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2014 Subaru Tribeca

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2014 Subaru Tribeca Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.3

For brand loyalists, perhaps the most important thing about the 2014 Subaru Tribeca is that it's a Subaru. As the automaker's largest and most expensive vehicle, the 7-passenger Tribeca SUV offers families who have outgrown their Outback or Forester a way to move up. The Tribeca is notable for its standard 6-cylinder boxer engine and sophisticated all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which enable this 3-row SUV to be a tenacious handler in slick and snowy conditions. However, the aging Tribeca trails rivals such as the Nissan Pathfinder, Chevrolet Traverse and Hyundai Santa Fe in technology, fuel economy and feature availability while still commanding a nearly $35,000 starting price.

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 2014 Tribeca SUV is the answer. Good resale value is another feather in the Subaru's cap.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want the latest tech or safety features and fuel-economy figures better than 16/21 mpg, look beyond the Tribeca. Most of its 3-row SUV rivals are fresher and offer more advanced infotainment systems and better fuel efficiency.

What's New for 2014

The only change of note for the 2014 Subaru Tribeca is that the moonroof and small 3.5-inch rear-camera display that had previously been bundled into a package are now standard.

Driving the Tribeca

Driving Impressions Although the 2014 Subaru Tribeca is aging, it still feels invigorating for a larger SUV. This family hauler's handling is responsive and its steering feels satisfyingly firm. Throwing this big...

Subie into a corner yields some body lean, but overall the Tribeca inspires confidence thanks to its low center of gravity and standard AWD system. Subaru's sophisticated AWD system has made many believers in the brand with its ability to get a grip in snowy conditions. The Tribeca's version is tailored to normally split power in a 45/55 proportion that favors the rear wheels. If a tire loses grip, such as on a slippery road, the Subaru automatically and immediately transfers power to the wheels with the best traction. The Tribeca's 3.6-liter engine delivers good performance thanks to its 256 horsepower, and shift points of the 5-speed automatic transmission have been improved vs. previous versions.

SPLIT/RECLINING/FOLDING/2ND-ROW SEATS
Beyond the expected 60/40-split tumbling feature, the Tribeca's 2nd-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. The seats also slide fore-aft nearly eight inches, and the seatbacks recline for further passenger comfort and cargo flexibility.

STANDARD LEATHER SEATING
While most mainstream cars now offer leather, it often costs extra or is reserved for higher level – and higher-priced – trims. Every 2014 Tribeca, however, features leather-trimmed upholstery standard for the first and second rows.

2014 Subaru Tribeca Details
Interior

The Tribeca's cabin is most notable for its dash design, a wave pattern that visually delights but unfortunately places some radio and heating controls at odd angles from the driver. The controls themselves are easy to discern, but like the rest of the Tribeca they are feeling dated. Legroom is good in the middle row, but the 2-passenger third row is very tight for adults. Cargo capacity, too, is limited to just 8.3 cubic feet with the last row in place but increases considerably with the seats folded. The now-standard moonroof helps the cabin feel more airy.

Exterior

The original 2006 Tribeca's face was unique, if not beautiful. A refresh in 2008 brought about the more palatable, if somewhat generic, front end it wears today. Instead of a narrow snout, the latest Tribeca's grille looks far more appealing with broad horizontal slats. The Subaru's rear is nicely rounded, with twin exhaust tips peeking out from below the bumper. The Tribeca boasts 8.4 inches of ground clearance, another boon for those who regularly contend with snow-covered roads. Unlike more and more of its competitors, the Tribeca does not offer a power tailgate, so you'll have to do the opening and closing the old-fashioned way.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Unlike most of its competitors, the 2014 Subaru Tribeca is offered in just one trim: Limited. That being the case, all Tribecas feature a good deal of features but not much variance in price. A standard model includes all-wheel drive, 385-watt/10-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system with AM/FM/CD changer, dual-zone climate control, power front seats (8-way driver/4-way passenger), Bluetooth phone connectivity, moonroof, HomeLink remote transponder and the aforementioned leather seating. The 2014 Tribeca rides on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Roadside assistance is also included as part of the 3-year limited warranty.

Optional Equipment

The sole package offered on the Subaru Tribeca bundles a navigation system, DVD rear-seat entertainment system with a pair of wireless headphones, and larger rearview camera display. Individual add-ons include remote engine starter, puddle lights, kayak and bike carriers and a dog guard/compartment separator to bring along the canine family member.

Under the Hood

The Subaru Tribeca offers a single drivetrain combo, a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine producing 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, a 5-speed automatic transmission and symmetrical AWD. A boxer engine is called just that because of its horizontal positioning that makes the pistons move back and forth like a fighter's fists. With its low profile and naturally balanced design, the boxer engine and AWD provide a confident feeling of stability even when taking corners, unusual for a 7-seat SUV. Power is more than sufficient, but towing capacity tops out at 3,500 pounds, less than that of competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder and Chevrolet Traverse. The engine's fuel economy has since been passed by those of fresher competitors, but at least it uses regular unleaded gasoline.

3.6-liter flat-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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2014 Subaru Tribeca Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 207 Ratings for the 2008 - 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

Best we have ever owned.

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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

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: "We love this vehicle."

Cons: "Not making them anymore."

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

"My husband is 6'6"& I am 5'9". We bought the B9 as it was called back in 2006. We have 180,000 miles on this vehicle. I did my research when we had a baby & we must have our children in a rear facing child safety seat. I dragged that child carrier all over the place trying to fit it in vehicles & still be able to drive without eating my knees. If I ate my knees I knew my husband would. For the price under $30,000 it was in our price range & we weren't pretzels. Loved this vehicle even more when we no longer needed an infant seat. This vehicle has been up & down the East Coast, has traveled to the West Coast & back. It has ALWAYS been comfortable & great to drive. This B9 has been in 2 accidents & still is great. My husband does as much maintenance as possible & and all has been good. Now at 180,00 miles we have hit our first snag & that is a misfire in 1 of the cylinders. My husband has had nothing but frustration with Subaru from getting an accurate manual etc.... Being a wife I tell him to take to a mechanic but not until he spent $1000.00 in tools & parts. he gave up. I hope to have our Subie back home soon because it will be taking another trip from East Coast to West."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

comfy quiet reliable surefooted

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "surefooted,very comfortable"

Cons: "only average fuel economy"

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

"driver ease and comfort are second to none ease of entry and exit great outward visibility for an suv hard to find a blindspot very pleasing to the eye great looking car"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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."

16 people out of 26 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."

6 people out of 9 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!"

7 people out of 14 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."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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