The tall sides make the Tribeca look like an honest minivan from some angles. Other views remind me of those early-minivan boxes like the first Mazda MPV that awkwardly crammed three rows of seats into a small space. The Tribeca certainly isn't small, but the curved dash intrudes on knee space for the sake of style. The driving position is also unnecessarily high, placing the steering wheel in your lap and adding to the minivan feel. The Tribeca also shows a shocking amount of body roll, which might have passed as acceptable ten years ago.
I will say that I prefer this navigation system much more than that in the Outback and the Legacy. In the Tribeca, it's much more clear how to access all the functions, helped by the fact that the system relies more on hard buttons rather than touch-screen interactions. The Tribeca still retains some touch-screen functions that you'll occasionally want to use, but it takes a long lean and reach to access them.
Through October, the Subaru brand has continued to impress us with a year-to-date sales increase of 13 percent and impressive new products like the Outback and the Legacy. Here's the kicker: Subaru has been managing those gains while sales of the Tribeca have dropped by 43 percent (from 9648 to 5545 vehicles). Seems to me like it's time for Subaru to cut the dead weight.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor