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2013 Subaru Tribeca

Overview
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2013 Subaru Tribeca Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.4

While it's true there are dozens of 7-passenger vehicles on the market, you won't find many that offer as advanced an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system as the 2013 Subaru Tribeca. Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a proven system loved by those whose daily drive is often accompanied by snow, rain or even dry curving roads. Subaru's novel boxer-engine design is the primary reason for the Tribeca's adept handling. The boxer engine sits lower than a standard-size V6 or inline engine, helping to reduce the vehicle's center of gravity and improving its overall stability. Inside, the Tribeca provides room for seven, but its aging platform doesn't offer the same advanced electronic audio, infotainment or telematics as many newer competitors.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been a longtime member of the Subaru family, but your own brood has outgrown your 5-passenger sedan or wagon, the 2013 Tribeca SUV is the answer. Decent fuel economy and good resale should help lessen the sting of the Tribeca's $35,000 price tag.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those looking for the latest in audio and infotainment systems will find the Tribeca woefully inadequate. It should also be noted that despite is strong safety ratings, the Tribeca's side-curtain airbags do not extend to protect the third-row passengers.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Subaru Tribeca is offered only in Limited trim, and a new brake override system is added this year. The system cuts engine power when both the brake and accelerator are depressed at the same time.

Driving the Tribeca

Driving Impressions A few minutes behind the wheel and it becomes evident that Subaru's 2013 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 mild body lean, but overall it's evident that the low center of gravity of its unique drivetrain enhances stability and confidence. The AWD system splits power in a 45/55 proportion that favors the rear wheels. If a tire loses grip, power is immediately transferred to the wheels with a better handle on the situation. The 3.6-liter "boxer" engine delivers good performance, while improved shift points programmed into the automatic transmission result in less gear-changing when climbing hills or moving through varying traffic.

SPLIT/RECLINING/FOLDING/2ND-ROW SEATS
Beyond the expected 60/40-split tumbling feature, the second-row seatbacks fold down individually in a 40/20/40 configuration, allowing the narrow middle section to make way for skis or divide a pair of arguing kids. In addition, the seats slide fore-aft nearly eight inches, and the seatbacks recline, making this one of the most versatile seats in its class.

DUAL-ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL AND REAR-CABIN A/C
While abundant safety features are a given in a Subaru, the Tribeca's generous luxury exceeds any Subaru to date. Dual-zone climate control for the front cabin features air filtration, while a separate system for the back rows helps make almost any seat in the house an agreeable one.

2013 Subaru Tribeca Details
Interior

Excellent fit and finish, appealing materials and an uncommon dash design are the hallmarks of the 2013 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 seats combine flexible comfort with easy third-row access. We applaud the ample distribution of cup holders and wide front seats, which also feature adjustable lumbar support for both driver and passenger. Useful features include an auxiliary audio input jack, as well as optional GPS navigation, rearview camera and second-row DVD entertainment system.

Exterior

The original 2006 Tribeca's face was unique, if not beautiful. A quick refresh in 2008 brought about the more palatable, if somewhat generic, front end it wears today. The 2013 Subaru Tribeca's grille features horizontal slats below the familiar Subaru star-cluster badge flanked by large headlights and front fenders that impart a strong road presence. Large side mirrors and windows, along with narrow roof pillars, help with outward vision. Around back, the Tribeca touts wraparound taillights and a sporty rear valance under its large liftgate. Standard 18-inch alloy wheels, a taut rear suspension and an impressive 8.4 inches of ground clearance lend it a confident stance that its handling backs up.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Subaru Tribeca for 2013 is offered in only one trim: Limited. It includes a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine, 5-speed automatic with SportShift manual function, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), 18-inch alloy wheels, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags for the first and second rows, heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, heated power front seats (8-way driver/4-way passenger) with lumbar adjusters, 60/40-split/reclining/sliding second-row seats, 50/50-split third-row seats, leather seating, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-cabin air conditioning, privacy glass, 10-speaker harman/kardon audio, Bluetooth and satellite radio.

Optional Equipment

Upgrades available on the 3.6R Limited include a moonroof package with a rearview camera (the latter is also available by itself), a touch-screen navigation system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Subaru dealers also offer a large selection of accessories, from cargo carriers to a remote-start system.

Under the Hood

The Subaru Tribeca for 2013 offers a single drivetrain combo, that being a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine producing 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, and symmetrical all-wheel drive. With its low profile and naturally balanced design, in which the pistons lay flat in a horizontally opposed configuration, the boxer engine and AWD provide a confident feeling of stability even when taking corners, unusual for a 7-seater SUV. Power is more than sufficient for such a heavy vehicle, while fuel economy is surprisingly good.

3.6-liter boxer-6
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 mpg

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2013 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!"

5 people out of 6 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 9 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."

19 people out of 27 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."

19 people out of 39 found this review helpful

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