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2008 Subaru Tribeca

Overview
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2008 Subaru Tribeca Review

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There are a number of five and seven-passenger SUVs on the market, so what's so special about the 2008 Subaru Tribeca? For starters, every Tribeca is equipped with an advanced and capable all-wheel-drive system, a comforting thought for those whose daily commutes sometimes include heavy snow and rain. The Tribeca boxer engine lowers the vehicle's center of gravity and improves vehicle stability, and the Tribeca rates well in the government's front- and side-impact crash tests. Finally, the roomy interior coddles its passengers and stimulates its driver with loads of features, while fresh new exterior styling produces a less polarizing appearance.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a Subaru devotee whose family is too large for an Outback or Forester, the Tribeca is the logical choice. First-time Subaru buyers will find the Tribeca's good fuel economy, strong resale and proven reliability very inviting.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need room for seven adults, the Tribeca's child-sized third-row seat falls short. Those who don't need all-wheel drive can save money by shopping one of the Tribeca's less expensive front-wheel-drive competitors.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2008 Subaru Tribeca receives a major front-end redesign, with a new grille and headlamp treatment, new front fenders and a new bumper. A larger 3.6-liter engine replaces the previous 3.0-liter unit, producing more horsepower without affecting fuel economy.

Driving the Tribeca

Driving Impressions 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. The all-wheel-drive system splits power in a 45/55 proportion that favors the rear wheels. In the event of tire slippage, power is immediately transferred to the wheels with better traction, helping the driver to maintain control. The new 3.6-liter engine delivers good performance, while the new shift points programmed into the automatic transmission lessen the number of gear changes required when climbing hills or moving through varying traffic.

Rear Vision Camera

This optional feature allows the driver to see objects down low and directly behind the vehicle. It's available only on the Limited Trim.

Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
This safety feature works in conjunction with the all-wheel drive to help the driver maintain control. VDC senses the direction the driver intends to go and uses selective braking and engine power reduction to help maintain control.

2008 Subaru Tribeca Details
Interior

Excellent fit and finish, appealing materials and an uncommon dash design are the hallmarks of the 2008 Subaru Tribeca interior. The wave-shaped dashboard visually delights, but its severe curve places some radio and heating controls at odd angles from the driver. Digital readouts for the fuel, temperature and information screen look attractive, but can fade when viewed through polarized sunglass lenses. New this year are tilt-and-slide second-row seat controls in the front that allow easy access to the third row. We applaud the ample distribution of cup holders and wide front seating, which also features adjustable lumbar support for both the driver and passenger. Useful features include in auxiliary audio input jack and optional GPS navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Exterior
2008 Subaru Tribeca photo

A more palatable, if somewhat generic front end, replaces last year's "love it or hate it" styling. The 2008 Subaru Tribeca's new grille features horizontal slats below the familiar Subaru star cluster badge. New headlamps and front fenders impart a stronger road presence, while larger side-view mirrors and redesigned rear windows and pillars improve visibility. Around back, the Tribeca receives larger, more visible taillights and a sporty rear valance just below the tailgate. A new rear suspension helps improve handling while yielding an impressive 8.4 inches of ground clearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Subaru Tribeca features a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, five-speed automatic with SPORTSHIFT manual gear change function, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), 18-inch alloy wheels, front side-impact and side-curtain airbags for the first and second row seats, tire pressure monitoring system, rear defroster, heated side mirrors, eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power passenger's seat, power windows, power door locks, 100-watt stereo with single-disc CD player with MP3 compatibility, cruise control, cloth seating, driver and passenger manual lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt steering wheel and rear window wiper. Seven-passenger models include rear air conditioning.

Optional Equipment

Options include XM or Sirius Satellite Radio, Reverse Assist Sensors, auto-dimming mirror and remote start. Upgrading to the Limited trim adds leather seating, two-position driver memory, heated front seats, power glass moonroof, HomeLink remote control system and 160-watt six-disc CD player with nine speakers and a rear subwoofer. Options for the Limited trim include GPS navigation, rear-vision camera and rear-seat DVD entertainment system (seven-passenger model only).

Under the Hood

Subaru has increased the displacement of the Tribeca's boxer engine from 3.0 to 3.6 liters, which boosts horsepower and torque significantly. The added power is immediately felt on take-off and when passing.

3.6-liter Boxer 6
256 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
247 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16 city/21 highway

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2008 Subaru Tribeca Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 201 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

rid yourself of this after 60000 miles QUICK!!!

By on Sunday, March 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "good as a 2 or 3 yr lease only"

Cons: "pricey repairs like BMW, not a reliable SUV"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car started of great as a 1 yr old lease turn in. obtained an extended 100k warranty and put it to full use after 55k. Extensive nickle dime issues with cooling system, steering, brakes and belts and little leaks. after 100k we ended up putting over $8,000.00 over 3 yrs into repairs through dlrship to keep it road worthy. Even so, the engine blew due to overheating caused by dealer workmanship. dlr placed new engine for free then 8 months ltr tranny blew. dlr wanted $5800.00 for repairs or recommended we get RID of our TRIBECA! We got rid of it and the "REPUTABLE Dealership" in San Diego. Not the SUBARU name all speak of!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car! Seats seven people. All wheel drive!

By on Friday, February 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable and fun to drive."

Cons: "Headlights are difficult to change."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been a great family car for us. It is safe and reliable. The all wheel drive makes it excellent for driving in the snow."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

fantastic car!

By on Sunday, January 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great car!"

Cons: "Mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Never owned a car more than three years in 40 years of driving. Owned Tribeca 6 years-170,000 miles. Fantastic car built like a tank! No problems with this car.....ever. Great engine, goes thru snow like nothing I have ever owned. Best of all- built in Indiana! Never thought I would ever drive a Subaru, but now they will probably get the 'last look' due to my experience."

17 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Love this car. Best car ever.

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "price was great, fun to drive, dependable, sporty"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I like this car better than Mercedes, Audi, Toyota and Jaguar and other cars I have owned in the past. It is dependable, great braking, hugs the road, rips up steep, wet driveways and has plenty of power for acceleration and a smooth ride. Very spacious for kids, sports equipment and dogs. The only negative is mileage--15 city; 24 highway. But, that is the price you pay for 6 cylinders."

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca, favorite Subaru yet!!

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Styling, rear leg room, holds resale value!!!"

Cons: "None! It's great to drive!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My wife and I recently purchased a used 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca with only 101k miles on it. We got a great deal, and could not pass it up. Prior to the Subaru, we had a 2006 Pontiac Torrent which we traded in, and are far more impressed with what this same model year Subaru has to offer! It has better styling, more room, and is overall better quality! While the gas mileage is sub-par, what more could you expect from a vehicle that has it all? We are more than impressed with this Subaru, and love the Subaru 3.0L Boxer engine. We are looking forward to years of happy traveling in this car!! We have owned very high mileage Subarus in the past (Forester, Legacy, Outback) which we all loved, but this Subaru has more to offer!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Very High Rating among cars I've owned.

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent value and dependability"

Cons: "Could use a couple of more horses under the hood"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My summary tells it all. My brother has owned several Subaru vehicles and has great luck with them. This was our first and I have to agree, this car lived up to every expectation."

17 people out of 37 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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