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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

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 206 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Love my Tribeca!

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handles great"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"Drives awesome....just love this car. Handles like a dream in the snow. Only downs side is the gas mileage."

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Had higher expectations of Subaru

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "comfort in safety ratings, ran great first few"

Cons: "expensive faults, constant issue"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Seems to be one problem after the other. I bought car new in 2007 and initially, there were no problems. After 5 years, I'm having a more active relationship with the service personnel at Subaru than anyone. Problems range from $6 - $600 a pop - you name it, something's happening - AC, engine, radiator, lights, etc This is my first subaru and although they tend to get very high safety ratings, if this is a representation of the reliability, i'm not impressed. I don't know if it's the make or the model but I think i'll be getting out of it shortly."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

The best car I have ever owned.

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable and great to drive."

Cons: "No connector for my iPod. Due to age of car."

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

"This car has been a dream for me. I purchased it new in 2006. It currently has 180,000 miles and still runs great. I have never had any major repairs needed. Just the regular yearly maintenance and replacement parts. I drive 80 miles each day to work and put about 25,000 miles per year on my cars. I have purchased 2 other new cars over the years (Chrysler). Both of these cars had to be traded in and only made it to the 165,000 mile mark. My Subaru is still going strong. I am hoping it will last another 100,000. Fingers crossed. I love not having any car payments and I love my Tribeca!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I ever owned.

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

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
10/10

Pros: "great price, reliable, roomy, great cabin space."

Cons: "The third seat area cramped."

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

"I have never had a mechanical problem with this vehicle. Nothing, nada, it just goes and goes. But I also did all of the recommended vehicle maintenance in the book. The DVD player is still in excellent condition as is the sound system. Excelleont in ice and snow and being from North Dakota that is a must. I would buy another one."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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!"

11 people out of 14 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."

6 people out of 13 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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