2011 Subaru Tribeca Review
The 2011 Subaru Tribeca has a responsive engine, seating for seven and standard all-wheel drive, but reviewers say it’s expensive. You can get more for your money by shopping the competition.
While most reviewers say the 2011 Subaru Tribeca is a decent midsize SUV, in a class this competitive, decent just isn’t good enough. "So it's good in a field of good crossovers,” says AutoWeek. “Which leaves us where? In a big, big field."
The Tribeca has standard all-wheel drive, which separates it from the midsize SUV pack slightly, but that same all-wheel drive system has a negative impact on fuel economy. Plus, the Tribeca’s starting price is so high you can get optional all-wheel drive on most of the competition and still save money.
Another complaint reviewers have about the Tribeca is how complicated it is to compare trims. While there are three trims overall (Premium, Limited and Touring) each is further subdivided by option packages and extra features, making comparisons tough. And, while the base Premium model has a decent amount of equipment, to get features that others in the class are offering as standard, you need to start checking option boxes – which inflates the Tribeca’s already-high starting price.
Other SUVs to Consider
If you don’t need all-wheel drive, you can save money at the dealership and the gas station by opting for an SUV without it. The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse starts at about $1,200 less than the base Tribeca, and reviewers say it’s an all-around better SUV, with a more comfortable interior. Get the Traverse with all-wheel drive and it will run about $1,000 more than the base Tribeca. However, Chevrolet often runs discounts and incentives on the Traverse, while Subaru’s discounts tend to be less generous. Even though it has a higher price for all-wheel drive, you might end up paying less for the Traverse.
The Toyota Highlander is another option if you need a seven-seat SUV. It starts at about $3,000 less than the Tribeca (for a front-wheel drive model). When you add all-wheel drive, the Highlander is about the same price as the Tribeca and gets better fuel economy ratings.
Details: Subaru Tribeca
The 2011 Tribeca comes in several trims -- the new base Premium as well as the mid-level Limited and top-of-the-line Touring model. All trims have the same 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, standard all-wheel drive and seating for seven. For 2011, the Tribeca sees few changes.
- "Subaru's crossover SUV is pleasant to drive and includes many standard features. It's not an especially quiet vehicle, though, and its interior design and materials may turn off shoppers. Comparably equipped, many of Tribeca's rivals are roomier, quieter, more refined, and similarly priced.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Supportive seats, a roomy second row, and car-like handling impress owners. However, significant engine noise, a wide turning radius, and spongy brakes may disappoint those looking for the more refined ride found in rival SUVs." -- Car Gurus
- "I have to wonder what keeps me from committing to a Subaru. They're very practical cars with superior all-wheel-drive systems and rugged reputations. But there seems to be something that keeps me from becoming a full-fledged, card-carrying Subie groupie. The…Tribeca left me with the same, 'So, what's new?' feeling that I've felt about other Subarus in the past." -- Mother Proof
Next Steps: Subaru Tribeca
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