Last post on Nov 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM
You are in the Subaru B9 Tribeca
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Subaru B9 Tribeca, SUV
#3487 of 8368 B9 vs 2001 MDX
Jun 10, 2005 (5:04 am)
I am a big fan of Subaru cars. In all, my family owned 4 different Subies, 2004 Forester is the latest on a list.
It was with heavy heart that my wife and I made a decision in late 2000 to trade our beloved '96 Legacy for something bigger due to family considerations. If only Subaru had Tribeca then...
Anyway, aside from a few minor yet annoying problems, MDX ownership experience was OK, and its passenger/cargo hauling qualities are simply outstanding.
With new car purchase in mind in about 1 year, I finally got a chance to crawl all over B9 and here is my opinion, primarily a comparison with MDX
First impression seeing B9 parked outside a dealership :
1. Fugly rear
2. T I N Y!!!
3. Front grill is actually not THAT bad, in my opinion a nice spot on otherwise less-than-eye-pleasing car
Second impression, exploring 7-seat limited in the dealership.
1. Driver seat
Comfortable. Can slide much farther back than in MDX - to the point where I was UNCOMFORTABLY far from the steering wheel. (I am 6'1" 200 lbs).
Good visibility of the dashboard.
More comfortable for right leg - knee can rest against the curvy dashboard.
"Dead pedal" - there was a lot of whining in the MDX's early going about left-foot resting spot. B9 seems to be as inconvenient as that.
Head room - I like to sit up high for better visibility... in MDX I have about a fist-sized "real estate"; in B9 - less than an inch.
Armrest - for right elbow - a little too low.
Visibility - Even sitting that high, I had difficulty seeing the front end. A-pillar and D-pillar - the WEIRDEST of designs takes away a lot!!! Side-view mirrors are small. Rear window is a JOKE!!!!
2. 2nd row. I could sit behind driver's seat with my knees TOUCHING the back of it. In the farthest position of the driver's seat I could not bring my knees together at all. In MDX, I sit in the back w/o touching the front seat. There is MUCH LESS hip/showlder room than in the MDX. I currently have 2 full-size car seats in the MDX and the third passenger (my wife) still has at least as much room as the front passenger. Access to the 3rd row is not blocked by the 2 car seats either.
Also, MDX has FLAT floor, B9 has a drive-train protrusion. Less than average sedan, still about 3-4 inches.
I love the ease to recline 2nd row. MDX has some reclining in the 2nd row, but not as convenient or as much.
3. 3rd row. A JOKE When I got in, I could not even close the 2nd row seat back in place. There is NO headroom at all - I had to bend my neck. Seat cushion is at least twice closer to the floor in B9. For comparison, although we do not use 3rd row in MDX often, occasionally I transport adults up to 6' for several hours w/o any complaints. Trunk room with 3rd seat up is about the same in both cars.
Crash-worthiness of the 3rd seat in B9 remains to be seen, MDX boasts it can hold a 30 mph rear-end collision w/o compromizing 3rd row. I have been a part of a multi-car accident recently where another MDX got hit from behind by a Suburban going at least 20-25 mph - no problems
Trunk space in general - smaller than MDX due to Acura's height and width.
Overall impression: 5 years later, 2006 Tribeca offers virtually nothing new on 2001 MDX (stability control and head curtains). In comparison with 2005 MDX, where all that is standard for 3 years now..
Warrantly is sub-par (3x36K b2b)
Fuel economy is worse than MDX
All in all, Subaru finally heard my cries and made a great vehicle for... 2001. For 2005/2006, even with the potential 4-5 K $$$ difference in price, there is really no comparison. Unless Honda screws up the new MDX rumored for the next model year, I cannot see going for Tribecs for my neeeds, tastes and desires.
#3488 of 8368 Re: B9 vs 2001 MDX [vip9]
Jun 10, 2005 (5:29 am)
yeah, i agree. i found MDX much more spacious & confortable.
i think tribeca is great for 5 & that's it. it is problematic for 6 or 7. too tight. no cargo to spare, ridiculous.
yeah, ride quality is important, then what is the point of making a 7-seater when 7 can't be seated comfortably ?
As a 5-seater, i would prefer the outback. so, what's Tribeca for - sexy ! that's it i guess.
#3489 of 8368 Re: B9 vs 2001 MDX [sweet_subie]
Jun 10, 2005 (5:41 am)
I just posted over in the "Suggestions for Subaru" thread a request for a long-wheelbase version of the Tribeca to also be offered. That vehicle would address this space issue many have mentioned.
Jun 10, 2005 (6:03 am)
wanted a little more HP than my base 2.5i can muster
Wish granted for 2006, with 173hp on the Forester and probably 173-175 for the Legacy and Outbacks as well.
ms121269: tough decision to make, but a wise one. Good luck with your van.
Sienna has an AWD option, that would be my pick. Even if I did want FWD, the Sienna's 8th seat is a whole lot better than the Ody's tiny insert.
vip9: On the 2nd row, did you hit the release handle and move it back to its 3rd position? It goes back another 4". Your knees should not touch the front seats, not even close actually.
Position 1 - all the way up
Position 2 - goes 4" back
Position 3 - goes 8" back, must hit the release button
In position 3 the 2nd row hits the 3rd row, so that row has zero legroom and cannot be used. But then the 2nd row has plenty of leg room.
#3491 of 8368 Re: sure wish the odyssey had come with an awd option [njswamplands]
Jun 10, 2005 (6:06 am)
i believe i have no good options currently.
Buy another F-XT and tow the Odyssey around.
#3492 of 8368 long-wheelbase version
Jun 10, 2005 (6:07 am)
I wish Subaru would make a longer Tribeca. I like that about a lot of the Ford and Chevy products they have short wheel base vehicles and extended wheel base options i.e. Tahoe vs. Suburban, Sport Van vs. Extended Van. The Tribeca is in no way a 6 or 7 person vehicle for more than a very short time and then only on small people and when all seats are used there is such little cargo space. It will be great for 5 people or less and the 2 rear seats only for have too use ever so often.
Jun 10, 2005 (6:13 am)
I've said this before and I'll repeat it now, you must *drive* the Tribeca to understand its appeal. It corners flatter and tighter than the competition. You don't feel completely bored behind the wheel, it actually manages to be fun. Those wide tires offer plenty of grip and the center of gravity is nice and low.
These are things you can't tell by just sitting in it and crawling around, you have to drive it. These are its primary advantages so if you skip the test drive you're really missing out on what the Tribeca is all about.
C&D's comparison chart had the Subie offering the most lateral grip. They don't do a slalom but I think MT does and I bet when theirs comes out it beats the competition in that test as well. Only the Infiniti FX stands a chance, maybe the BMW X5 (maybe - it's heavy), but others being mentioned here just could not keep up.
Folks - watch that first video, that's our buddy Dave from Product Planning that we keep talking about. The Tribeca is his baby, he's The Man.
Watch the part where he moves the 2nd row back, and then back again. Note he has room to cross his legs. His kness are not even close to the front seat.
#3494 of 8368 Re: More Powah! [ateixeira]
Jun 10, 2005 (6:41 am)
if you somehow manage to remove the 2nd row altogether, you will have the industry-best-ever 3rd row leg room.
How do you figure $6K difference beween base MDX and 7-seat limited B9? Even with possible bargain-hunting and below-invoice discounts on B9, giving up 1 year of warranty, "LUXURY CARE" (some Acura customers actually claim to have experienced it! ), some other bells and wistles - I do not see it.
I posted a subjective opinion based on my needs and views. I did not get a chance to drive Tribeca as the dealer only had 1 in the showroom. At this point I do not think I would consider it even if it drives like Bentley and corners like Ferrari. I need room for kids and parents on 2+ hour trips to summer home, winter fun places and stuff.
B9 might be a superb vehicle in a class of Murano, FX and X5, but for utility purposes I do not see it being anywhere close to MDX/Pilot.
#3495 of 8368 Re: Drive it [ateixeira]
Jun 10, 2005 (6:46 am)
Yes, it is fun to drive for the driver. what about the other occupants ? what about space for their belongings ?
The rest (6 others) are squeezed & waiting to get out. so, fun to driver at what cost ?
Yes, tribeca is a great competitor to fxt, murano, highlander(5 seater), X5. it just doesn't cut it for 7-people(even with 2 kids). I am very disappointed that i may not buy Tribeca for lack of space (needed badly for family of 6-7). but i love everything else, my heart will break when i drop this from my list
#3496 of 8368 Its OK but you have to want a Subaru.
Jun 10, 2005 (6:46 am)
Its OK but I'm not sure why anyone would get one unless they were determined to get a Subaru. Its small, not very quick, can only tow 3500lbs, and has "interesting" looks. The third row is about the same as the one in the Highlander (useless) unless you move the second row, in which case the second row is cramped. Should have been about 3" wider and 8" longer from the start. It certainly drives better than my Sienna XLE AWD but so do alot of others.
I wish Subaru would have just released a minivan. Still like our 2k Outback Limited and when it time to get a new car it would be nice to have other options.