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2011 Subaru Tribeca

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2011 Subaru Tribeca Review

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There are a number of seven-passenger SUVs on the market, so what's so special about the 2011 Subaru Tribeca? For starters, every Tribeca is equipped with an advanced and capable all-wheel-drive system, a comforting thought for those whose daily commute sometimes includes deep snow and heavy rain. The Tribeca's unique boxer engine design 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 Tribeca's roomy interior coddles its passengers and stimulates its driver with loads of features, although the same enthusiasm is harder to generate when it comes to the Tribeca's exterior styling.

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, and the Tribeca's side-curtain airbags do not extend to protect the third-row passengers.

What's New for 2011

The Subaru Tribeca sees no major changes for 2011.

Driving the Tribeca
Driving Impressions

A few minutes behind the wheel and it becomes 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 improved 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.

2011 Subaru Tribeca Details
Interior

Excellent fit and finish, appealing materials and an uncommon dash design are the hallmarks of the 2011 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 fuel economy, temperature and information are housed in a large, recessed binnacle properly set at eye level. Convenient tilt-and-slide second-row seat controls 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

The original Tribeca's face was unique, if not beautiful. A quick refresh brought about the more palatable, if somewhat generic, front-end we see today. The 2011 Subaru Tribeca's grille features horizontal slats below the familiar Subaru star cluster badge flanked by large headlamps and front fenders that impart a strong road presence. Large side-view mirrors and rear windows, along with narrow D-pillars help with visibility. Around back, the Tribeca touts large, easily visible taillights and a sporty rear valance. A taut rear suspension carries over for 2011, helping improve handling while yielding an impressive 8.4 inches of ground clearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 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, heated front seats, 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, seven-passenger seating and a rear window wiper.

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, power glass moonroof, HomeLink remote control system and 10-speaker harman/kardon audio. Options for the Limited and Touring trim include GPS navigation, rear-vision camera and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Under the Hood

The Tribeca's 3.6-liter boxer engine produces 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, which is more than sufficient to move such a heavy vehicle while returning surprisingly good fuel economy.

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

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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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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