Junkyard Find: 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

By the early 2000s, Fuji Heavy Industries was raking in fat piles of yen by selling slightly lifted Subaru Legacy wagons with plastic cladding, weather-band radios, and a general air of outdoorsiness. The real money, though, would come from selling SUVs in North America, and so the Legacy chassis got the growth-hormone treatment and a truck-inspired body. This was the Subaru B9 Tribeca, which made its debut as a 2006 model.

The founder of this site described the early Tribeca as " an irredeemably gruesome beast whose design should have been aborted a femtosecond after conception." I think of it in more science-fictiony terms, as a Pleiades Edsel.

When humanity colonizes the Pleiades, we can assume that the Subaru logo will be all over the spacecraft involved. Ideally, those spacecraft will get B9 Tribeca grilles.

The original name of this vehicle was supposed to be the B9X, but then it was determined (we can presume) that the target demographic would respond better to the name of a geographical location known for rich people who wish to be surrounded by edgy decor and designer drugs. Since Monaco, Biarritz, Tiburon, Fifth Avenue, and Sedona were all taken, the name of a focus-group-approved hip neighborhood in Manhattan was chosen.

For the 2008 model year, the B9 part of the name was dropped and the Space Edsel snout replaced by one seemingly inspired by the Chrysler Cirrus.

Sales of the Tribeca peaked in 2006, then declined with each successive year. In 2014, Subaru gave up on the Tribeca. Five years later, we got the Ascent, which has sold pretty well.

Every Tribeca ever sold here came from the factory with an H6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. This one is a 3.0 rated at 250 horsepower; for 2008, the engine became a 3.6 with 254 horses.

These were decent commuters with something approaching the Outback's ability to chug through snow on the way to the ski slopes (or at least a rain-soaked REI parking lot), and this example was still fairly clean and straight when it got to this place. I must assume that the engine and/or transmission failed in some extremely expensive manner.

Evade the giant ball bearings rampaging the antique-store district!

[Images by the author]

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Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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