2010 Subaru Tribeca

2010 Subaru Tribeca 2010 Subaru Tribeca
Quick Spin

What Is It?

The Japanese automaker’s only full-size crossover with seating for seven. The Subaru Tribeca was introduced for 2006 with some rather unsightly, er, controversial, styling. Rehashed in 2008, the aesthetics were much improved, and the previously underpowered flat-six engine grew from 3.0 liters to 3.6, now producing 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Still with a hefty thirst for fuel, the Tribeca now at least has enough motivation to pass safely on two-lane roads. Major updates for 2010 include standard third-row seating, heated front seats, and an auxiliary A/C unit for the second and third rows. A new Touring trim now sits as the top-dog model over the Limited.

How Does It Drive?

With the 3.6-liter, the Tribeca does a decent job of getting out of its own way. We experienced a good deal of body roll and understeer when tackling highway entrance ramps and conducting lane-change maneuvers. The suspension is very soft—making a lot of shuddering noises over our rough Michigan roads—and is slow to react, which makes the Tribeca drive much larger than it actually is. The softness does, however, provide adequate comfort for those aboard.

How Does It Stack Up?

If you desire a seven-passenger crossover equipped with all-wheel drive, the Tribeca will fill the bill, but be aware that the third row is only suitable for small children. And unlike the company’s smaller offerings, this Subie has no sporting intentions. The driving position is uncomfortable due to odd pedal placement and a nontelescoping steering wheel. Forward visibility is hindered by giant A-pillars and super-tall side-view mirrors, but vision out the back and sides is excellent. The Mazda CX-9 and the Honda Pilot are available with all-wheel drive and offer much more dynamic and efficient packages for about the same money.

What’s the Cost?

Our top-trim Touring model rang in at $38,690, which included $2200 for the optional navigation system. As the most elaborate Tribeca, the Touring comes equipped with most of what is optional on lower trims like premium audio, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, a sunroof, and more. It’s also differentiated from other Tribecas with a monochromatic exterior appearance. The base Tribeca is confusingly called Premium and can be had from $31,190; the mid-level Limited model starts at $33,190. All-wheel-drive versions of the CX-9 and Pilot start at base prices below that of the cheapest Tribeca.