2013 Subaru Tribeca Review

November 3, 2014

Only a handful of midsize-crossovers offer an all-wheel drive system. One of them is the 2013 Subaru Tribeca, whose symmetrical all-wheel drive system makes it an excellent vehicle to use on all-weather conditions. The Tribeca can easily accommodate seven, so buyers with families should consider it on their list. However, its aging platform might send some buyers hurrying to new and better competitors.


o    Trim level is reduced to the Limited trim
o    New brake override system
o    A couple of optional packages


The sole engine offered for the 2013 Subaru Tribeca is a 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer that brings about 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. As mentioned earlier, the Tribeca comes standard with a symmetrical all-wheel drive system where the power coming from the engine is channeled through a five-speed automatic gearbox.

With this engine, the Tribeca receives a fuel economy city/highway rating of 16/21 mpg or a combined 18 mpg.


For daily driving, the Tribeca’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine produces enough power to move the vehicle around with ease, and it does not produce too much noise when pushed hard. The engine’s low profile design also gives this 7-seater SUV a good level of stability not only on straight paths, but when doing corners as well. Still, some test drivers feel that the power imparted by the six-cylinder boxer is not enough to push the Tribeca to the top of its class.

Handling proves to be responsive and steering is light, allowing for easy maneuverability. The all-wheel drive system also contributes to the Tribeca’s confident ride, allowing for more grip and better all-weather capability.


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The interior of the 2013 Subaru Tribeca has attractive materials throughout, and there are a couple of other strong points, such as the contoured dashboard that adds to the vehicle’s appeal;  the large and easy to read main gauges; and easy to operate dials and buttons. However, most reviewers noted that Subaru failed to provide the Tribeca with an updated infotainment system, and this can be a deal breaker for some buyers.

In terms of accommodation and comfort, the front seats are comfortable, but the lack of a telescoping function for the steering wheel makes it difficult for some drivers to find a driving position that is comfortable. The second-row seats, with their tilt-and-slide, can be adjusted with ease to make way for more legroom or cargo capacity. The third-row seat, however, is tight, especially for taller passengers. Some reviewers even deem that it is better for occasional use.

Compared to other three-row crossovers, the Tribeca’s 8.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row is cramped. The said space expands to only 74.4 cubic feet when both the second and third rows are folded down.


The 2013 Subaru Tribeca is offered in single trim, referred to as Limited. Its list of standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, fog lamps, heated mirrors, keyless entry, leather seating, heated power driver and passenger seats, front side-impact airbags, first- and second-row side curtain airbags, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver seat memory functions, cruise control, steering wheel with tilt-only function 60/40-split second rows seats with recline and slide functions, 50/50-split third row seats, Bluetooth connectivity and 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and auxiliary input jack.

Optional upgrades that can be had for the Limited are bundled in a moonroof package, which has a sunroof, rearview camera display and auto-dimming rearview mirrors with compass. A navigation system package as well as a rear-seat DVD entertainment package can also be availed for the Subaru Tribeca.

Photo credit: thecarconnection.com

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