Since 2005, Subaru (a division of Japanese Fuji Heavy Industries, FHI) has been producing a mid-sized SUV crossover named the Subaru Tribeca. It was marketed as Subaru B9 Tribeca in many countries. The name ‘Tribeca’ is taken from a vicinity of New York City. The vehicle was based on Subaru Legacy platform and was offered in 5- and 7-seat arrangement. The early plans were to offer the Tribeca beside a partly redesigned version of Saab 9-6. Saab was a subsidiary of General Motors during that time and forsaken the 9-6 program before its launch. The program was abandoned because of the GM’s decision of withdrawing its 20% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries in 2005.
The design of Tribeca was basically an inspiration from the B9X concept vehicle. When Tribeca was launched, its design met with heavy criticism as a result of which Subaru took immediate actions and introduced a facelift model in 2007. For this facelifted mode, the ‘B9’ suffix was discontinued from its name. As for styling, most of the features were taken from the forsaken Saab 9-6.
The Tribeca was not offered in Japanese market. It was launched in North America as 2006 model year in 2005, while in Australasia it was reached in 2006. It was launched in European markets in 2007. There are many other countries where Tribeca is available such as Argentina, Peru, Chile, parts of Southeast Asia and China.
First Generation (2005-2007)
The first generation Tribeca was introduced in 2005 as ‘B9 Tribeca’. It was introduced with a new triangular grille as well as a more rounded styling. Such a grille styling was also introduced on the Impreza and Japanese kei cars, Subaru R1 and R2. This styling could not be able to impress the majority and heavily criticized as a result of which all the Subaru models were revised and this design was forsaken.
The Fuore Design was a design consulting firm in Spain that designed the grille. An article in the Los Angeles Times described the grille design as a design “meant to convey parent-company Fuji Heavy Industries’ glorious history in aviation.” The interior of the vehicle was designed by a designer Andreas Zapatinas and his team.
The Tribeca was launched with a 3.0-L EZ30 boxer engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
In 2006, the Tribeca received minor changes and introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. It featured a renewed grilled, stabilizer bars, spring rates and redesigned struts. It also received a ‘Special Edition’ package featuring a mesh grille, unique wheels and XM radio.
Second Generation (2007-present)
In 2007, a fecelifted model was introduced for the 2008 model year. It was revealed at the New York International Auto Show. This facelifted version came with a 3.6-L EZ36 flat-6 engine, delivering 256 hp (191 kW). Subaru also claimed with the facelifted model that it offers 10% better fuel economy with regular gasoline fuel. The ‘B9’ suffix was also removed from the name in all the markets and the name was standardized as Subaru Tribeca.