Pity the Tribeca. Subaru’s people mover debuted for the 2005 model year and has received little attention since. For instance, the only change this year is a standard brake-override system. 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 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 abysmal. 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.
new for 2013
Subaru has all but forgotten the Tribeca. The only change is a standard brake-override system. Last year saw a new design for the head restraints. It seems as if the Tribeca has been put out to pasture.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; ABS; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. A rearview camera is optional.
Fun to drive
Cramped third-row seats
Poor fuel economy
Clunky navigation system
Base Price Range: $31,390–$36,690
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