The Subaru Tribeca, known as the Subaru B9 Tribeca until the 2008 model year, is a mid-size SUV that has been available since the 2006 model year. The vehicle is now in its second generation of design, which debuted for the 2008 model year. Competing SUV models include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 and Saturn Outlook.
The Subaru Tribeca features a 5-door design and is built on a widened and stretched version of the Subaru Legacy platform. The original design of the vehicle stems from a Subaru concept car known as the B9X, which debuted at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show. The 2nd-generation Tribeca received updated styling that includes more rounded taillights and reshaped rear side windows. The vehicle can accommodate either five or seven passengers depending on the model.
The interior of the Tribeca is intended to convey a luxurious, classy appeal. Quality materials and upscale accents can be found throughout the cabin. Cargo volume is a tad on the small side for a mid-size SUV, with 74.4 cubic feet available for storage. Complaints of limited legroom spurred Subaru to redesign the second row of seats for the 2008 model year. Overall dimensions for the latest Subaru Tribeca include a length of 191.5 inches, width of 73.9 inches and height of 66.4 inches.
Subaru Tribeca Trim Levels
Two trim levels are available for the Tribeca – base and Limited. Both trims are available in 5-passenger or 7-passenger models. Standard features available on the base model include air conditioning with dual-zone auto climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, 8-way power driver's seat, 4-way power passenger seat, cruise control, split folding rear seats, power accessories, remote keyless entry, stereo system with CD/MP3 player, rear defogger, auto-off headlights and fog lights.
The Limited trim adds roof rails, leather seats, heated front seats, sunroof, 6-disc CD changer and driver seat memory. Popular upgrade equipment available on both models includes a DVD entertainment system, rear-obstacle-detection system with camera, GPS navigation and satellite radio.
Subaru Tribeca Performance
There is only one engine option available for the Tribeca. The 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft. of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission with sport- and manual-shift modes comes standard and delivers 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Both trim levels feature all-wheel drive and have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. A towing package upgrade is available, which increases max towing capacity to 3,500 lbs.
Subaru Tribeca Safety
Subaru has outfitted the Tribeca with a wide variety of safety features. Both models come standard with dual front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags for front and 2nd-row passengers, antilock 4-wheel brakes, brake assist, front-seat head restraints, an antiskid system and daytime running lights. Thanks in large part to this healthy dose of equipment, the NHTSA awarded a perfect 5-star rating in all applicable categories except for 4WD rollover, for which the Tribeca received four stars.
The 2009 Subaru Tribeca is a carryover from 2008. The 2009 Tribeca is sold in three different trims: base, Special Edition and Limited. Each features the same 3.6 liter, 6-cylinder engine that cranks out 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission sends power to all 4 wheels, and fuel economy is rated at 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 21 miles per gallon on the highway.