While the Tribeca is now a much more conservative-looking vehicle from when it first appeared, for that segment of Subaru lovers that place premium on functionality and reliability the Tribeca continues to deliver. The new Tribeca has a slightly revised exterior and powertrain, and in response to customer requests, Subaru has improved visibility and convenience for 2009.
While some reviewers have criticized the redesigned Tribeca’s exterior as being bland, the majority find it to be an improvement over its predecessor which had an almost Alfa Romeo face complete with a trio of air duct openings. For 2009 Subaru has given the Tribeca a subtle bulking up of the bodies design, though it mostly looks like any other run-of-the mill crossover. Like all Subaru cars, a 3.6-liter Boxer six-cylinder engine powers the Tribeca with 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Despite the fact that the Tribeca’s Boxer engine is enhanced by a Dual Active Valve Control System that levels off torque across a wide range of engine speeds to help the vehicle get more power at lower speeds, the Tribeca still takes over 8 seconds to reach 60 mph. As is expected from Subaru, the five-speed automatic transmission efficiently and smoothly passes engine torque to the four wheels through Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Also like the entire Subaru brand, the Tribeca receives an “excellent” crash test rating. Unlike the outside of the vehicle, the cockpit-like interior continues to maintain a unique and stylish design that is a continuation from the debut B9 Tribeca in 2004. The list of interior features is highlighted by standard dual-zone automatic climate control and available Touch Screen GPS Navigation System, DVD entertainment system (with nine-inch, wide-screen format and wireless headsets), and satellite radio. For the first time ever, Subaru offers seating for seven with an optional third row seat that can be further utilized by moving the second row seating forward or back. However, not only is the Tribeca Subaru’s largest vehicle ever, it carries with it an equally large price tag at just under $40,000 for the base model to nearly $50,000 for all of the bells and whistles. Whether previous SUV owners loyal Subaru owners will be tempted to scale down (or up) to a seven passenger Tribeca for that price is debatable. But Subaru can’t be accused of not offering a solid large vehicle with plenty of cargo space and a stylish, practical layout all wrapped up with the benefits of Subaru’s Boxer engine and AWD.