All-new for 2006, including a freshly-developed platform not yet shared with any other models, the Subaru B9 Tribeca is the company’s first to offer available seven-passenger seating. (The unusual name is B for its boxer engine, 9 for its platform designation, and Tribeca for an eclectic New York neighbourhood.)

The B9 Tribeca features a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, horizontally-opposed “boxer” engine with electronic throttle control, active valve control system and active valve lift system. It produces 250 horsepower while meeting Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards. It’s mated to a five-speed electronic transmission with manual mode. The symmetrical Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel-drive system is normally 55 per cent rear-biased, but continuously adjusts the power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

The suspension is a heavy-duty, four-wheel independent system, with coil-over struts up front and double wishbone in rear. Ventilated discs fore and aft feature four-channel ABS and electronic brake-force distribution.

Exterior features include heated power mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, halogen fog lights, quad-beam halogen projector headlamps with auto-off, power sunroof, spoiler, and 18-inch, seven-spoke aluminum alloy wheels.

Inside, the B9 Tribeca features numerous amenities, including a 100-watt CD/MP3 system with six speakers and wheel-mounted controls, automatic dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped wheel, ten cupholders, heated eight-way power driver’s seat and four-way power passenger seat in premium cloth upholstery, 40/20/40 flat-folding second-row seat, and electroluminescent gauges.

Available options include a third row of seats, 50/50 split fold-flat rear seat, rear cabin cooling unit, 160-watt stereo, leather interior, touch-screen navigation system and rear-seat DVD entertainment system with nine-inch screen.

The B9 Tribeca is boldly styled; from the back, rear three-quarter and side view, this is a beautifully-designed vehicle. Unfortunately, it all comes to a crashing halt when you get to the face; obviously, there is no word in Japanese for “Edsel”.

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