In its third year of production, the 2008 Subaru Tribeca has come a long way from the original 2006 B9 Tribeca. With styling changes equivalent to allowing Ty Pennington to makeover your home, the 2008 Tribeca (noticeably missing the B9 moniker) has responded to the public’s initial and unkind complaints about styling.
Performance-wise, the 5-speed automatic transmission with SPORTSHIFT is matched to the new 3.6L Boxer engine (up from the previous 3.0L), running off of regular fuel unlike its predecessor that used premium. The 3.6L DOHC engine produces 256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. But, if you don’t really care what’s under the hood, the Subaru Tribeca includes luxuries like a touch-screen navigation, heated seats, a moonroof, an auxiliary input for an MP3 player, and XM Satellite radio. You also have two seating configuration options: 5-passenger or 7-passenger.
Even with all of the amenities and styling improvements, the 2008 Tribeca is still competitively priced, with the base starting at $34,995 and, if well-equipped (like our tester), a modest $36,758.
To see how much legroom the back passengers have or how many suitcases you can take on your next cross-country road trip, watch our 2008 Subaru Tribeca Car Review Video:
You can also watch the 2008 Subaru Tribeca Video on YouTube.
3 Years/36,000 Miles Subaru Roadside Assistance
3 Years/36,000 Miles Basic
5 Years/60,000 Miles Powertrain
5 Years/Unlimited Mileage Rust Perforation
Government Safety Ratings (from 1 to 5 stars, 5 stars being the highest):
Front Crash: *****
Side Crash: *****
I took one of these 2008 Tribecas for a test drive a couple of weeks ago and I gotta tell you I was disappointed.
It was noticeably still underpowered and felt like I was driving a van. I’m sure that’s not the feeling Subaru wanted the driver to experience. If you accelerate quickly you get more engine noise than movement. I mean it sounds like a small engine struggling to move a heavy vehicle. As mentioned, it felt very ‘vanish’. Subaru have created a very spacious interior (except for the 3rd row seats) you would only want kids in there, and even for them a long trip would get uncomfortable. Back to the spacious interior, the satnav screen is large but too far away from where you would like it. My eyes are not that bad and there is far too much need to concentrate on squinting to read the screen. The change in the front grill has gone from ‘out there’ to knee jerk reaction ‘conservative’. I think Subaru were brave at first but then panicked and went too plain and far too conservative. The front needed a sportier look, but then again the pace of the vehicle wouldn’t live up to the image. Sorry Subaru but I wouldn’t by one of these…..yet. There is more work to be done before you get this one right.
I agree with Marty and the guy in the video about the redesign of the front end. I’m sad to see Subaru trying to blend into the crowd in all of their 2009 vehicles. The world doesn’t need another Honda, Toyota, Hyundai. Their attention to performance,quality and detail along with their slightly quirky styling is what set them apart and moved them up a notch. A little more money and a whole lot more car. It’s like they took themselves down and gave up what made them distinctive only to compete in an already overcrowded market.
I don’t agree with the Tribeca being underpowered. When I took my foot off the brake, the car took off. Moving onto the freeway wasn’t a problem either. If I stomped on the gas, it seemed to take a moment to catch up, but not if I pushed on the gas normally.
As far as the back seat, I’m short but not a small adult and I have no trouble getting in or out of the very back seat. I think kids like riding back there, especially with the DVD on. My friend’s kids fought over who got to sit in the very back.
I asked about the name B9 Tribeca. B9 is the pre-production code given to it. And like the Outback is named for the huge, loyal market in Australia, and the WRX for the World Rally races, Tribeca is for the area in NYC (shown on the brochure)- glamorous and urban, like the Tribeca.
We recently traded in our 2003 Outback VDC wagon on a 2008 Tribeca Limited. Overall we are very happy with the Tribeca. It’s nicely laid out inside and for the vehicle size it’s very roomy. The performance and handling are definately a step above the outback. While there is more road noise than our previous car it’s not unbearable by any means.
The build quality of the Tribeca is on par with what you would expect of a vehicle in this price range. I can’t say we have any significant dissapointments with the Tribeca. We are happy we made the purchase.
I recently purchased a 2008 Tribeca B9 with 21800 miles on the clock. Overall I’m very pleased with it except for one nagging concern.
Above 45 mph I get a fluctuating road hum which reaches a quite noticable volume at around 70 mph. At 75 mph it’s hardly audible.
My Subaru agent road tested the car and said there was slight movement on the nearside drive shaft which could be causing excessive wheel bearing wear. And suggested replacing the drive shaft and bearing under the terms of the warranty. This seems appropiate but I’m surprised that a drive shaft should wear so soon on this car after quite low mileage. Could it be just tyre noise and the agent is finding work to do which will be paid for by Subaru? Comments please from anyone