Buy/Drive/Burn: CUVs That Circumvented Success in 2007

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn cuvs that circumvented success in 2007

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio of unfortunate crossovers was concocted by commenter JohnTaurus. From a time early in the development of the midsize three-row crossover, none of today’s competitors really worked from a sales perspective.

Three unfortunate entries from three different marques. Which one goes home with you?

Subaru Tribeca

TTAC became famous for hating on the Tribeca, but you already knew that. Debuting for the 2006 model year, the H6-only Tribeca was built with the Outback and Legacy at Subaru’s Lafayette, Indiana plant. The ’07 we have here today was the last year for the smaller displacement 3.0-liter H6, which produced 242 horsepower routed through a five-speed automatic. The Limited trim on offer today had a standard leather interior, moonroof, and premium audio system. Unique to the Tribeca was a Y-shaped dash and console design, providing a cockpit feel for front driver and passenger. A restyling (bland-ization) for the 2008 model year didn’t save the Tribeca from cancellation, which came in 2014.

Hyundai Veracruz

Hyundai’s Veracruz was brand new for 2007. The company’s largest crossover attempt to date, all North American models skipped the diesel engine option in favor of the long-running 3.8-liter Lambda V6. The six-speed automatic routes 263 horsepower to all four wheels in Limited all-wheel drive trim. Leather seats are heated and ventilated, and a premium Infinity sound system entertains passengers. The Veracruz lived on in the North American market through the 2012 model year, triumphant in two-tone.

Ford Freestyle

New for 2005, the Freestyle was part of Ford’s plan to start all model names with the letter F. Gone was the Taurus wagon, as America requested rough-and-ready CUVs. Sharing engine and drivetrain with the Five Hundred sedan, all-wheel drive examples paired the 3.0-liter Duratec V6 (203 horsepower) with a CVT. Ford expected 40 percent of Freestyle buyers to desire all-wheel drive; instead, the take rate was 55 percent. Like the competitors above, the Freestyle is Limited trim and all-wheel drive. Leather seating is standard in either six- or seven-passenger configurations, and there’s a rear DVD screen for the kids. Major changes came to Freestyle in 2008, when it was renamed Taurus X. The model received a larger 3.5-liter engine, and a six-speed automatic in all models. Taurus X went away after 2009, to make room for some square-body Flexin.

Freestyle your way north through Veracruz, then make your way to Tribeca. On the journey, dole out the Buy, Drive, and Burn.

[Images: Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, IIHS]

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3 of 71 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 03, 2018

    Burn them all and summon Bertel Schmitt's editorial ghost by the flames of the Subaru

  • Richthofen Richthofen on Jul 05, 2018

    Buy the Veracruz, drive the Tribeca, burn the Freestyle* *because of the CVT/3.0 combo. If it was a Taurus X with the 3.5 and conventional autobox, totally different story. I might actually find myself consdering the T-X later this year when looking for a used wagon-like vehicle.

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.