One of the Tribeca’s major advantages is the addition of standard all-wheel drive, which instantly gives the Subaru a leg up above some of its two-wheel-drive rivals when it comes to handling. However, the story doesn’t end there as the 2010 Subaru Tribeca, as it also has a rather refined, satisfying powertrain to match.
Car and Driver reports that the Tribeca features "a more flexible and tranquil drivetrain, with improved throttle response...and better performance with lower operating costs." Kelley Blue Book notes the “shift points programmed into the automatic transmission lessen the number of gear changes required when climbing hills." 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."
Edmunds also remarks "Subaru's standard all-wheel drive provides ample grip in any weather" but points out that the Tribeca still suffers from "modest handling limits...slow steering and noticeable body roll around corners." Note that with the 2008 update, the Tribeca also receives a redesigned rear suspension setup, 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, most testers regard the suspension as tuned more for comfort rather 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 2010 model year. It develops a peak output of 256 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque, all of which is sent through a standard all-wheel-drive system via a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic. Fuel economy is decent for a vehicle of this size, returning 16 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway.
Performance is sufficient, although it’s no match for some of its competitors like the Honda Pilot and the Chrysler Pacifica. Take if off road and the Tribeca’s capabilities start to diminish quickly, despite its reasonable 8.4 inches of ground clearing and all-wheel-drive system.