Thanks to its unusual styling, Subaru's first real SUV stands apart from the midsize crossover crowd, but the 2007 B9 Tribeca's subpar acceleration and cramped cabin are significant disadvantages in this highly competitive class.
Now in its second year, the Subaru B9 Tribeca is a midsize crossover SUV. Besides being the obvious answer to the future trivia question: "What automobile was named after a bingo call and a Manhattan neighborhood?" the B9 happens to be Subaru's first midsize sport-utility. Bigger than the Forester and taller than the wagon-based Outback, it's meant to be a viable alternative to established crossover offerings like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander
Thanks to its standard all-wheel drive, distinct looks and fairly upscale interior, the 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca largely succeeds on that mission. The B9's interior is trimmed with lots of luxurious-looking bits and is comfortable, for the most part. It is available in a seven-passenger configuration, but the optional third row should be regarded as a place for kids only. Unfortunately, even the second row is tight for adults. Overall, other vehicles in this segment do a better job of accommodating larger loads of passengers and cargo.
Another significant downside to the Subaru Tribeca is that its 3.0-liter flat-6 is merely adequate in terms of power, and that's just with the driver aboard. Adding a full load of family members taxes the engine, which becomes noisy and rough.
Subaru fans hoping for the SUV equivalent of a fierce WRX, or even a Legacy GT, might be a little disappointed by this aspect. And as competitive as this segment is, this, along with its cramped cabin, is enough to keep it from being a top player among midsize crossover SUVs. But if you like Subarus and desire something a little different (Honda sells close to 10 Pilots for every B9), it's worth a look.