All Subarus come with all-wheel drive standard, but the Tribeca has the room, the power, and the comfortable ride that make this Subie the best suited as a family hauler.
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." 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. Kelley Blue Book notes the "new shift points programmed into the automatic transmission lessen the number of gear changes required when climbing hills."
Edmunds finds "Subaru's standard all-wheel drive provides ample grip in any weather" but also notes that the 2009 Tribeca has "modest handling limits...slow steering and noticeable body roll around corners." The 2009 Subaru Tribeca features a recently 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 regard the suspension as tuned more for comfort than sport. Car and Driver sums it up as "a very well-balanced, stable, and confidence-inspiring ute."
TheCarConnection.com adds that Subaru’s 3.6-liter flat-six engine was all new for 2008 and continues as the sole engine for the 2009 Tribeca. It pumps out 256 horsepower through the standard all-wheel drive and a new, lighter five-speed transmission. The revisions allow the upgraded engine to deliver better fuel economy (16/21 mpg) using regular unleaded fuel rather than the previous generation’s super unleaded requirement. Performance is adequate, albeit a bit slower than such competitors as the Honda Pilot and the Chrysler Pacifica. The ride height of 8.4 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive might hint at off-road prowess, but real off-roading isn't the goal here—just all-weather performance.