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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Educate me on the Tribeca - Lift possibilities, Reliability, Comfort?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 AdventureSubaru


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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:44 PM

My wife and I recently moved to California with each of us getting new/better jobs out in the mountains and redwoods. She is wanting to upgrade in the not to distant future from her current car - 2000 Legacy Outback with 332,000 on it. The outback keeps chugging along just fine, but we now will be able to afford a better machine. Something a little nicer and less prone to breakdown. There is a baby on the way due this spring which I'm figuring is probably our deadline. So with time to shop we are exploring either a newer (05-10) Legacy Outback or a Tribeca.


She wants


Passenger capacity - the 7 passenger option of the Tribeca is a HUGE plus

Reliability - I don't want her and baby broken down somewhere.


Ground clearance - to fit our lifestyle and job, light trail driving will be necessary at times. A small suspension lift and bigger tires will be more than adequate. My Impreza or GL will do the rougher stuff.

Style never hurts - she's now the assistant director at the Outdoor School


I am very familiar with Legacy/Outback stuff. Never driven nor worked on a Tribeca. For those who have experience with these cars, I have the following questions.


Does the reliability compare to an Outback or Legacy? (Keep in mind we'll probably buy either with over 100k and may very well take it to the 300ks like the 2000 she's currently driving.)


Does the subframe allow for a few inches of body and/or suspension lift?


Is this the sort of car that is comfortable to get in and out of/drive long distances?


We're probably going to test drive some soon to get an idea of comfort, but I trust a lot of the people on here with first hand experience. 

#2 Rooster2


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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:00 PM

I have never heard of a Tribeca being lifted, but I bet someone has tried it. From my Legacy experience, you can easily gain about an extra inch of ground clearance by adding tires one size larger then what came stock, without rubbing something on the body or suspension.


From a size stand point, a Tribeca is pretty big for light trail driving. If you encounter large sharp stones, the Tribeca's oil pan and tranny pan could get punctured.

#3 afterbang


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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:20 PM

I used to own a 2006 Tribeca that was passed down to my family. The third row seating is very, very tiny in the back and we never used it. I couldn't imagine anyone over 5' being able to sit back there.

The car was super plush with leather, heated seats and DVD package, but I would never choose to buy one. Also, the gas mileage was pretty horrendous and the 5EAT transmission was very unresponsive. There was a lot of lag present when you needed the thing to take off and there were more than a few instances where I feared for my safety when needing quick acceleration that took wayyy too long to kick in.

The car is also very top heavy and does not have the stability that other subarus are known for.

I ended up selling it and buying a 2003 Legacy.

Just my two cents...

#4 wtdash


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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:56 PM


Subaru is planning on discontinuing the Tribeca, per cars101.com.


If you plan on keeping it forever, and can get it for Trade-in value on KBB.com, then it may be worth it. Otherwise, you'll pay too much for a car that will be worth a lot less when you go to sell it....and Yes, I am a Subie fan (I own 3).


They don't get very good MPG, among other things...per CR:


The <'13> Tribeca has an impressive ride and handling balance, but overall it's not very competitive with many other three-row SUVs. The six-cylinder engine and automatic transmission make a decent powertrain, but it returns just 16 mpg overall. Handling is quite agile, with nice steering feel and restrained body lean. The ride is supple and very well controlled. Fit and finish is very good, but the second- and third-row seats are cramped. It's a long reach to the navigation system's touch screen. The styling of the dashboard makes some controls difficult to see.




#5 Fairtax4me



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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:58 PM

Mechanically the Tribeca is much the same as an H6 outback.
Chain driven timing doesn't need any real maintenance except maybe the chain and guides will be worn enough at 300k to warrant replacement.

Lifting can be done fairly easily with some slightly larger tires and spacers on top of the struts.

#6 presslab


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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

My GF has an '06 Tribeca.  It's heavy (4300 lbs) and gets 17 MPG around town.  Highway can get to 25 MPG, but it still requires 91 octane.  The weight does give a comfortable, refined ride and the interior is really nice.  After replacing the rear shocks it handles quite good and firm; it has giant tires too.

#7 avk


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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:03 PM

I have a 2006 model. Bought it (just over a year ago) because it was put up for sale nearby, and wanted to try the 6-cyl powertrain. I do like it. Ours is a 5-seater. It does appear that the third seat was squeezed in only because the SUV market competitors were offering one, and those looking for a true 7-8 seater should shop elsewhere. Pricewise, it's a bargain compared to something like Acura MDX or Toyota Highlander of the same age and mileage, and easier to work on (except maybe for replacing the spark plugs). As to lifting and other modifications, one importantt factor is that aftermarket parts are not available, so it has to be an in-house job. Perhaps factory lifting spacers from 3d gen. Outback can work in the front, although something would still need to be done about the struts, but rear suspension is unique to the platform.

There's no final word on whether the Tribeca will be discontinued. It might soldier on until somethiing new,  jointly developed with Toyota, would come out.

afterbang: I recall you sold because of a transmission problem, no?

Edited by avk, 30 September 2013 - 05:49 PM.

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