Summer 2005 Forward to a Friend


The Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and 3.0-liter six-cylinder Subaru Boxer® engine provide the foundation of the B9 Tribeca drivetrain. This Core Technology is well-known to Subaru owners. They provide the B9 Tribeca’s handling control and active-safety capabilities.

Innovations to the B9 Tribeca’s proven horizontally opposed engine are unique to the Subaru family. They include a composite intake manifold specially tuned for improved performance, updated Active Valve-Control System and Active Valve-Lift System for more efficient operation and a new engine cover that enhances quietness. Additional innovations include a new exhaust design that reduces catalytic converter warm-up time, which helps improve fuel efficiency, while emissions are reduced by an electronic returnless fuel system.

The five-speed electronic adaptive-control automatic transmission with SPORTSHIFT® looks familiar, but it has been modified for the B9 Tribeca to optimize performance:

•   Gear ratios were widened and the final-drive ratio “shortened” to take better advantage of engine torque

•   Shift programming was revised for improved performance on grades

•   SPORTSHIFT allows the automatic transmission to be shifted manually

The proven Subaru Symmetrical AWD system is standard in the B9 Tribeca, along with electronically operated Variable Torque Distribution and Vehicle Dynamics Control.

The B9 Tribeca ground clearance is greater than many of its competitors, yet its center of gravity is lower. That means the B9 Tribeca is capable of traveling over rough and snow-drifted roads, yet it handles curves with a remarkable feeling of control.

Other capabilities that distinguish the B9 Tribeca include:

•   A double-wishbone rear suspension unique to the Subaru lineup, engineered to improve handling, ensure ride comfort and accommodate the third row on 7-Passenger models (The front suspension is a strut-type.)

•   Greater horsepower than the BMW X5 3.0i, Lexus RX 330 and Nissan Murano

The B9 Tribeca’s unit body/chassis was designed to be light but rigid. Rigidity is the key to a quiet, comfortable ride and precise vehicle control.

To help meet the goal of a rigid body, it is composed of 36 percent high-tensile-strength steel and incorporates such weight-saving measures as an all-aluminum hood. The Subaru Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame is incorporated in the body design to help keep occupants safe in the event of a collision.

The B9 Tribeca is larger than any previous Subaru, allowing three rows of seating and higher seat positions. At approximately the same length as the Acura MDX or Volvo XC90, it weighs considerably less. That helps to improve fuel economy and handling.

Competitive specifications and dimensions reveal several B9 Tribeca strengths when compared with five of its competitors – the Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Touareg V6. Highlights of the Subaru B9 Tribeca’s advantages include:

•   Shorter overall height than all five competitors – this contributes to a lower center of gravity for improved handling and stability

•   Higher ground clearance than the competitors – this enhances the B9 Tribeca’s capabilities on rough roads

•   Smaller turning circle than the five competitors, indicating greater maneuverability – this is particularly useful for urban driving

Thoughtful design gives the B9 Tribeca a versatile and flexible interior. The two rows of split-folding seats offer 64 combinations of seating and a flat cargo surface. Occupants will find storage spaces in the center console, overhead console, seatback pockets, door pockets and under the floor in the rear.

Electronics in the vehicle include electroluminescent instrumentation, HomeLink® system, multifunction display, audio with MP3 capability, optional GPS navigation with DVD-based mapping and the optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a 9-inch screen and wireless headphones. The B9 Tribeca 7-Passenger has an auxiliary rear-seat air conditioner with manual fan speed control.

Comfort-and-convenience features bear mentioning, too. Lighting is particularly effective – including floor, map and dome lights that make entry and exit easier. Night lighting includes ceiling-mounted showerlights for the center console, cabin and cargo area as well as dedicated night lighting for the footwells during entry/exit. There are also special LEDs to illuminate the front cup holders at night, highlighting engineering attention to detail. Along with the vehicle’s thoughtful design, these touches enhance the B9 Tribeca’s quality character.

Some other key interior features include:

•   Seating for seven
•   Standard power tilt/sliding-glass moonroof
•   Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
•   Dual-zone automatic climate control system
•   Rear-cabin air conditioner with fan speed control in 7-Passenger models
•   Ten cup holders
•   Concealed under-floor storage in the cargo area (5-Passenger models)

Occupant safety was of greatest importance in the engineering of the B9 Tribeca. All models are equipped with six air bags (Supplemental Restraint System – SRS):

•   Front air bags with dual-stage inflators for the driver and front passenger*

•   Side-impact air bags in each front seat*

•   Side-curtain air bags for the first-row and second-row seats (the third-row seats are encapsulated by the body, with special impact-absorbing interior panels)*

Note, too, that all seven seating positions have three-point seatbelts.


* The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) (air bags) affords the driver and the front passenger additional protection in moderate to severe frontal and side-impact collisions, and outboard 2nd-row passengers additional protection in moderate to severe side-impact collisions. This system provides supplemental protection only, and seatbelts must be worn in order to avoid injuries to out-of-position occupants upon bag deployment and to provide the best combined protection in a serious accident. Children should always be properly restrained in the rear seat.