at once unlike and like other Subarus. It has all the right feel of control and dexterity, plus impressive hauling capacity for people and things. And the engineering technology delivering all this right stuff is thoroughly debugged and proven. All that's left to prove is whether people will pay what the Tribeca costs and whether they can get used to that face.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Tom Lankard filed this report from San Francisco, the coastal roads north of the Bay Area and California's Central Valley, with Mitch McCullough in the wine country.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$30,695
Model lineup:
Subaru B9 Tribeca 5-Passenger ($30,695); B9 Tribeca 5-Passenger Limited ($32,295); B9 Tribeca 7-Passenger ($32,395); B9 Tribeca 7-Passenger Limited ($33,895)
Engines:
3.0-liter, double overhead cam, 24-valve flat six
Transmissions:
5-speed automatic with SportShift
Safety equipment (Standard):
twin, dual-stage front seat airbags; front seat-mounted side impact airbags; front and middle seat side-curtain airbags; active front seat head restraints; rear seat child safety seat anchors (LATCH); tire pressure monitors; safety brake pedal system; antilock brakes with EBD
Safety equipment (Optional):
N/A
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Lafayette, Indiana
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Subaru B9 Tribeca 7-Passenger Limited ($33,895)
Standard equipment:
dual-zone automatic air conditioning with auxiliary middle-seat control; cruise control; tilt steering wheel; power windows, outside mirrors and central locking; 8-way driver and 4-way front passenger power seats; heated front seats; 160-watt, AM/FM/MP3 stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer and nine speakers, including rear sub-woofer; front and middle seat leather seating surfaces; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; power tilt/slide moonroof; information display for audio, clock, fuel economy and ambient temperature
Options as tested:
rear-seat, DVD entertainment system with auxiliary audio and video inputs ($1800); GPS navigation system ($2000)
Destination charge:
625
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$38,320
Layout:
all-wheel drive
Engine:
3.0-liter, double overhead cam, 24-valve flat six
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
250 @ 6600
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
219 @ 4200
Transmission:
5-speed automatic with SportShift
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
18/23 mpg.
Wheelbase:
108.2 in.
Length/width/height:
189.8/73.9/66.5 in.
Track, f/r:
62.2/62.1 in.
Turning circle:
37.4 ft.
Seating capacity:
7
Head/hip/leg room, f:
38.9/54/42.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
38.2/54.6/34.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
36.2/43.3/30.9 in.
Cargo volume:
74.4 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
3500 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson strut, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
independent, double wishbone, coil springs, gas-pressure shocks, stabilizer bar
Ground clearance:
8.4 in.
Curb weight:
4225 lbs.
Tires:
255/55R18
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS and EBD in.
Fuel capacity:
16.9 gal.

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Printable Version

2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Subaru Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

84 months or 100,000 mile powertrain (whichever comes first) from original warranty start. Many upgrade options available.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Current model year or preceding 5 yrs/80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 152
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Tribeca Sport Utility Crossover

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