2010 Subaru Tribeca: The Forgotten Seven-Seat SUV

March 31, 2010
Poor Subaru never has any luck with its really large cars and SUVs. As long as they stick to vehicles no larger than the Legacy and Forester sales are steady, people appreciate the classic styling and they cross shop those models when looking for sedans or five-passenger SUVs. Subaru even managed a bit of sales growth over the last year when many “strong” manufacturers saw sales drop calamitously.

But does anyone look at Subaru when they need a seven-passenger SUV? Is a Subaru seven-passenger SUV about as desirable as a Subaru luxury sports coupe? Remember the SVX? If not there is a reason because Subaru didn’t sell many of that wacky looking, leather lined sports car with the weird windows.

Based on the Subaru Tribeca’s start in life you have probably never given it much serious consideration as a family SUV purchase. You may remember the first model year of the Tribeca when it had a hideous headlight design that gave it the appearance of a really peeved Rhino with bad acne. It wasn’t pretty and Subaru responded by restyling it the very next year with such a plain-jane face that you might easily mistake the 2010 Tribeca in your rear view mirror for a Dodge Caravan.

There is standard seating for seven, a 3.6 liter 256-horsepower flat-six engine, five-speed automatic, full-time symmetrical all-wheel drive, power driver’s seat, automatic climate control and a six-speaker audio system with prices starting at just $30,495. EPA fuel economy is a rather low 16 city/21 highway.

For just $2,000 more you can order your 2010 Tribeca in Limited trim with leather upholstery, a 385-watt 10-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth and a memory feature for the power driver’s seat. This trim level also allows you to order an optional power moonroof, rear seat DVD-entertainment and navigation without having to bundle them together. That is much better for the ever divergent needs of the American family because if you don’t need a DVD unit but want navigation you can easily specify your 2010 Tribeca that way. How many times do you really use your moonroof anyway?

Then lastly there is the $35,798 Subaru Tribeca Touring model which is, as you may have guessed, fully loaded with every option available on the Limited model all the while adding silver roof rails, special alloy wheels, heated seats, back-up camera and a whole bunch more. In reality the Limited and Tribeca Touring models are the most appealing as they both come with leather which is easier to clean if you have a messy family. And speaking of messy family members…

Is the 2010 Subaru Tribeca Dog Friendly?

Subaru just so happens to offer a dog safety kit that they call a “compartment separator/dog guard” that can help keep your dog safe in the cargo area. Safety systems like this are important to the well being of your dog even in panic stops. While the 2010 Subaru Tribeca is a Top Pick from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for crash safety there is nothing this SUV can do about a canine projectile.

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