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Hello and welcome. I own a 2006 Tribeca and a 2008 Sienna. I purchased my Tribeca in December from an owner that took great care of it. The engine was ruined from an oil filter failure. I replaced the motor myself and have been driving it for about 3 months. The mileage is high (247k) but the car seems solid. The transmission is original and going strong.
As with anything maintenance is key. But let me just say... from a nuts and bolts perspective the Toyota seems to be made better.
A few months after we purchased the Sienna we found out to our horror that it was used as an UBER taxi in New York City! The owner did NOT take care of it! Shame on me for not looking it over more closely, but even so it has been very reliable thanks to a rigorous maintenance schedule.
Little things like electrical connectors and fasteners seem to be made of better materials on the Toyota. I've had both cars torn down extensively and from a purely mechanical perspective the Toyota is made of better stuff.
When I replaced the motor in the Tribeca all the electrical connectors were brittle and many of them broke. Not so on the Sienna, and this was the car that was not maintained.
Please understand... I love my Tribeca...and I don't have long term experience with it. These are just observations from someone who has owned both makes.
Bottom line.... if you're used to Toyota reliability you might be disappointed in an older Subaru. If you like Subaru you may want to consider a newer model.
 

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I would suggest considering an outback or wait a few years for the price of the Ascent to come down, unless you have a seriously compelling reason to get a Tribeca.

Hello,
I am new to Subaru with little knowledge about Subaru's vehicles. I've always been a Toyota guy and now that my kids are grown, I am ready to trade in my Sienna for an AWD SUV.
What year and mileage are on that Sienna now and when you bought it?
You may dislike any other car if you're not comparing apples to apples. if you're trading in a really nice condition, known, Sienna for an unknown, similar age and mileage used vehicle.....for instance.

Also a Tribeca is not an SUV or minivan - make sure you're okay with loosing the traits you'll be moving away from.

Tribeca's are harder to find parts for and experience with and is a dying platform. That's not a huge plus for getting started in one right now.

While distinctly different cosmetically and in form, mechanically the Tribeca has all the same basic layout and mechanical parts as other Subau's so it's nothing special mechanically or reliability wise.

The transmission and engine are the same as any other similar era H6 or EAT trans. They generally reliable predictable, and easily accumulate high miles if a couple issues are avoided.

Necessary: replace the serpentine pulley bearings like clock work every 60k. synthetic oil only and don't let it run low.

There are occasional headgasket and trans valve body issues - those are major repairs but not frequent enough to warrant excessive concern.

If those two issues are avoided Tribecas easily rack up a quarter million miles with very little repairs and maintenance.

As to the previous poster spending $10k on their vehicle - the internet is a clearing house for issues on any vehicle and attracts a lot of negative comments. you can find issues with any vehicle, including headgaskets on the very reliable Sienna.

That poster doesn't operate on their own logic that they're trying to convince you of = "expensive repairs on any one vehicle means i'll never buy that manufacturer again". They would have no vehicle they can buy because they all have issues occasionally. Any vehicle they buy will have had issues - but they won't take cues about those.

The $10,000 is questionable - reapair costs shoudln't come anywhere near $10K with an excellent mechanic. That's absurd and a clear indicator of other issues like poor shops/mechanics, user error, used vehicle issues, etc. That user would be best served learning and adapting their vehicle ownership routines. They probably need a better independent mechanic who's trust worthy and really good at whatever manufacturer vehicle they own.

Same with you - for the tribeca you'd want to use a good mechanic to maintain an older Subaru and take notes from this forum or subaruoutback.org for maintenance and repair advice. Tribeca has the same engine and trans as outbacks so you've got a wealth of resources there for the big ticket items.
 

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As to the previous poster spending $10k on their vehicle - the internet is a clearing house for issues on any vehicle and attracts a lot of negative comments. you can find issues with any vehicle, including headgaskets on the very reliable Sienna.

That poster doesn't operate on their own logic that they're trying to convince you of = "expensive repairs on any one vehicle means i'll never buy that manufacturer again". They would have no vehicle they can buy because they all have issues occasionally. Any vehicle they buy will have had issues - but they won't take cues about those.

The $10,000 is questionable - reapair costs shoudln't come anywhere near $10K with an excellent mechanic. That's absurd and a clear indicator of other issues like poor shops/mechanics, user error, used vehicle issues, etc. That user would be best served learning and adapting their vehicle ownership routines. They probably need a better independent mechanic who's trust worthy and really good at whatever manufacturer vehicle they own.

Same with you - for the tribeca you'd want to use a good mechanic to maintain an older Subaru and take notes from this forum or subaruoutback.org for maintenance and repair advice. Tribeca has the same engine and trans as outbacks so you've got a wealth of resources there for the big ticket items.
Don't you dare question the validity of my problems with this car. I maintain records of every cent I have spent on this vehicle and yes this POS car has cost us well over $10k in repairs just over the last few years alone. Stupid un-predicted repairs that speak to the quality of these vehicles.
 

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Don't you dare question the validity of my problems with this car.
i'm sorry that you had to go through that, seriously, that's a mess and i get that I probably shouldn't go there. this guy has decisions and is trying to navigate online information to assist his purchase and i'm helping him navigate that information. the point wasn't to question the validity of problems with that car. it was an illustration - if he ruled out every model that has bad reports online - there would be no vehicles left to purchase. that can be hard for some people

$10,000 is questionable not in terms of validity - but in terms of diagnosis and repair. That $10,000 was quoted and paid doesn't mean that the shops made the best choices. The OP should be aware that having good resources of some sort such as avoiding dealers, and finding a reputable shop familiar with Subaru's will help to avoid excessive maintenance and repair costs.
 

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Tribeca's are harder to find parts for and experience with and is a dying platform. That's not a huge plus for getting started in one right now.
I can't say I've really had issues with our Tribeca in terms of finding parts and my Baja even still has many parts that were unique to it still available - that vehicle was discontinued in 2006, the first year of the Tribeca.

Both the Baja and Tribeca share a lot of parts with the Legacy & Outback models and given Subaru's history of keeping parts in stock for a lot longer than other OEMs, I wouldn't be too concerned about it overall.

Stupid un-predicted repairs that speak to the quality of these vehicles.
They may, or they may speak to the maintenace and repair history of your vehicle OR maybe the people who built your specific vehicle were having an off day. Your experiences are your own with that vehicle, nobody else's. In my opinion you're painting with a bit too broad of a brush about issues that can be rooted in more than just the build/engineering quality of an entire Make or Model.
 

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I can't say I've really had issues with our Tribeca in terms of finding parts
I didn't mean that they weren't available - only there's less availability. I love mine for what I use it for - it's been great and slam dunk reliable to the 190k or whatever it's at now, i'm not knocking it.

headlight$$$, interior trim, wipers, floor mats, seats, used bumpers and fenders in matching colors, and more... it's not a problem but availability isn't the same as other models. it will only matter to certain people, i like grabbing an A+ bumper or fender for $100 in matching color at local yards and easily replacing headlights as they fade cheap and easy. tribeca's are just a tick harder and more expensive, not impossible or a problem.
 

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One of my fear is the HG issue. I don't mind doing the maintenance. I do as much work as I can without going to the dealers but the HG, tranny and AC issues are on another level for me.



I understand that from my research, the 3.6 shouldn't have any HG or tranny issue but there are still reports about the issue. Is it just owner's neglect or are there really issues?


The question is, do any of you have confident on the Tribeca to take your family on a 1,000 miles road trip?
I would not recommend it I have had to fix mine every 2k one thing other now it’s the shifter now lots of play I put a shifter in it. It runs and drives like a dream.
 
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