By on October 25, 2013

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The Subaru Tribeca and TTAC have a long history together so it is with some sadness that we have to announce that Subaru has formally decided to end production of the mid-sized crossover next January. The last deliveries of the Lafayette, Indiana built Tribeca will be made to dealers in February 2014.

Company executives have indicated for a while that the replacement would be a larger three row, seven seat SUV but a company spokesperson wouldn’t release any more details. Subaru has sold only 78,000 Tribecas since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2005, with only 1,247 deliveries so far this year, down 19% from last year. Slow sales have been attributed to quirky styling and a lack of rear seat space.

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46 Comments on “Subaru To End Production Of Tribeca In January...”


  • avatar

    The vehicle that added “flying vagina” to my vocabulary, much to my wife’s dismay. She’s an ’05 Outback owner/lover, plus the neighbor down the street owns one of the original “ew” models.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My question with the B9/Tribeca is: “Is there a business case for this vehicle?”

    Back wen Subaru was selling AWD boxer engine coupes, sedans, and wagons at least they had a fairly unique product. Now they chase volume in crossovers but will development costs be made back, can the production lines be kept humming?

    What will there 7 seat SUV do better than say a Hyundai Veracruz does or a Toyota Highlander, or a Chevrolet Equinox/Traverse or a Ford Explorer?

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      It’s a market Subaru had to be in, otherwise they wouldn’t have built it.

      For what it’s worth, Subaru is still building and selling the unique vehicle that you’re describing. What Subaru has done is quite impressive for such a tiny car company, in the grand scheme of things. Subaru going after the ultra competitive and profitable midsized crossover market showed that being unique sometimes has its drawbacks, which is why the Tribeca was later redesigned to appeal to more main stream consumers.

      Did Subaru get a return on their investment for this particular vehicle? Possibly. Many of the components later went on to serve duty in higher level Outbacks, including the 3.0 H6 and the 3.6 H6 engines amongst other components.

      Rumor has it that the next Tribeca might be a rebadged Highlander, which might be the best route for Subaru to take for this generisized market that doesn’t always value being unique.

    • 0 avatar

      Dan,

      First tell me that you are a principal in an entrepreneurial venture, not at an actual – you know – school where kids go to learn.

      Second, there WAS a business case for the B9. But, that was back when the Outback was just a jacked-up compact wagon with tape stripes and a trim package. Now that the OB has gone all big and puffy, the B9 is redundant. Hopefully, the B12 will add capacity for three more and come with a turbocharged H-6 in petrol and diesel varieties.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Durishin,

        I will be very much surprised if a diesel variant is offered in the United States. Secondly, you can’t tell me that we aren’t in danger of reaching the point where every vehicle is almost the same as every other. Subaru’s MO for many years was offering boxer engines (for low center of gravity) and AWD for superior handling.

        Trying to be all things to all people is a road to certain death. CUVs are like bellybuttons, everyone has one. Other than (ahem) “unique” styling I can’t see anything that made the original B9 stand out from its competition.

        The inherent higher center of gravity with CUVs destroys one of Subaru’s fundamental purposes for being.

        Plus you yourself raised an excellent point. There was a business case for the B9 back when the Legacy still had a wagon variant and the Outback didn’t qualify as a CUV. Now that Subaru has turned the Outback into a CUV the only advantage a Tribeca replacement would have is an extra row of seating. Are there that many Subaru or potential Subaru customers that have large families that the Outback’s lack of a third row is holding them back?

        Oh and FYI I’m so glad I’m not reliant on strangers on the internet for my self-worth.

        Have a nice day.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @ PrincipleDan….Well played!

        • 0 avatar

          @Dan,

          Valuable in the market place or not, the unique selling proposition (and advantage) of a Subaru CUV/SUV would be lower CG than a vehicle of similar height. Though I am not sure I would be happy to see Subaru head towards the land of rolling leviathans either.

          The original B9 was the Subaru of CUVs. As you certainly are aware, we Subaristi are an insanely loyal lot. The B9 was the Subaru for Subaru owners who, in 2005, needed a bigger Subaru. In 20-whatever, that need was filled, again, with the new, larger Outback.

          I sense your angst with the “bloat” in new Suby’s and I concur. But, while the bloat in the new line-up may preclude me from purchasing a 6th one, it is hard to argue with the growth curve Subaru has enjoyed since 2008.

          What any of what I have scribed has to do with your self-esteem, I have no idea. But I will tell you that “Wen” makes soldering irons and “there” is a place where you might obtain one.

          Cheers!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Airborne Labia. RIP.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    It will live on in a series of off-Broadway performances known as “The Tribeca Monologues.”

  • avatar
    mjz

    Doomed from the start. Weird name “B9″ Tribeca and even weirder front end styling.

  • avatar
    MLS

    The original styling was indeed weird, but the mid-cycle refresh transformed the Tribeca (née B9 Tribeca) into perhaps the blandest crossover on the road, with a Subaru-typical crappy interior to boot. Good riddance.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Right. I always thought of the Tribeca as a slightly-longer Nissan Murano competitor. Of course the Tribeca flopped while the Murano has had two very successful generations on the market and is approaching the debut of its third generation for MY2015…

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I don’t get what people see in the Murano. It just seems so overpriced to me. And CVT. And jiggly ride. Poor mpg. Not-nice interior. Bit small.

        The Highlander does everything better. And no, these comments do not seek to enrage Murano fans/owners. I just had one for a week and was very disappointed.

      • 0 avatar
        Tostik

        A Subaru salesman told me the most cross-shopped SUV against the Tribeca was the XC90. This is one segment where Volvo kicked Subaru’s butt, if true. But a Volvo employee, fairly high up in vehicle development, said the XC90 was mostly cross-shopped to the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.

  • avatar
    michaelfrankie

    I always thought the B9 should have been an AWD minivan, or at lease Subaru’s take on a minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Yeah, I’d give it a second look if they’d man up and put sliding doors on the thing.

      Swinging doors just aren’t as good for three row vehicles (unless you have three sets of doors).

      Oh, and minivan-class MPG is a necessity, too.

      P.s. Gullwing doors might be as good as sliding doors, except that you couldn’t put a roofrack on it. The lack of a roofrack might be a big drawback for the folks Subaru caters to, though.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I don’t picture them with a van, ever. The van craze is over, and a van doesn’t fit much with their product lineup. However, given the SU-Toyo tie, they could get a Sienna AWD and rebadge it.

  • avatar
    Piqutchi

    I wonder how much buying the tooling and rights to this model would cost (if anyone was crazy enough to be interested).

    DeLorean SUV, maybe?

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Good, the less CUVs the merrier I say!

    I wish that VW would make a deal with Subaru so that we could get real Beetles again, we can get 911s so why not their slow clumsy cousin?

  • avatar
    gottacook

    The Exiga, or its successor if there is one, would be a natural. It’s what Subaru of America should have done in the first place – if there’s an argument to be made that it wouldn’t have been suitable for U.S. roads, I haven’t seen it.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    It stayed in production for three times as long as the original Edsel that the original Tribeca borrowed both front and rear styling cues from. Not only are their similarities in the front grille, but the taillights are eerily similar as well.

    I remember the first time that I saw a Tribeca, and it slowly dawned upon me that it was the reincarnation of the Edsel.

    I never see these – any other jelly-bean SUV to be sure, but people here don’t go for the Tribeca.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I had the pleasure of riding in one of the newer ones once. It was OK, but just not competitive. A Highlander is much better for the class. There wasn’t really much difference between it and my Outback, just a little more cargo room.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Just like Mazda’s 929 and Hyundai’s Equus, Subaru was a bit too optimistic about an “upmarket flagship” and created nothing more than a footnote in automotive history that, while interesting at first, was too expensive and too cramped. I would like to see something more like the Ford Flex for the next generation, but it will probably end up the same way. They’ll probably just rebadge a Highlander…ugh.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Quirky styling? Compared to what? It is a nice designed car without the stupid look of other competitors. It is too small and expensive. The next one will probably be on the new Highlander chassis.

  • avatar
    LKre

    I have one. I mean, two. I mean, after the first one was destroyed by Sandy, I promptly bought a replacement, my second second generation Tribeca. It drives very well, has a quiet interior and seats 2-3 teenagers in the 3rd row for short trips, which is an attribute appreciated by my kids’ friends. In fact, the entire interior is quite spacious, as long as you do not try to cram overly large people into it. Its only drawback is that, with aggressive driving, it consumes indescribable amounts of gas, while it has a small gas tank. But its AWD and handling do produce one great effect: while on dry pavement, Tribeca is a regular crossover, but, as soon as it begins to rain or snow lightly, and everyone on the road slows down, you don’t. The car almost tells you that there is no need for that, and you can go full speed on a wet road, through turns and whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I strongly considered the Tribeca before I bought the Outback. It is roomier, and the cargo area is bigger which is something I needed. I liked the way it drove.

      The constant reports of 19-20 mpg scared me off ultimately….I’m disappointed Subaru didn’t reach higher.

      You’re very correct about the AWD – my Outback is incredible in the rain…

      I believe Subaru will be introducing a larger vehicle to replace the Tribeca, although the Highlander platform might be too big IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> but, as soon as it begins to rain or snow lightly, and everyone on the road slows down, you don’t. The car almost tells you that there is no need for that, and you can go full speed on a wet road, through turns and whatever.

      So, tell us how AWD allows you to stop faster than everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        LKre

        Subaru explains its AWD on this boring technical page:

        http://www.subaru.com/engineering/all-wheel-drive.html

        But I credit my steely resolve first and foremost.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          His point was that all of that might help you get up to speed, but you’re on an equal playing field coming to a stop. So, if you’re going to flex that Subaru, you better have some good tires.

  • avatar
    bill 2029

    Toyota bought into subaru to produce the brz and its scion sibling. In exchange for the investment, we can assume Toyota must be making decisions re subaru product planning and engineering.

    if there is a follow-up to the tribeca, how much toyo content will it have? If it is badge engineered, without a flat engine and 4wd, the Subaru nameplate is dead.

    let’s hope toyota is smart enough to let subaru retain its desirability = unique engineering. That’s exactly what the toyota product lacks.

  • avatar
    chperry

    My wife will be sad to hear this. She loves her 2007 Tribeca, quirky styling and all. I never understood the back seat room comments. As long as you are not using the third row, and have the middle seats all the way back, there is tons of room. I like the wrap around dash. Even the quirky front end styling grows on you once you get over it not looking like every other CUV out there. Hopefully Subaru comes out with a replacement in the next couple of years when she is ready for a new car. 95k plus trouble free miles on our current Tribeca.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The first one was too ugly and Edsel-y, and the do-over looked like a very bland, anonymous Hyundai. They beat it with an ugly stick, then later beat it with a khaki stick. I think they should have dropped this about 2008.

  • avatar
    RHD

    What in the world is a “tribeca”, anyway? It’s just a nonsensical, made-up car name that brings absolutely nothing to mind, which is half of this car’s problems. Oh, but it ends in “A”, so it must be automotive-ish, but still meaningless, a la Catera, Elantra, Achieva, Vitara, Azera, Versa, Mokka, Kuga (??!!), Optima, Altima, Ciera, Solara, Celica, Leganza, Supra, Festiva, Spectra, Bravada, Integra, Sephia, Nubira, and there must at least a dozen more.
    At least Solara makes you think of the sun, Supra has a connotation of superiority, and Nubira brings to mind a virgin. (Great, a car for pedophiles!)

    At least B9 sounds benign, and K9 was left for the Koreans.

    • 0 avatar

      You, maybe, would “Google” “Tribeca.”

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        So it means “Triangle Below Canal Street”. (where factories are now being turned into lofts… is that what they will do with the B9 Tribeca plant?) What a perfect name for a car! I wonder why no one ever thought of that before!!??

        My point is that it is blah, useless, and means nothing to everyone but the loft-dwellers in a small neighborhood.


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