Subaru Tribeca Performance
The Subaru Tribeca delivers performance that’s good, but isn’t a standout. While standard all-wheel drive is a nice feature, reviewers wish for the sporty handling most Subarus are known for. Plus, the Tribeca’s fuel economy isn’t very good.
- "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
- "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 that makes 256 horsepower. Reviewers praise its acceleration and the accompanying five-speed automatic transmission – which can be shifted manually.
Fuel economy, however, isn’t great. According to the EPA, the Tribeca achieves 16/21 mpg city/highway. There are several seven- or eight-passenger SUVs that offer better fuel economy at even lower prices. The Toyota Highlander, for example, gets 20/25 mpg with two-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine reviewers say is adequate. Even with all-wheel drive the Highlander manages to beat the Tribeca by one mile per gallon on both the city and highway. It has a lower base price, too.
- "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
- “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
Handling and Braking
The 2011 Tribeca has Subaru’s well-liked all-wheel drive system standard. That helps it to be a sure-footed handler. But, it’s still a tall SUV, not a sports sedan. As a result, most reviewers say it’s competent, but not much more.
- "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