2009 Subaru Tribeca Review


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Avg. Price: $14,295
5-Passenger Special Edition
2 national listings
Avg. Price: $14,707
7-Passenger Special Edition
Avg. Price: $15,367
Limited 5-Passenger
Avg. Price: $14,637
Limited 5-Passenger w/Navi
Avg. Price: $13,960
Limited 7-Passenger
Avg. Price: $14,050
Limited 7-Passenger w/ Navi and DVD
Avg. Price: $17,513
Limited 7-Passenger w/Navi
1 national listing
Avg. Price: $14,756

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Average User Score

4.75 stars

Based on 3 reviews

2009 Subaru Tribeca Limited 5 -passenger by Janice244
 — I have owned my Tribeca for about 5 weeks now and I really love driving it. The comfort level is outstanding in every way.The ride is smooth, the handling is great, accleration is good,braking is grea... Read More
Family Commuting Ease by Matthew
 — I am really happy with the build and confort but i do wish they had considered bluetooth for the phone. the fittings are very comfortable if a little pedestrian....there are plenty of cupholders bu... Read More
Nice Handling Subaru Tribeca! by Karen1778
 — The Tribeca handles very well. Good turning radius, tight steering, love the instrument panel, and is fun to drive. Only wish the gas tank was bigger. The ongoing mpg estimate screen is helpful in max... Read More

2009 Subaru Tribeca Overview

Overall User Score

4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.75

Based on 3 reviews

2009 Subaru Tribeca

After a major overhaul last year, the 2009 Subaru Tribeca gains a Ruby Red Pearl exterior color and makes the Diamond Gray color available on its Base trim. Otherwise, the midsize crossover SUV, Subaru's largest and its only vehicle with three rows of seating, returns unchanged.

The family-oriented Tribeca ute comes in both five- and seven-passenger (two- and three-row) versions, in Base and Limited trims. Its full-time symmetrical all-wheel-drive system automatically apportions torque where needed to combat slippery roads, but without low-range gearing, it's not intended for off-road performance. Nevertheless, its road grip remains superb and contributes a lot to the 2009 Tribeca's 5-star safety profile. Both trims feature a 3.5-liter DOHC boxer-six engine and 5-speed automatic with sport-shift. Together, the powertrain delivers 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, as well as up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity when equipped with the optional tow package. Variable valve timing and Dual Active Valve Control supposedly improve fuel economy, but its 18/23 mpg hardly impresses.

The 2009 Tribeca comes standard with two rows, with a reclining second row that also slides 8 inches forward and back to accommodate more cargo or offer more legroom. It split-folds flat 40/20/40. Cargo capacity starts at 37.6 cubic feet and expands to 74. Adding the third row significantly cuts down on rear leg and cargo room, and only kids will feel somewhat comfortable here. With both second- and third-row seats up, cargo capacity is a mere 8.3 cubic feet, enough for a few grocery bags and not much else. Most drivers complain about this useless row and lack of both leg and headroom. The third row also folds flat 50/50. The cargo area features tie-downs and underfloor storage. Roof rails are standard on the Limited, optional on the Base.

Equipped with standard traction and stability control, 4-wheel ABS brakes with Brake Assist, a tire monitor, 18-inch wheels, rollover sensors, and dual front-side and side curtain airbags for the first two rows, the 2009 Tribeca earns five stars in all categories but rollover, where it earns four. Side curtain airbags for the third row are unfortunately not available, but a rearview camera helps with the limited visibility caused by the small rear window and thick rear pillars.

The 2009 Tribeca does offer a long list of standard features in its Base trim, including power front seats, wheel-mounted audio and cruise control, leather trim, and a CD player with MP3 jack, but the Limited represents the luxury model here. It adds heated leather seats, memory settings, a sunroof, and a 6-CD changer. Options tack on a navigation system and DVD player. These features make the 2009 Tribeca a substantive choice for young families looking for a stylish and safe SUV. Supportive seats, a roomy second row, and car-like handling impress owners. However, significant engine noise, a wide turning radius, and spongy brakes may disappoint those looking for the more refined ride found in rival SUVs.


by Ann Jackman

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Looking for a Used Tribeca in your area?
CarGurus has 327 nationwide Tribeca listings starting at $6,999.

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