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#20

in 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $14,417 - $16,647
Original MSRP: $29,995 - $37,795
MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
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2009 Subaru Tribeca Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Subaru Tribeca delivers more-than-adequate performance, according to critics. Though it received very few complaints, some test drivers wished for a more exciting and sporty driving experience.

  • "Tribeca's ride is absorbent, stable, and well controlled over most surfaces." -- Consumer Guide
  • "What we found is a very well-balanced, stable, and confidence-inspiring ute -- just like its predecessor -- only faster." -- Car and Driver
  • "A few minutes behind the wheel and it's evident the Tribeca is not your run-of-the-mill SUV. The handling is responsive and the steering firm and linear. Driving into sharp curves yields some reasonable and expected body lean, but nothing that's surprising or uncomfortable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Tribeca provided nimble and capable handling at various speeds. It was quick when I needed it to be and left me with no fear of passing on the highway. When turning corners, it does seem as though the whole car bends toward the turn. Can the Tribeca do yoga? I think so." -- Mother Proof

Acceleration and Power

The Subaru Tribeca comes with a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine which makes 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Reviewers praised its acceleration and the accompanying five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy, however, is only about average for the class. According to the EPA, the 2009 Tribeca gets 16/21 mpg city/highway.

  • "Tribeca's engine provides enough power for most situations, though some testers want more low-end punch. The transmission is a bit tardy to kick down for more power, but the driver can partially compensate with the manual shift gate." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The additional torque makes Tribeca far more pleasant around town. You no longer have to keep the engine revved pretty fast to get sufficient oomph." -- USA Today
  • "The Tribeca gets away briskly, and merging onto the highway is effortless." -- Edmunds
  • "The manumatic transmission makes it easy to keep revs high, where most of the fun is." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers found that the Tribeca handles well, even if it doesn't provide the most engaging driving experience. Its standard all-wheel-drive system consistently earned praise.

  • "Handling response is more minivan than high-body midsize wagon. Tight turns require slowing down, but cornering lean is moderate for the height and weight. Steering is responsive if a bit numb, and Tribeca has a wide turning radius for its size. Brakes have adequate stopping control, but pedal action is somewhat spongy and non-linear." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We spent a long day driving a Tribeca over several hundred miles of interstates, mountain roads and stop-and-go suburban streets, and found it mostly pleasant, by the standards of the class." -- AutoWeek
  • "The Tribeca still steers with linear response and the right amount of effort." -- Edmunds
  • "The anti-lock brakes with a brake assist feature provide short, responsible stops." -- MSN

Next Steps: 2009 Subaru Tribeca

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