Long time subie fan looking at a Tribeca - SB9T.com
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Long time subie fan looking at a Tribeca

Hello all. I have had an impreza, a Forester, and most recently a Crosstrek. I am now looking to replace my 05 Forester with either a 2012 Tribeca or a 2014 Tribeca. Both around the same mileage (70k km). The 2014 is $2k more.

Can anyone give me any insight on the Tribeca? All the reviews are good other than 3rd row space and fuel economy but let's be honest, the car was a sales flop. What are some negatives and positives others have found with the car?

My biggest needs are the AWD, reliability, and those 7 seats.

Thanks for the info in advance.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The fuel economy really isn't as bad as the EPA ratings in my experience. Driving at 70mph, we typically get around 23-24 in the summer and more like 22 in the winter. Drop your speed down to 60 and you can easily get 25-26MPG without many stops. City fuel economy is rarely down to the 16MPG unless it's cold out and my wife drives it like she stole it around town.

The 3rd row is for kids only, for sure, but due to the sliding second row, space really isn't as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

Other issues? Some picky problems that aren't hard to solve come to mind, like the electrical connector for the rear diff cause a trouble light to come on. There are numerous rattles, some of which can be fixed fairly easily.

I wouldn't say there are any big issues for the Tribeca that seem to affect everyone though. It's a stout vehicle overall that we've been very happy with. My wife has told me that she'd rather fix the Tribeca than replace it with anything else (if something happened) because she likes driving so much.

Positives: Responsive engine, likes to rev with great low end power. Transmission is responsive, especially when you flip it over to sport mode. The Tribeca isn't fast, but it can move its weight around fairly easily.

Suspension is very good for such a large, heavy vehicle. It drives like a smaller lighter car, although if you push it to the limits around corners the weight does show.

It's an extremely good highway cruiser. It tracks straight and is extremely comfortable for long periods of time.

Parts won't be a big issue for the most part as Subaru is really good about not dropping replacement parts for discontinued models and the fact is that the Tribeca has very few mechanical parts that are 100% unique to it - much of it is shared with the H6 Legacy & Outback - the EZ36 engine is still in service in the 3.6R models currently.

Overall, I like our Tribeca. The poor sales had little to do with the vehicle's merits, in my opinion, and much more to do with bad timing & bad marketing.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscon_Mark View Post
The fuel economy really isn't as bad as the EPA ratings in my experience. Driving at 70mph, we typically get around 23-24 in the summer and more like 22 in the winter. Drop your speed down to 60 and you can easily get 25-26MPG without many stops. City fuel economy is rarely down to the 16MPG unless it's cold out and my wife drives it like she stole it around town.
I must know how you're getting those numbers! I'm getting 20 mpg in the summer, and 18 this winter, and I drive about 90% on the highway for work. Mine is obviously the EZ30, but I run 91 or better octane, the air filter is clean, the oil is changed, the plugs are brand new OEM, she runs smooth and only needs a new belt and pulleys this spring. What am I doing wrong to get so much lower economy? I don't get into the pedal very often since I'm trying to get the tank to last my typical 250 mile weekly run to work, and usually get right about 300-320 miles out of a tank.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with everything Mark pointed out, if you put the Tribeca side by side with any comparably equipped SUV there isn't much it does wrong. I think the mistake most people make is comparing them to FWD SUVs or some wheel drive ones. The Tribeca is incredibly sure footed and very nice to drive.

My wife averaged around 18 mpg mixed driving. For comparison sake our new to us Odyssey in the same hands manages 22 mpg.

On a trip to Tennessee we drove our Tribeca loaded down with bike rack and all. My in laws drove their 2016 Explorer FWD no bike rack significantly less cargo. We got about 2 mpg less for the whole trip, we had 150k+ miles on her and awd, they had 20k miles on theirs fwd only and 6spd auto.

Our average 21-22 mpg, they were in the 23-24 mpg range.

Last edited by FLsubies; 12-27-2016 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The best part of the poor reception of the tribeca is the excellent purchase price in the used market. I feel slightly bad for people who bought it new, but as long as they keep it till the wheels fall off, it won't matter to them either.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Those fuel economy figures don't turn me off and good to hear about the row seating. I didn't expect adults to fit in the 3rd row anyway. I will be test driving a 2012 premium with leather with only 67k km (41000 miles) going for 19k CAD (14k US).
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well put everyone. I think you will enjoy it. I can get nearly 24 mpg at 65 mpg with a full load of passengers, luggage, and dogs. That was with conventional 10w-40 high mileage oil combined with a quasi bad head gasket.

I really love this vehicle, even with the weird engine difficulties I am extremely happy with it. In fact, I keep fixing it up while ignoring the mechanical problems. That is a risky attitude I know, but that does tell you how much I love it.

The back row....I agree that it is useable.

This forum has been a great resource. It lacks the mean spirit that a lot of forums tend to have. Perhaps it is because there is a smaller circle. Mods have been pretty cool too. People don't seem to get all bent out of shape over differences of opinions either.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staatus Quo View Post
I must know how you're getting those numbers! I'm getting 20 mpg in the summer, and 18 this winter, and I drive about 90% on the highway for work. Mine is obviously the EZ30, but I run 91 or better octane, the air filter is clean, the oil is changed, the plugs are brand new OEM, she runs smooth and only needs a new belt and pulleys this spring. What am I doing wrong to get so much lower economy? I don't get into the pedal very often since I'm trying to get the tank to last my typical 250 mile weekly run to work, and usually get right about 300-320 miles out of a tank.
We've always gotten pretty good gas mileage with it, haven't done anything special. The torque (long stroke) of the EZ36 might be the difference between it and your EZ30, but the only other thing I can say is that I've been running ethanol free 87, but obviously your premium should be ethanol free, too.

The trip computer numbers (MPG estimate on the nav screen) check out when we calculate at the pump, too.
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Old 12-29-2016, 08:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yup, I use the "Per tank MPG" setting all the time, I find the "Live MPG" to be too distracting. I also use ACar tracker which lets me know that the B9's computer is pretty right on for tracking, but my personal best was one week at 21 MPG. Other than that, if I take the main highway (with traffic lights at the outskirts) I average 18-19, but if I take the lake parkway (longer with no lights, but speeds are 45-55 MPH vs. constant 55) I get about 20.2 MPG. I'm not complaining, but I'd love to get better. But, anything is better than my old Trooper at 13 MPG. Lol
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Tribeca is a great family car and a tremendous value. It is perfect for long trips and camping as well as for hauling grandparents or extra kids around.

Mileage is not a strong suit and we are lucky if we get 19 mpg on a road trip, fully loaded (in the West). I would not buy a TB to commute on either coast. The only really annoying aspect of TB ownership for me, though, is not mpg per se but the small tank which makes for a pathetic range.

If you put good tires, we have Nitto 420S, cornering is superb. With TC/VDC off, the car can do as well as any stock Subaru in snow, sand, and mud.

Personally, I like my IV gen H6 Outback better but the Tribeca is the more useful family car.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscon_Mark View Post

Other issues? Some picky problems that aren't hard to solve come to mind, like the electrical connector for the rear diff cause a trouble light to come.
Can you explain where this connection is found? I think I have this problem

Dean
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Here: https://www.sb9t.com/forums/showthrea...ight=rear+diff

Easy fix. I had to replace the spade connector (standard -used one from a generic kit I have) as cleaning it and reseating didn't solve it for long.
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Old 12-24-2019, 04:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The only really annoying aspect of TB ownership for me, though, is not mpg per se but the small tank which makes for a pathetic range.
You're right!
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