Pity the Tribeca. Subaru’s people mover debuted for the 2005 model year and has received very little attention since. For instance, the only change this year is a revised head-restraint design, and last year saw only a new shade of bronze paint. It seems as if Subaru has forgotten about this vehicle. However, the Tribeca, from the beginning, has been a highly capable, car-based crossover vehicle. It can tow up to 3500 pounds; its flowing, twin-cockpit interior is well designed; its modified Outback platform and hefty eighteen-inch wheels give it good on-road dynamics; and Subaru’s stalwart standard all-wheel-drive system is ready to tackle any terrain or road condition the driver may encounter. The Tribeca’s principal drawback when it was introduced was a lack of horsepower, but that has been addressed with a new, larger 3.6-liter engine that produces 256 hp. The only other negatives are that the third-row seats are suitable only for kids, and the fuel economy is dismal. We genuinely enjoy driving the Tribeca, but it’s an easy car to forget when we aren’t behind the wheel. It’s to Subaru’s credit that it continues to build the Tribeca, but the vehicle’s weak market presence does not bode well for its future.
Trim levels: Premium, Limited, Touring
Body style: SUV/crossover, 7-passenger
Engine: 3.6L flat-6, 256 hp, 247 lb-ft
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 104.2 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 2000-3500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 8.3/37.6/74.4 cu ft
Subaru has all but forgotten the Tribeca for 2012. The only change is a new design for the head restraints. Last year saw a new color added to the options sheet. It seems as if the Tribeca has been put out to pasture.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; ABS; electronic brake-force distribution; brake assist; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. A rearview camera is optional.
All: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway
- Fun to drive
- Twin-cockpit interior
- Cramped third-row seats
- Clunky navigation system
A good, yet forgettable, crossover.
- Chevrolet Traverse
- Dodge Durango
- Honda Pilot
- Mazda CX-9