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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.
Favorite Features

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 190 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

Solid feel with excellent road manners

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Smooth, comfortable, competent in all weather"

Cons: "Rear leg room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Purchased this as a used car and have very pleased. Gas mileage could be better especially when compared with other somewhat smaller Subarus but on a par with other mid sized SUVs from 2008."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Nice, dependable car. Perfect size inside and out.

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good handling, roomy inside and cargo space"

Cons: "headlights, rattles, gas milage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Nice, dependable car. Great handling on road and in snow. Overall quality could be better. Underside starts to rattle after about 30000 miles. Dealer could not find a fix. (I tried out one with 30000+ miles and it sounded the same). My biggest complaint is the headlights. On dim they have a distinct line of light to dark. The light bobs up and down with the car. I don't feel like the visablilty is good. The best part is the size of the interior. You have plenty of room front and back and nice cargo space. Would like to see Subaru like this with better gas mileage, lift gate and a luxury package."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Really Nice, but Not Up to Current Technology

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice Car, Quiet, Ran Well"

Cons: "Too small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is a super car, but I noticed one glaring omission from the amenities - the ability to use flash drives or smart phones through the entertainment system. Big missing, in my opinion. The finish on the interior of the car is good, but not great. There were a couple of trim items that came loose and that were a little sloppy. The leg room for the third row was non-existent. Not sure how you would fit anything but a small child back there."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

great car-gas mileage could be better

By on Monday, January 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,334

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great in all road conditions"

Cons: "poor gas milage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have enjoyed driving this car for 5 years with no mechanical issues. It drives like a champ through all kinds of weather and road conditions. The interior is luxurious. The only draw back is the gas milage-average 18 mpg. With high gas prices in NY this is the only draw back."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Not happy

By on Sunday, December 01, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfy, great AWD"

Cons: "Mechanical quality/reliability questionable"

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

"Bought this in 2010 when it was two years old. Loved it till 2011 when, just after the 3 year warranty ran out,the nav unit died. Was told by the dealer it would be $1000 to replace. Found out this was common problem. A month ago the transmission died. Dealer said 5 grand for a rebuilt tranny. Found this transmission has had a lot of documented problems as well. Oil cooler gasket wears out on most of these which causes you to steadily leak motor oil till you replace it (after two years?? come on Subaru) This is one of the most comfortable cars we have owned. The AWD works great. The bells and whistles are great(when they work)Gas mileage is terrible. Overall I don't think this vehicle is worth the price they are asking for it, especially considering the serious reliability issues which can be found with a little research. As someone else said this is a high maintenance vehicle."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

More cons than pros.

By on Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Wanted upgrade.

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Just okay."

Cons: "Cramped back seats, small gas tank, touch screen."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Bought this vehicle new, had to take in twice for service because of engine jerking when going from 2nd to 3rd gear. Interior is decent looking, but very cramped back seats, never should offer with a 3rd row. Touch screen is ok, but hard to see the screen when it's sunny out. Feel like we had to fill the gas tank constantly, only a 15 gallon tank. Gas mileage is pretty weak. Drives pretty smoothly and decent acceleration."

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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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