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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi peeps, after my good and reliable experience with FHI (my gf's saabaru), I am in the market for a B9T to replace the minivan. Did some preliminary research and decided to look for a used one with 3rd row seat (let someone else take the depreciation ;) ) Other than the look, power output and the use of regular unleaded gasoline seems to be the big selling point to me.

Got a few questions:

1. since the B9 were assembled in the US, are the powertrain and drivetrain components imported from FHI?

2. too bad they don't have mannual tranny available...is the auto tranny reliable? My gf's 4EAT is so far so good after 95k miles. the power output is alot bigger in the B9 though. I feel a bit anxious.

3. I have done changing spark plugs for the EJ25. It was easy because of the roomy engine bay. With 2 more cylinders, how hard is it to DIY?

4. Anything regarding to mechanical reliability, interior, or exterior I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance :tup:
 

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We've had our 07 for ~ 15k miles. So far so good and just basic maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thx for the input Magic Maker.

anyone else? I know it's a relatively new model line. Hopefully someone here have done changing the plugs could answer to 3?
 

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I've had my 07 (also has the 3rd row seats) for probably 22K now and I've taken a few long distance road trips in it. It drives nice, It's comfortable, handles terrain and snow well, decent MPG, and I've never had any problems. I'm still happy with it.

I havent changed the plugs on it, but in all honesty I dont know why you'd be worried about the ease of it. This really inst a good platform if you plan to mod the crap out of it, and chaniging plugs every now and then isnt a big deal even if it would take an extra 20min considering the infrequincy.

The only things I'd change are:
- The headphones for the DVD system are IR. I would have prefered bluetooth.
- The nav system should have been voice enabled from the factory... after I did the voice command mod to the nav system it was 90% better.
- The tow hitch is only a class 2, I would have preferd the class 3 so my carry rack would fit nicer.
- While the transmission hasn't really given me any problems, it does sometimes want to "hunt" for the right gear (however manual controled shifting takes care of this :D)
- I *HATE* the damn "agree" button on the navigation screen.. but thats for all Subaru/Kenwood nav systems.

Overall I'm happy though.
 

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08+ is the way to go if you want top performance and to not worry about sticking regular unleaded in it.

Changing spark plugs? Most new cars do not have to worry about that until 100K. Playing with plugs is a thing for backyard mechanics working on last centuries cars. Been there done that several times on my old VW van. I would not even think of trying on my Tribeca. Maybe I have to do it once or twice during the life of my Tribeca and I would gladly pay a Subaru mechanic.

My previous truck had voice nav and I hardly ever used it. The Tribeca menus are pretty easy to poke around in and set your destinations. GM vehicles also have the "Agree" button. Pretty much a CYA for all automakers that install Nav.

It is the most comfortable car I have ever taken long road trips in.
 

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There are several comfort & convenience issues to comment on, though.
1/The armrest in the door is an inch or so too low for the elbow of this 6 footer, & the central rest is improperly positioned too far back, & too low as well. There is no hinged armrest in the seats.
2/The dead pedal is very narrow as the wheel well intrudes on the space.
3/Worst of all, the steering wheel is not evenly aligned to the rest of the car - you'll find that your left hand is closer to the dash than your right one, which is rather disconcerting. You notice these things on long journeys, but tend to overlook them on test drives, as I did!
4/ in an effort to reduce weight, skin metal is rather thin, but Tribeca probably shares this aspect with most modern cars.
5/ the sunroof is very small, & doesn't close automatically when you lock the car, nor do the windows go up automatically on locking.
6/ When you get "full service" gas, you have to switch on the ignition again to lower the driver's window; it won't work with the engine off, a feature that's been around for 20 years or so now.
7/ it has a "chevvy style" push foot brake instead of a more useable handbrake for safety at traffic lights. I was taught to put car in neutral & set handbrake, at stoplights, but it's not so easy with an automatic without a handbrake. That way, if your foot slips off, say, a slippery brake pedal, you're not going to bump the guy ahead!

But if you're not too fussy about personal comfort, this is a nicely made & friendly car - comfortable seats (especially the advised cloth ones)

Hope this helps.
 

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Versus having your foot slip off the brake pedal when you are braking and hitting somebody at full speed.

I would think one should make sure they have a non slip contact with the brake pedal before they start driving.

Being in neutral with the parking brake on at each intersection does not leave you an out if something unusual happens. I have had to avoid a few errant cars coming right at me when they are turning left and I have been waiting for the light (one was a car chase). Hitting the gas and immediately getting out of the way has saved me from a couple of accidents.
 

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Well, on this traffic light "foot on the footbrake" vs "feet clear of everything, & handbrake set", consider this. It's extremely, extremely rare to have to suddenly get out of the way of someone charging up behind you, as opposed to all the uneventful times you sit at the lights, with the (automatic) transmission pushing against the brake, your brake lights glaring in the face of the guy behind you, & all that pressure & tension on your right foot.
Far better to sit there peacefully, relaxed & composed, & then, when opposing light turns amber, place the car in gear in readiness for the green. Driving this way also enables you, in a manual transmission, to learn to move off gracefully from a stop on an upward slope. None of that oft-seen slight roll back. That's the main reason there is a hand brake at all - you ease off the clutch while feeding gas in, & just at the moment when the clutch begins to bite, you release the handbrake to smoothly progress up the hill. It takes a bit of skill to learn the technique (about 10 minutes) but after all, driving properly is both an art & a skill.
This is how army drivers were taught, umm, a "few" years back. Try it, it's much easier, and as a bonus, better for your passengers who are not subjected to the jerky stop that you see so often nowadays. Foot off the brake at the very last fraction of a second so the car doesn't "rock" to a stop, set the brake & you're ready to go. Even better if your car has a fly-off hand brake, as one of my old cars had, although they're not really safe. Think it might have been an MG TD, which I forgot on my list.
 

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Still do not see the logic in that except maybe in the army way of doing things. Some of my friends that were army truck drivers said that all sorts of intersection drills were practiced to expedite starting a convoy when the light turned green. When they got it down to a science, the light or signal man would indicate go and they would all release their brakes at once and the convoy would start as one going through the intersection.

I think your method would lead to much delay if everybody did it especially the people tuning radios and messaging at stops. Just another two steps in the process to make their car go when the light turned green. I would say that 99% of the drivers out there do not use your method and I have never been bumped by somebody slipping off their brake pedal. In fact the only slight bump I have received at an intersection was a foreign driver who did have his automatic in netural at a stop light and then forgot to put it into drive when the light changed. We were on a hill and he rolled right back into me.
 

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Hey, you see, AweD Gray, your example above proves my objection to the absence of a handbrake, my major beef. I take your point about the challenge if one is not trained from an early date to do this, but, "trust me" (-; , it is a lot easier than keeping your foot on the brake, & after all, it takes no longer to slip the car into gear than it does to remove foot from foobrake. It's not too hard to do 2 things simultaneously!

In fact, most of the places I have lived in; Australia, England, Malaysia & France, my casual observations is that the majority of people drive like this. Or used to before automatics became more prevalent.

Perhaps I'm too old & out of date. I don't watch commercial TV, think the music died when Dylan went electric (they called him "Judas",) hardly use my car (most of my shopping done on my bike), think the grid layout of most North American cities is annoying (think Paris Etoile) & am cynical enough to wonder how long it'll be before Obama lurches more to the right.

I thought many Subaru drivers were like me? Or, gulp, are most "Tribecans" interchangeable with Ford Explorer drivers?

But, on a less jocular issue, I'd be interested in your, & others' observations about the comfort aspects I mentioned earlier. Do others find the offset steering wheel uncomfortable? Or the armrests too low?
 

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ozeguy said:
There are several comfort & convenience issues to comment on, though.
1/The armrest in the door is an inch or so too low for the elbow of this 6 footer, & the central rest is improperly positioned too far back, & too low as well. There is no hinged armrest in the seats.
2/The dead pedal is very narrow as the wheel well intrudes on the space.
3/Worst of all, the steering wheel is not evenly aligned to the rest of the car - you'll find that your left hand is closer to the dash than your right one, which is rather disconcerting. You notice these things on long journeys, but tend to overlook them on test drives, as I did!
4/ in an effort to reduce weight, skin metal is rather thin, but Tribeca probably shares this aspect with most modern cars.
5/ the sunroof is very small, & doesn't close automatically when you lock the car, nor do the windows go up automatically on locking.
6/ When you get "full service" gas, you have to switch on the ignition again to lower the driver's window; it won't work with the engine off, a feature that's been around for 20 years or so now.
7/ it has a "chevvy style" push foot brake instead of a more useable handbrake for safety at traffic lights. I was taught to put car in neutral & set handbrake, at stoplights, but it's not so easy with an automatic without a handbrake. That way, if your foot slips off, say, a slippery brake pedal, you're not going to bump the guy ahead!

But if you're not too fussy about personal comfort, this is a nicely made & friendly car - comfortable seats (especially the advised cloth ones)

Hope this helps.
1. I'm also 6 foot tall...I don't find the door armrest too low. The center console armrest is ok height for me, but it is about 2" too far back for optimal comfort.
2. I agree with your dead pedal assesment...unfortunately every American/Japanese car I've driven is the same way except for my past Hondas.
3. To me the steering wheel being slightly off center is not a big deal. My Accord is straight on and I don't notice any real difference in comfort/ergonomics. Again, maybe car makers are just lazy now, but the majority of cars (SUVs especially) do no have centered steering wheels
4. I don't consider the sheet metal being thin a flaw...I haven't noticed any panels being easily deformed when pushed on. At least Subaru paint is better than most others and has a harder clear cloat finish than most other non-luxury brands.
5. The sunroof is small compared to the Forester and dualies in the outback, but normal size compared to most others.
6. I've never seen a car that closes the windows automatically when locked:confused: Or one that allows you to open/close the windows unless the key is in the ACCessory power position:Dunno: and we have 1 MB, 2 BMWs, 3 Hondas, 1 Chevy, 1 Jeep, 2 Fords, and 3 Toyotas in my families collection of cars.
7. Having the foot pedal emergency brake is to free up console space. I personally don't like it from a safety perspective b/c if you actually have to use it while the car is moving, it's hard to release smoothly. As far as using it at stop light, I've only heard of "old school" drivers learning that on manual trannies...seems completely unneccessary with an auto tranny, and I'm with AWed Grey...I too have needed to move my car quickly to evade stupid people turning too wide at intersections. If I had the brake set and not in gear I would've been side swiped at least twice in my short 13 yrs of driving experience.
 

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THe only time I have ever used the parking brake at a light is if I was driving a manual tranny (which my tribeca is not) and it was a steep hill and there was someone right on my bumper. But as you know subarus come with the hill holder manual tranny.

I think using the handbrake and taking your auto tranny in and out of D in N would put undo wear and tear on your parking break and transmission. But I guess if you were taught that and you are used to that then cool. But I don't think a lot of drivers education courses teach that method here.
 

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Comfort observations.

Thanks for your comments, both Snork & Crazy Canuck. Guess I am just too old school, both literally & figuratively. :rolleyes:

But about the sunroof & door locking thing. My previous car, which was an '89 BMW 535i with manual gearbox, & which I kept for 18 years,did allow me to lock everything - windows, roof & doors from outside the car. This car pre-dated remote locking so you had to stick the key in the door, (which seems archaic now) but if you kept it turned to the lock position for an extra second or so, everything closed up & locked. Windows went first, so you could close all the windows but still leave the sunroof angled up a notch if you wanted.

Also, at gas stations, etc, as long as the driver's door hadn't been opened, ie, you were still sitting inside, all the windows & other electrics could be operated with the engine completely off. This was really useful on extra cold days, when I didn't feel up to self-serve gas; you could talk to attendant, raise the window, & then once he'd finished, open it again to pass your card or money through all without having to turn on & off ignition. I just wish that 20 years on, that simple feature had filtered thru to Subaru's top of the line vehicle.

Mind you, come to think of it, I didn't have to turn on the ignition to open the window in my old 69 VW either. Just had to do a lot of hand cranking!:p
 

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it must be a european thing, 97 jetta did the same thing. insert key in door and turn left and hold and all the doors locked, turn the other way and it closed the sunroof, very convenient if you accidentally left the sunroof open when you got out. Didn't have power windows though.

There are a lot of cars today that don't allow you to listen to your radio or have any power options running without your key in at least the on position.
 

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Ah, I got you now...actually my Accord can do similar with the windows. If I hold the remote to unlock they will open, but I have to put the key in the door look to put them back up.

And regarding the windows, my Dad's 96 Buick Riviera kept the windows and radio powered (even without the key in) until a door was opened as well. So I guess it's not so strange upon further reflection:)
 

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I never noticed the steering column being off center until you guys mentioned it. I ride around in a lot of newer Toyotas that various family members have and the center instrument cluster really throws me. My last rental car was a Yaris and I just got used to it when I turned it in after a week.

I would like smarter remotes that could seal up the car with a couple of clicks on the lock button. I also wonder if a remote trunk opener was on the Tribeca design board and it got scrapped due to cost. The trunk only button and the different beeping noise when unlocking lead one to believe it was originally designed to be opened remotely like other cars in its class.

My passengers have also commented on how comfortable the ride is in the back. I even had one 6' senior citizen insist on riding in the third row and he still said the hour long ride was comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thx for the feedbacks.

haven't visited for awhile. I decided to buy a house instead of getting lock up with another car payment. Tribeca is still top of the list of my SUV hunt once the escrow closed and after I save up down payment for it.
 

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Congrats on the house...prices are good (well better at least), as long as you qualify for that pesky mortgage;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thx. the rate is pretty good at the moment so I decided it's a good time to buy. Everything seems on the track now. hopefully no surprise.
 
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