2012 Subaru Tribeca Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, Now in its fourth year of production, the Subaru Tribeca is a solid midsize crossover SUV. About the size of a Toyota Highlander, the Tribeca seats seven. It’s loaded with technology, starting with its world-class all-wheel-drive system, and offers a luxurious cabin.
The Subaru Tribeca is powered by a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with horizontally opposed cylinders (called a boxer six) rated at 256 horsepower. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 16/21 mpg City/Highway. All models come with all-wheel drive and a 5-speed SportShift automatic with a manual shiftgate.
Tribeca has good power, and it’s smooth and quiet at highway speeds. Subaru is a leader in all-wheel drive technology so the Tribeca boasts one of the best systems in its class, making it a superb choice for foul weather. The handling is sure-footed and agile for a vehicle this size, the all-wheel drive giving it a secure feeling that encourages spirited driving.
The look of the Subaru Tribeca hasn’t changed significantly since it was re-styled for 2008. It’s a nice-looking vehicle. But if the 2006 original went too far in being funky with its Alfa Romeo grille, the current model looks bland with its Chrysler grille.
The near-rectangular grille is swept back and a little wider at the top, like that of so many other SUVs and crossovers. It flows into a gentle bulge at the center of the hood, while the lights to either side curve back and around into the fenders.
Along the sides, the body panels are mostly vertical, though not slab-like; their expanse is broken by mild fender blisters circling properly proportioned tires and wheels. Beginning at the trailing edge of the front door and even with the door handles, a soft crease grows as it moves rearward, giving the rear portions substance before ending in the wraparound taillights. An understated character line etched into the doors and running between the wheel arches draws attention to the matte-black rocker panels on Premium and Limited and subtly reminds us of the Tribeca’s 8.4-inch ground clearance. The steeply raked windshield and A-pillars pull the eye up and over the tall glasshouse to a spoiler laid atop an acutely angled back window. The standard alloy wheels, with their five split spokes, look handsomely sturdy.
Inside is a luxurious and upmarket cabin. We felt comfortable immediately after climbing in. The organic, almost-wholesome sweep of the dash as it flows into the door panels creates cocoon-like comfort zones for driver and front-seat passenger. It’s a stunning styling statement. A little more time behind the wheel revealed that it’s not perfect, however. The front seat cushions could be deeper for more thigh support, and back support isn’t great, especially in the bolstering, especially against slippery leather.
The rounded center stack spreads outward onto the dash like in the shape of a Y. The primary audio control knob is centered within ready reach of the driver and front-seat passenger. The heating and ventilation controls are really cool, with big knobs that feature digital readouts. The front passenger’s air conditioning temperature control knob is thoughtfully positioned facing the passenger. The stereo handles MP3 media, and includes an input jack in the center console. An elaborate information screen and (optional) navigation system display are centered in the upper half of the dash with controls that are accessible to both the driver and front passenger.
The touch-screen navigation system includes a rearview camera, a great safety and convenience feature. When the driver shifts the transmission into Reverse, the navigation system’s center LCD display shows what the color camera detects within its field of vision behind the vehicle. Reference lines help guide the driver. In everyday use, rearview cameras make parallel parking easier and quicker. A rearview camera can help alert the driver to hazards that are difficult to see otherwise, such as a child sitting on a tricycle behind the vehicle. On models without navigation, the image is displayed on the rearview mirror, but the image is smaller and, we think, less useful.
The Subaru Tribeca is enjoyable to drive regardless of weather conditions. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that makes 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Subaru’s 3.6-liter boxer six delivers competitive performance in a class filled with excellent V6s. Only slight pressure on the gas pedal brings up responsive power, sufficient for passing.
The transmission is smooth and responsive. Shifts up and down are managed almost seamlessly. Even when shifted manually using the SportShift there is only the slightest interruption in the energy flow. When using the SportShift, the Tribeca will shift up a gear automatically at engine redline; it will not, however, drop down a gear without the driver tapping the lever forward. Blips are programmed into aggressive downshifts, like a sports car. We often found it easiest to put it in Drive and let it do its own shifting, since it did such a good job on its own.
Fuel economy isn’t a standout feature, however. The Tribeca earns an EPA rating of just 16/21 mpg City/Highway. This is likely due to weight and all-wheel drive.
2012 Subaru Tribeca Price :
Subaru Tribeca Premium ($30,495); Tribeca Limited ($32,495); Tribeca Touring ($35,795).
2012 Subaru Tribeca Specs :
Gas Mileage : 16 mpg City/21 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas : Flat 6, 3.6L
EPA Class : Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name : 3.6R Premium
Drivetrain : All Wheel Drive
Passenger : Capacity 7
Passenger : Doors 4
Body Style : Sport Utility
Transmission : 5-speed automatic transmission