Tamara Warren, Tue, 12 Dec 2006 08:00:00 PDT
My diamond gray metallic B9 Tribeca, Subaru started off on Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn to a sluggish start on a testy fall day. I won't say how or who, but somehow the power moonroof was left wide open, and when a sunroof is naked, of course it has to rain. Not a sprinkle mind you but a good cupful of cats and dogs. Once you discover such quagmires there's nothing you can do, but hope that heated seats have dual functions.
Happy to say within an hour the wet Subu was dry and toasty with only a few remaining drips and we were good to go for a roundtrip to the edges of Chelsea in Manhattan.
At first I felt the Sub was a bit awkward and lumbering, perhaps because it was a bit waterlogged in the wheelbase, but with standard all-wheel drive, traversing along the West Side highway bumps, I found Sub to be quite nimble as the 5-speed automatic transmission with sportshift rose to the occasion. Thanks to those assembly folks in Lafayette, Indiana that brought this Japanese dynamo to fruition, the rallying Subaru had instant response to foot on the pedal with 250 horsepower hoisting its 4000 lb weight.
The design does is a little stark, drawing supersized cues from its mini hatchback cousin's form in triangle design language. After sitting with the jutting edges, they are not so bad after days and don't look quite so alienating on a block filled with oversized SUVs.
The interior is cozy, and uses the space effectively offering seating for seven. The low-slung CUV seems like a great car for transporting others, but flying solo here in the Big Apple, I didn't get that opportunity, so no backseat driving tips here, nor assessment of the rear-seat DVD entertainment system. However, I did transport some boxes, folding down the third row that provided the space and rationale for a larger vehicle.
The extras always sweeten the deal when it comes to car reviewing, but the touch-screen GPS Navigation system has the edge over others that require toggling with buttons. A quick glance down means operations are simpler - more like using an ATM machine than a coded safe.
B9 Tribeca's fortitude in increment climate systems gave me new respect for durable fabrics and for buyers, its this kind of durability that goes a long way in ownership.
As tested: $40,303