1 Nov 2006
STRETCH the proven fourth-generation mid-sized Liberty/Outback wagon platform significantly in all directions.
Then fit an all-new double-wishbone rear suspension underneath, drop in a flexible five or seven-seat interior and drape the boldest Subaru body ever seen over the top of it all and, hey presto, the result is Subaru’s is biggest, heaviest and most accommodating model ever.
Of course, the US-inspired Tribeca, the fifth Subaru model on sale, and the last all-new one since the Impreza-based Forester debuted in mid-1997, is much more than that.
In fact, with an unprecedented level of standard equipment, including a raft of safety features to help make it yet another five-star crash safety performer from Subaru, the Tribeca SUV is tantalising enough to match its $54,000-plus price tag.
However, questions remain about whether the Outback’s 3.0-litre boxer six cope with Tribeca’s extra 400kg mass.
Until larger six-cylinder and turbo-diesel versions eventually appear, Tribeca’s sole engine offering delivers 180kW at 6600rpm and 297Nm of torque at 4200rpm on 95 RON premium unleaded.
The entry-level 3.0R also includes a five-speed automatic gearbox, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable front seats, a trip computer, satellite-navigation and rear-view camera, dual-zone climate-control, and DataDot vehicle identification.
Meanwhile, the 3.0R Premium variants add full leather seat trim, sunroof, rear DVD screen and heated front seats.
The seven-seaters provide 64 seating and luggage configurations via a folding middle row of seats that slides and splits 40/20/40, and a folding third row that’s split 50/50 and also folds flat.