2009 Subaru Tribeca Limited

Love, love, love the brown paint on our test vehicle. It is similar to a brown that Porsche recently has offered on the 911 and which is available on the Maserati Quattroporte. So, as road test editor Marc Noordeloos pointed out to me this morning, that's another thing the Tribeca has in common with the famous Porsche. The main thing, of course, is that both are powered by horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engines. In the Subaru, the 3.6-liter unit makes 256 hp, which ain't exactly Porsche territory, but it sounds good when you leg it and it really is about all the power you need here. Seems to be well-mated to the five-speed automatic.

I agree with Phil Floraday that this is a very well-done interior, with a very handsome instrument panel. The temperature and fan-speed controls annoy me as they always have, as you have to twist, twist, twist again for every incremental change in temp or fan setting. A simple rotating knob would be so much preferable. Also, let it be noted that the third-row seat in the Tribeca is strictly for children. In the Ford Flex that Phil mentions, adults can actually sit for a reasonable amount of time in the rearmost seat without feeling like they want to scream.

Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor

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