2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru B9 Tribeca Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Flat 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

  • A step up in size and luxury from the Outback, the 2006 B9 Tribeca is a logical progression of the Subaru model lineup with all of the right stuff to take on its toughest competition in the crossover SUV segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seven-passenger seating, standard all-wheel drive, swift acceleration, all essential safety features come standard, most refined Subaru vehicle to date.

  • Cons

    Unusual styling may limit mass appeal, less third-row and cargo room than competitors, soft handling, pricey for a Subaru.

  • What's New for 2006

    Subaru introduces its new flagship vehicle, the seven-passenger Subaru B9 Tribeca. It's a car-based SUV designed off a stretched version of the Legacy/Outback platform.

Full 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Review

What's New for 2006

Subaru introduces its new flagship vehicle, the seven-passenger Subaru B9 Tribeca. It's a car-based SUV designed off a stretched version of the Legacy/Outback platform.


The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca is an SUV with optional seven-passenger seating that's designed to go up against the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot. With its slight wheel flares, high rear beltline and snubbed front end and airplane-shaped grille, the Tribeca SUV is the first Subaru vehicle to receive new design elements that are expected to carry over to future models.

Its unusual name is not without real meaning, B stands for boxer engine, and nine is an internal chassis designation. It is also the largest and most expensive Subaru ever, with prices starting over $30,000 for the five-passenger model and over $37,000 for a seven-passenger Tribeca Limited. The B9 Tribeca is based on a stretched and widened version of the Subaru Outback platform. The new body structure is 22-percent more rigid, with a 55-percent increase in bending stiffness. That taut structure combines with a revised front suspension and a new double-wishbone rear suspension, which replaces the Outback's multilink setup, to provide a compliant ride.

The Subaru B9 Tribeca easily soaks up bumps, even over a rutted stretch of dirt and gravel road. Like all Subaru vehicles, the Tribeca is offered with only all-wheel drive. Power comes from the same 3.0-liter horizontally opposed boxer six-cylinder engine also found in the Outback. It's rated at 250 hp and 219 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a highly modified version of the Outback's five-speed automatic transmission equipped with SportShift to allow manual shifting. Available in both five- and seven-passenger models, and in base or Limited trim, an elegant dash lays out more features than ever before available in a Subaru, including a stunning touchscreen GPS navigation system on the upper Limited trim.

Standard is a 100-watt single CD/MP3 stereo with six speakers, while the Limited model upgrades to a 160-watt unit with in-dash six-disc CD changer with MP3 compatibility, eight upgraded speakers and a subwoofer. Second-row passengers will have no trouble getting comfortable with 34.3 inches of legroom, plus their seatbacks recline. Unfortunately, those in the third row aren't as lucky. With its limited legroom and obstacle course entry which forces passengers to climb over the corner of the second row, the third-row seat is for occasional use only. With its features combined, the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca offers an impressive overall package. Subaru's competent boxer engine and all-wheel-drive system combined with a lengthy list of standard safety equipment and a luxurious, feature-laden interior make this new flagship a vehicle worth considering, even among the top competitors.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV comes in five- or seven-passenger seating configurations with either base or Limited trim. Base five-passenger Tribecas come with a 100-watt AM/FM single-disc CD player, power front seats, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The five-passenger Tribeca Limited adds leather seating and a 160-watt stereo with six-disc CD changer. Base seven-passenger Tribecas advance to a 50/50-split rear seat and heated front seats. Seven-passenger Tribeca Limiteds can be upgraded to include a navigation system, rear DVD entertainment system, or both.

Powertrains and Performance

The all-wheel-drive B9 Tribeca uses the same 250-hp 3.0-liter horizontally opposed boxer six-cylinder engine found in the Outback mated to a highly modified version of the Outback's five-speed automatic transmission equipped with SportShift to allow manual shifting.


On the Subaru B9 Tribeca, everything relevant to safety is standard, including four-channel/four-sensor brakes with ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Also standard is traction and stability controls, seat side-impact airbags and dual-stage deployment airbags in the front with an occupancy detector for the passenger seat, plus side curtain airbags to protect rear passengers. Crash test scores are not yet available.

Interior Design and Special Features

All rear-seat riders are bound to enjoy the optional rear 9-inch DVD entertainment system with two sets of wireless headphones, remote control and auxiliary input for video games, an option on the seven-passenger Tribeca Limited. A 50/50-split third-row bench and 40/20/40-split second-row are standard, but cargo capacity is limited to 8.3 cubic feet with all seats up and expands to 37.6 cubic feet with the third row folded flat and 74.4 cubes with the second-row seatbacks folded forward. The Highlander and the Pilot offer a fair bit more.

Driving Impressions

Even with the Tribeca's substantial weight of 4,200-plus pounds, it's never at a loss for power. There's plenty of midrange muscle, and the Subie easily tackles varying road terrain. Subaru automatics have a tendency to hunt for gears during mountainous driving, but this is not the case in the Tribeca, as its reprogrammed transmission holds low gears when needed without early upshifts. Steering, however, is a bit light for a vehicle of such girth, which accentuates the Tribeca's heft. On the road, the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca drives like a big, heavy truck.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car i ever owened

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Ltd. 7-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/DVD, Gray Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

never had a issue with this vehicle. as long you keep up with regular oil changes etc... good family vehicle extra seats come in handy. handles really well especially in snow.

Timing chains break - no

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca 5-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/Gray Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

This comment is dated, but I was looking for a recall notice. While your story is not a good one, here is one better. Less than 84000 miles on it when the timing chain fails. That cause the cam gear to fail and the dealer says they don't replace timing chains they replace motrs if they fail Scary I thought. I fix it and $2400 lighter it was running again only to find out that the main bearing was damaged and cannot be fixed. That's why the replace motors. You would think that Subaru would stand behind one of their most expensive models. Nope I am on my own. To them I thank them for eduacating me that I will never trust them again.

Disappointed in subaru

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Ltd. 5-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/Beige Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

I like my Tribeca overall, however, I am extremely disappointed to find out that I need new bushings (like many other owners with a low mileage car). This would appear to be something that should be recalled, however, SOA has yet to do so. Dealer cost to replace bushings is over $1000. I was also disappointed to find out how hard it is to get/install anything for the car (windshield wipers, replace light bulb). Windshield wipers aren't available at auto parts stores and light bulb took dealership mechanic over 30 mins to install.

Good vehicle but poor dealer

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Ltd. 7-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/DVD, Beige Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

My Tribeca has been a great car but factory dealer service was terrible- On my way home from their shop the dashboard lit up like a xmas tree- with only 40k miles it needed some regular service. They reported to me that the electic wire harness was faulty-critters had chewed it and it need to be replaced at more than $1000- was told it was a common occurance on Tribecas???? This one is parked inside athome so wtf- Since that visit the car has had many new problems my advise is to keep away from the Subaru dealer in Plano, TX when times are hard some people go beyond to create more business

Stylish 7-seater

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Ltd. 7-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/DVD, Nav, Gray Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Purchased new in '05. Reliability has been good, none of the issues reported by others. Performance is fine for an SUV. Third row comes in handy now and then for our small children and others. Weren't many 7 seat options back then (not MDX, Highlander, etc.) and we didn't want the mega SUV or minivan. Overall, happy with the experience.


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca 5-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/Gray Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Interior is so comfortable and it has all the bells and whistles. However, the performance is horrible. When attempting acceleration at any speed including highway entering the engine revs to almost 7000 rpm before it kicks in and sometimes I can have the pedal floored and it still doesn't accelerate. Like others mentioned there is a problem with the headlights and poor visibility. Also, blind spots are very dangerous, almost hit 2 cars. And tire pressure light has been an issue since day 1. Goes off for a day after filling tires and then starts flashing again. Had a 2005 Ford Escape with 170K miles, should have stuck with Ford.

Talk About The 2006 B9 Tribeca

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca Discussions See all Started By

Hello, I have Subaru B9 Tribeca 2006. Week ago started the following problems - after starting up, engine is shaking (rough idle) for a few (20-30) seconds and then it's OK. Then I got Check Engine, C...

Good afternoon.I am a "newbie" on this discussion forum.Here's my story.We have a 2006 B9 Tribeca we purchased used in April.We have had no problems until September when the "puddle lam...

We are in the process of buying a 2006 Tribeca with only 23,000 miles and I noticed it sounded like it has big offroad tires on it. Is this normal on the Tribeca? It feels fine but the noise is odd....

Read more about the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Other B9 Tribeca Years

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