• Fun to drive
  • Twin-cockpit interior
  • Lots of versatility
  • Fuel economy
  • Cramped third-row seat
  • Noticeably outdated

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Tribeca in 2014

The 2014 Subaru Tribeca now offers a standard moonroof. The optional navigation system and premium stereo on Limited models is now packaged with a rear-seat entertainment system...
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Vehicle Summary

Pity the Tribeca. Subaru's people mover debuted for the 2005 model year and has received little attention since. It seems as though Subaru has forgotten about this vehicle. However, the Tribeca, from the beginning, has been a highly capable car-based crossover vehicle. It can tow up to 3500 pounds; its flowing, twin-cockpit interior is well designed; its modified Outback platform and hefty eighteen-inch wheels give it good on-road dynamics; and Subaru's stalwart standard all-wheel-drive system is ready to tackle just about any terrain or road condition that the driver might encounter. The Tribeca's principal drawback when it was introduced was a lack of horsepower, but that has been addressed with a larger 3.6-liter engine that produces 256 hp. The only other negatives are that the third-row seats are suitable only for kids and that fuel economy is abysmal. We genuinely enjoy driving the Tribeca, but it's an easy car to forget when we aren't behind the wheel. It is to Subaru's credit that it continues to build the Tribeca, but the vehicle's weak market presence does not bode well for its future.

Overview

Yes, the 2014 Subaru Tribeca exists. This often-forgotten model soldiers on without a significant change for another year. How much longer can this go on? The last time Subaru made a significant upgrade to the Tribeca was the 2008 model year when the engine grew to 3.6 liters and the design received a slight refresh. Since then, Subaru hasn't shown its biggest vehicle very much love.

Despite the lack of ongoing upgrades, we still like the 2014 Subaru Tribeca. It drives well and offers standard all-wheel drive. There's a decent amount of storage space behind the second row of seats and enough towing capacity for a small camper or boat. The Tribeca is one of the last Subarus available with a traditional automatic transmission. While most other Subaru models use a continuously variable transmission to save fuel, the Tribeca, mostly due to its age, soldiers on with a five-speed automatic. Unfortunately, the Tribeca returns only 18 mpg on the EPA combined test.

Although we like driving the 2014 Subaru Tribeca, it isn't very competitive for the 2014 model year. There is only one available trim level, and the competition offers a far wider range of models and powertrains to suit a variety of tastes.

Key Competitors

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Dodge Durango
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Mazda CX-9

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