The new US-built Subaru B9 Tribeca mid-size SUV will come to dealerships in November with on-the-road prices starting from £28,995. Although the design of the new crossover seems somewhat controversial (I personally totally like the layout of its new corporate grille that seems to be inspired by current Alfa Romeo style, however some observers compare its center to outer parts of female reproductive organs,) the new vehicle has a good chance of becoming quite popular among those who find its German competitors too expensive.
Subaru says that, being less pricey than the competing 2007 BMW X5 and Volvo XC90 street-bound crossover SUVs, the B9 Tribeca will feature a much more impressive list of equipment levels both for the base and “Limited” trims.
The list of standard equipment in the base trim includes keyless entry, electrically powered front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sliding 60/40-split second-row seat and a sunroof.
If you are ready to pay more, then the more upscale “Limited” trim will add to the basket leather seating with memory settings for the two front seats, a 160-watt stereo entertainment system with six-disc CD changer and a navigation system with rear parking camera, as well as a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
However, it is still a question whether the Japanese car manufacturer will be able to compete when it comes to so called ‘perceived’ quality of the new vehicle. As we all know, vehicles coming from the Land of the Rising Sun, even fairly upscale ones, are sometimes plagued by not particularly meticulous choice of plastics and often disappointing sound-dampening in an attempt to save a couple of pounds in order to increase fuel efficiency. Well, we’ll certainly see that soon enough.
The new B9 Tribeca will be motivated by 3.0-liter horizontally-opposed six-banger, featuring a maximum 245 PS (241.6 hp) of power output and 219 lb-ft (297 Nm) of torque.
Together with a five-speed automatic gearbox with ‘Sportshift’ mode, the engine accelerates the B9 Tribeca from zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, provides it with a top speed of 121 mph and ensures 29.7 mpg of mileage on the Extra Urban Cycle.
However, Tribeca’s main problem is that it is by no means a sports car.
While the Legacy, Forester and the Outback will elevate your driver’s self-esteem to the highest level possible, the B9 may feel like just another bulky seven-seater for soccer moms.
When compared to the new X5, it seems to be much more anemic and its futuristic interior leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality.
Still, the car looks to be a step or two higher on the evolutionary ladder than, say, new Opel Antara or the Kia Sorento SUVs.
See also: 2007 GMC Acadia crossover SUV