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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
added power is immediately felt on take-off and when passing
Kelley Blue Book
modest handling limits
a comfy, smooth ride
fun-to-drive index is low, but its road manners are almost beyond reproach
Car and Driver
With standard all-wheel drive, a more powerful engine, and a ride tuned for comfort, the 2008 Subaru Tribeca is a good all-weather family hauler.
In this Subaru, 2008 brings revised styling and changes to the engine and transmission for improved performance and efficiency. Car and Driver reports it's "a more flexible and tranquil drivetrain, with improved throttle response...and better performance with lower operating costs." Part of those lower costs includes the fact that the engine now runs on regular gas versus the older model's need for premium. Edmunds finds "the once laggardly Tribeca is now as quick as most of its peers...with the Tribeca's 0-60 mph acceleration times dropping from 9.5 seconds to 7.8." Kelley Blue Book notes the "new shift points programmed into the automatic transmission lessen the number of gear changes required when climbing hills."
Also new for the 2008 Subaru Tribeca is a redesigned rear suspension, which, according to Kelley Blue Book, "helps improve handling while yielding an impressive 8.4 inches of ground clearance." In reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, reviewers regarded the suspension as tuned more for comfort than sport. Edmunds finds "Subaru's standard all-wheel drive provides ample grip in any weather" but also notes that the 2008 Tribeca has "modest handling limits...slow steering and noticeable body roll around corners." Car and Driver sums it up as "a very well-balanced, stable, and confidence-inspiring ute."
TheCarConnection.com adds that the 2008 Subaru Tribeca's new 3.6-liter flat-six engine is more than half a liter larger than before. Subaru says power is up from 245 hp to 256, and torque has risen from 215 pound-feet to 247. Not only does the new engine get better fuel economy in real-world driving at 16/21 mpg, it makes some wonderfully high-dollar noises. All-wheel drive is standard, and there are 8.4 inches of ground clearance, but real off-roading isn't the goal here--just all-weather performance.
The 2008 Subaru Tribeca offers smooth acceleration and a confident, if soft, ride.