Subaru’s new Impreza isn’t the only member of the Japanese marque’s line-up to get a more conservative look aimed at widening its appeal.
The controversially-styled Tribeca SUV (right) loses its three-element, snout-like grille treatment in favour of a much blander front end for the 2008 model year.
The more conventional look is intended to make the car a mainstream, rather than niche, market player. The frontal styling was poorly received in some markets and wasn’t popular with potential buyers.
The new-look 4x4 was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, and features revised exterior design and a new engine. It’s expected to be on sale here early next year.
The US specification Model Year 2008 Tribeca uses Subaru’s largest-ever engine, a 3.6-litre horizontally opposed six cylinder that produces 190kW of power and 334Nm of peak torque on regular unleaded fuel.
Exterior design changes include a wider and taller grille, new front fenders, bonnet, headlights, rear three-quarter windows, wing mirrors and taillights.
The grille is now integrated into the bumper, with the Subaru star cluster emblem a focal point.
The Tribeca’s new engine produces improved low-end torque, while compatibility with regular unleaded fuel helps reduce running costs.
Subaru says it maintains the emission levels of the current 3.0-litre engine
while delivering improved fuel efficiency.
The five-speed Sportshift automatic transmission is also substantially revised, producing faster shifts and reaction time while weighing less than the current version.
Inside, third-row seat access is enhanced – the current vehicle is really a five-seater with the third row suitable only for small children – and rear suspension is re-calibrated to improve ride comfort.
Subaru doesn’t start building right-hand drive versions of the new Tribeca until the end of the year.