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A trustworthy companion

Subaru’s Tribeca launched for the 2006 model year as the largest vehicle from the Japanese automaker.

Subaru’s Tribeca launched for the 2006 model year as the largest vehicle from the Japanese automaker. A crossover SUV with seating for up to seven, the controversial-looking Tribeca competed with numerous other family-friendly utes like the Honda Pilot, Ford Edge and GMC Acadia.

Like most of its competition, the Tribeca offered five doors, six-cylinder power and All Wheel Drive (AWD). All Tribeca models get the same flat-six engine, automatic transmission with manual mode and Symmetrical AWD system as standard. Power was rated at 250 horsepower for the 2006 model and 245 for 2007. If you’re looking for a V8 engine or towing capacity of more than 3,500 pounds, you’ll have to shop elsewhere.

With a spot in the pricier and more upscale part of the marketplace, all Tribeca models also got dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, power everything, and heated, power-adjustable cloth seats.

What Owners Like

Owners tend to rave about futuristic and daring styling, abundant interior space, uniqueness, and a comfortable, quiet and relatively sporty ride and handling equation. Wintertime traction is also highly rated, especially with snow tires on board. One member of a Subaru Tribeca owner’s forum said he “never once felt at risk” in bad weather.

What Owners Hate

Numerous owners wished for more power, and often griped about the models’ requirement that it be fed premium fuel. Other complaints included a small glove-box and easily scratched paint and interior panels.

Common Issues

Subaru’s been known to build a solid and reliable power train, and the Tribeca seems to be no exception. A well-maintained Tribeca should prove a trustworthy companion.

Computer or sensor failures aren’t unheard of, and that these issues will tend to be apparent from the get-go on a test drive. Check the instrument cluster for any Check Engine lights or AWD system warning lights, which could indicate a problem.

The Verdict

Where possible, a dealer-certified used model will be your best bet — though a dealer checkup can add peace of mind to a private sale. Find a good price on a Tribeca that’s been well taken care of, and you’ll likely enjoy worry-free, confident and upscale travels.

 
 
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