The Subaru Tribeca, the Japanese automaker’s 7-passenger mid-size crossover, will be discontinued according to the Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo business daily. Subaru first introduced the Tribeca, then known as the B9 Tribeca in the 2006 model year. It was the automaker’s first foray into the 7-passenger SUV class. With its funky styling and larger size, the model definitely stood out from other Subaru models
In 2008, the model’s name was shorted to just Tribeca and its styling was updated. The 2011 Tribeca has a starting MSRP of $30,495. It comes standard with a 3.6-liter, 256 horsepower V-6 engine with a five speed automatic transmission. Unlike many of its competitors, the model comes standard with all-wheel drive, as all Subaru’s do. The 2011 Tribeca Touring, with an MSRP of $35,795, includes a sunroof, leather seats, and power seats. A navigation system is an optional feature.
The Tribeca competes in a highly competitive segment. There are more than 20 SUV models to choose from that have starting prices in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. Its primary competitors include the popular Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Mazda CX-9. However, at this price point, the Tribeca was also in the ballpark of luxury brands such as Acura and Volvo.
The move makes sense for Subaru as the 2011 Tribeca is almost a forgotten model. The model does little to stand out from the crowd with its indistinctive styling, below average power and relatively inefficient V-6 engine. Its fuel economy is rated at just 16-mpg city and 21-mpg highway. The 2011 Tribeca sold just 910 between January 1st and April 30th this year. On the positive side, the model is one of the safest 2011 SUVs being named an IIHS “Top Safety Pick”.
By discontinuing the Tribeca, Subara frees up valuable production space at its Lafayette, Indiana plant for in demand models such as the Outback and Legacy. It has not been announced when the last Tribeca will roll of the line, only that production will end when the current version expires. Because the Tribeca was such a low volume seller, other automakers are not expected to receive much benefit once sales of new Tribecas are completed.
The Tribeca is the second SUV axed by a Japanese automaker in the past five months. In December, Honda announced it would discontinue the Element after the 2011 model year.