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Subaru Tribeca 2008



  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Decided to try this winter with the Goodyear's (the wife is complaining that I've spent too much $$ already) on the Tribeca. Maybe by next year the prices will moderate a bit. The Blizzaks (18") have been a bit pricey.

    It's snowing again today. Yesterday we dodged the heavy snow fall about 15 miles away (10+"). Only received about 2" at our place. Weird weather pattern.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283

    Yes, a telescoping steering wheel would be really great. I've had to adjust the seat a tad further forward to be more comfortable in relationship to the steering wheel.

    The door armrest several inches higher would be nice. But I end up resting my arm by the window.

    Yes, a slightly higher armrest would be nice.

    The steering wheel is not quite as thick as my '98 OBW Ltd. Plus the OBW leather feels softer.

    I'm OK with the RPM's at speed ;) . Heck, at 78mph the OBW is turning about 3600 RPM. The attendant noise slides into the background after a while. But then on the OBW I'm always trying to shift into 6th gear. :P

    But so far we're really happy with the Tribeca (gold metallic, 7 pass. LTD). One thing I've noticed is that a back up camera would be totally useless in snowy country. The snow accumulation from driving down the road would cover the camera lens.

  • hdutyhduty Posts: 5
    Thanks Tobaggan,

    Your probably right, maybe in time I'll quick looking for the 6th gear, but the extra mileage would be nice. We have the Harvest Gold also. Love the color. I never thought about the issue of snow and the backup camera but your probably right. Though I'll never experience it since I don't have that option.

    One positive comment I have is that I like the low end grunt that this engine has. Some of the competion we looked at, like the highlander for example, seem to start off the line unipressivly and then pull hard once wound up. I like the fact that if I want it the Tribeca just blasts off. It's a "nice to have".
  • css1css1 Posts: 247

    I too just leased a 2008 5P Ltd Tribeca this past weekend.

    I agree with your points 1-4, however , I have been able to find my sweet spot for the seat. I also had 2 years to do this as this is my 2nd Tribeca. Initially, I too was concerned about the visibility of the instrument cluster.

    The seats in my 08 are softer yet more supportive. I find the lumbar has a longer range of adjustment.

    The motor and tranny have been improved. Based on your observations I don't think you would have liked the '06 or '07.

    The handeling is excellent and you should find this vehicle a pleasure to drive.

    For me - I need to get used to the large side mirrors.

    Good luck and enjoy
  • Based on what CR complained I would say that it Subaru will add telescoping steering wheel and larger tank.
  • when I get delivery of my 'beca. Will be at the dealership around 1:00p.m. Looking forward to a fun weekend getting to know her. ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Larger tank should be #1 on their list.

    Does anyone else think it's crazy that Subaru's biggest car has the same size gas tank as its smallest car (Impreza 2.5i)?

    Both are 16.9. The Tribeca should be at least 20 gallons.
  • I took delivery of the vehicle around 1:30 this afternoon and have put about 50kms on her already. Driving around town and on the back roads. Handles beautifully. Still not found the sweet spot as far as seating is concerned, but I'll get there eventurally. The mirrors just feel weird right now after the small rectangular mirrors on the GrandPrix. Love the way the car looks and it drives like a charm. The HID's in the underground lot were "who turned on the sun in here?!" bright.

    I think I am satisfied with the choice I've made and I'm sure my wife will be too when I surprise her with it this evening. She does not know I've picked it up yet.'s a surprise. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very nice, congrats (to both of you).

    I like those big mirrors, too.
  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    Attn: Everybody

    Buyer Beware!

    The post I am replying to is a spam to get you to call a leasing broker -

    If your legitimate, please give us a total breakdown of your lease -money factor, residual, fees, etc.? I have asked you for this info over a month ago on another of your posts but you have not responded.

    Again, be very cautious of post # 471
  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    How many Tribecas are you leasing???
    You have 3 repetitive posts (#345, 407, & 471)
    This is not a forum to advertize your business!!!!!!

    Caliberchik - is there away to remove this guy from the forums?
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    I knew there was something fishy with Davidoff. 2 incongruent posts. Thanks Charlie.
  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    your welcome
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yeah I will get in touch wtih Caliberchic on this, I can't remove the posts not in my area but he's obviously a spammer.

  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    Thanks Mike
  • All posts that are spamming have been deleted and he has been emailed. Banning is next if it continues. I'll follow up with this.
  • Yep, Tribeca needs either a larger tank or a more fuel efficient engine.
    WIth a diesel engine they could keep the 16 gal tank, Maybe in 2011 model year, after they introduce Forester diesel? Well, I can dream of that at least
  • css1css1 Posts: 247
    Thanks Caliberchic
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Yes, a 20 gallon gas tank would be very nice. Noticed as we are slowly putting miles on the Tribeca that gas mileage is also slowly increasing. When we fill the tank later this morning I'll have to check the mileage before hand.

    Regretfully, still haven't found the "sweet spot" with the seat/steering wheel. Close, but no banana. :cry:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ooh, diesel....hmm. :shades:
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    4 months ago I posted this review. Well, you know, Subaru people are Subaru people. After watching the snow falling hard in Minnesota 3 times in the last 2 weeks, I decided the BMW 335xi had too many trade offs for me (I don't like the feeling of the floor being so close to the snow, plus no hiking trips). So, I went back to the board, and took again a new test drive of the Tribeca, founding that it had none of the accel glitches that I founded in the first one. Long story short, I decided I didn't need anything else. MDX too expensive, CX9 has a shadow of unreliability.

    I bought it loaded, NAV, DVD, plus other options @ $4k under MRSP (like the Fitzmall price, $34.5). Plus they received my OB under the KBB excellent tier.

    Deciding factor: Everybody praises the handling but whine about space, and I found this is just my size (5'9" short legged). I like the fact that it handles like a smaller wagon (like it doesn't want to be an SUV). It has a feeling like every other Subaru I've had that it is indestructible.

    My Sienna has a great engine, but this one feels stronger at mid revs, plus the handling is way better, I just came from a curvy road that is a definite that I'd never take that fast in the minivan.

    Dislikes: The seatbelt whine, like in my old OB (when you don't use it), and of course, I noticed how fast the tank dropped from full to 4/5 in only 60 miles (small tank).

    I'd put my official review in Edmunds after at least 3 weeks. But anyway, I think the Consumer Report is fair, but nit-pick a lot on the fact that some buttons in the stereo somehow "look" at the passenger, and while it's true is not uncomfortable or critical. I'd say that if you like it, take the test drive.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Seatbelt overide is easy.

    Put the car in "acc" and clip/unclip your belt 20x and it will not give you that nagging warning. It still warns you but it's the "normal" reminder (like 2x)

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Congrats, Nickel! Gas mileage slowly improves over time. I have found it likes to cruise at 78MPH between here and the Cities. Feels really stable. We run ours configured as a 5 passenger most of the time. Only use the 3rd row when hauling the grand kids.

    If you're interested in winter tires, Tire Rack now has 17" or 18" packages. I'm going to try the Goodyear's this year to see how they work up here in the northland. Plus my wife is saying I've spent enough (just bought an ATV with plow for the driveway).

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Well, received the 3 Trico winter blades that I ordered through Only the passenger side fit on the wiper arm.

    The drivers side wiper arm is a bit wider. The arm would fit through attachment point, but the plastic piece that connects and locks to the arm won't fit. Plus it seems that the wind deflector is attached to blade assembly. If it wasn't so cold, I'd take a digital picture to show you'all. If one was really motivated you could fabricate mountings to move the deflector to winter blades.

    The rear wiper arm is different. It does not end in shepard's crook. It ends in a shaped "blob" of plastic that the blade assembly rotates into. Gotta read the manual (p.11-35) to find the correct removal/replacement sequence.

    Bummer! :cry: Now I'll have to return the two blades that don't work. I had made a rash assumption, after glancing at the wiper arm/blades, that the "standard" mounting assembly would work

    After being out in a heavy snowfall recently, the windshield wiper blade heating is inadequate if you're moving in stop and go traffic. All three blades became ice coated and would not clean the windshield or rear window worth beans. :sick:

    I hope someone from Subaru is monitoring this forum. Winter blades are needed YESTERDAY!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, hope you enjoy it for a long time!
  • Hi All,

    I just purchased a 2008 Tribeca. While it's a very nice vehicle it seems to have a lot of vibration between 45 and 75 mph. I took it to the dealer and asked them to re-balance the tires which they did but the vibration was still there. Took it back and at first they said it may be a bad tire and they would replace all four of them but they just called and said Subaru told them not to. According to them, Subaru said they have been getting a lot of calls about this and that if driven a couple thousand miles the vibration will go away as everything loosens up from sitting so long. I suspect the only thing they hope will go away is me, but maybe this is standard for Subaru. I've never had a Subaru or a vehicle this big so I guess I'm a little out of my element here. Anyone have any thoughts on whether or not the vibration may go away on it's own given some miles. Thanks for any help.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Drive in a tight figure-8 pattern, see if you have any binding or anything like that.
  • I also have the 2008 Tribeca Limited 5-Passenger. It is a beauty. My vibration is not as profound as yours. Above 70 mph, especially close to 80 mph I get this slight vibration from the left front tire (driver side). I feel it slightly through the steering wheel. I keep the tires at 33 psi front 32 psi rear. Anything below the 70 mph there is hardly a vibrationt. At the 80 mph speed the vibration increases as the road is winding (curves). I have my first oil change appointment and i requested the alignment and re-balance of tires. I am hoping this is a minor problem and it would be fixed by alignment and balance. I have total confidence in my Tribeca and subaru. I'll post next week on the outcome. Other than that, I still can't figure out why the A/C light comes on all the time when Auto is on, and when I turn A/C off the Auto goes off.I guess I got to read more or ask the dealer.
  • Just picked up the Tribeca from the dealer. The vibration and slight thumping is still there. They swear it should disappear by the time I get 1K on it. It's got 400 miles right now. I did a few figure 8's going both directions in the parking lot and didn't feel any binding or anything I would think was out of the ordinary. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
  • Hey Gothicesque,

    The auto setting on the temperature control will use the A/C when it has to, to dispel any excess moisture etc from the interior of the vehicle (fogging). When you turn the A/C off, you are, in essence, manually controlling the temperature. Thus, the auto light goes off.

    Hope that helps.

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    ^Yes. And... if you've got it set on auto and then turn off the A/C, even though the auto light goes off, the system still automatically varies the fan & heater to maintain your desired temperature. Mike pointed that out (I never realized that!) and I've tried it out with my Outback's climate control.
  • Now I get it, finally!. So that's what happens with the sophisticated Auto Climate Control System. I know understand. Thank you again jeffmc and David, I appreciate your information. This is really helping me understand. I never had a Auto climate control SUV before so I was not sure what was going on. The Tribeca uses the A/C when it has to (like in the winter as well to defrost). Nice system I got here! I really enjoy driving my Tribeca. This is my first Subaru. And everything wonderful they say about Subaru is true. Well put together, sophisticated, drives like a car, smooth ride. I really could not ask for more. :shades:
  • Hi All,
    I just got the 2008 tribeca for almost 2 weeks now with 400 miles on it so far. Its handling is excellent for the car that size and is very quiet. People riding with me were surprise how good the ride was being not familiar with Subaru.
    However, I have a problem with the new smell that really bother me since it is very strong whenever I turn on the fan initially at the start. The smell is similar to a petroleum product or close to a gas smell. When the car is running for a little while and with fresh air circulate, it was much better. I now open all the windows when I park the car in my garage hoping to air out all the smell. But at soon as I get in the car and turn on the climate control, the smell comes back w/ or w/o starting the engine.
    I wonder if any of the new Tribeca owner experienced this, and how long does the new smell subside. My last new Outback's new smell wasn't this bad as far as I remember.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    In my Sienna it happened exactly like that. The dealer told me the car didn't settle down until at least 1,200 miles. As they told me, around that threshold the car composed by itself. So, be patient.

    My car has exactly 0 concerns so far. The only problem is my wife, who took it yesterday and now doesn't want to give it back.
  • Hey Nickel,

    I would say that is a very big concern, my friend. ;)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The other guys beat me to the response. If you hit the A/C button it basically makes it semi-automatic system.


  • Thanks Nickel. That is encouraging. On the positive side, I'm looking forward to getting up my driveway when it snows for the first time in years :) . My old Honda Accord just couldn't make it.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    Today should be day 4 with my new Tribeca, but my wife took it away the whole day yesterday. This morning I push it really hard on the highway, trying to feel the vibration stuff, but nothing. I did 90 mph and nothing. I even did some cookie cutting, and it felt perfect. Counting even the fact that I've not been able to check the tire pressure (a must in a new car, don't think the dealer will do it). It's so cold here that I'll wait until I get home to do it inside the garage.

    The most annoying thing so far is that I already had to fill the tank this morning in less than 350 miles. But my 14 miles commute from Woodbury to St. Paul showed 19mpg, better than I thought, even pushing it hard (going down on the highway). Today I have to do a longer commute at peak hours, so I'll be monitoring the trip. It's not about filling the tank sooner, but having to do it at 14F.

    I have no problems with the A/C, but in the Outback I had the same odor that you're reporting. I think that has been documented in the OB forums. Nothing otherworldly because it was coming and going at least 2 times a month, so I didn't bother trying to fix it. But I'd recommend you to check the OB forums, definitely.

    So far everybody's happy with the car. My 5 years old daughter is happy with the TV, the wife happy with the NAV, and me, well, it really handles well. It's the perfect car for my family.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Hmmm, my Tribeca is smooth as silk up to 80MPH (not going any faster until more miles are on it).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    my wife took it away the whole day yesterday

    Hilarious! :D
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Your milage will increase once you hit 10k miles.

  • I also have a new Tribeca little over 600 miles and there is no vibration...only have had her up to 80 MPH. Get it checked.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    I'll say that I've driven it like if it was a STI (its a lease). Have been a bit more than 500 miles (735 in odo), so to put it in Edmunds terms, so far:

    What works: Solid feeling while driving, very good passing acceleration, excellent AWD, interior space works for my wife and daughter. Dealer service.

    What needs work: 16.2 mpg (85% in hwy). Outdated navigation (have you seen Acura?). Tank size. Reputation.

    It has been common for me to find myself as the fastest one in the highway, so easy is to speed on this. While in the Buck Hill ski area, I took one of the service roads, and everything was like in a TV ad: snow and ice on a steep hill, Tribeca meant no problem. Didn't want to be in other brand in that road. But that fuel economy with that tank is a pain, especially if you live in the suburbs, and have to drive 20 miles daily to work, plus all your errands. Common thing from my neighbors, they never heard before of this car, even if they like it.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It has been common for me to find myself as the fastest one in the highway, so easy is to speed on this.

    Perhaps this is why your fuel economy is so low? :) Gotta pay to play.

  • Sadly, I would have to agree with nickel. I'm currently getting 15.5 - 16.5 litres/100kms from my Tribeca and boy does the gas run down fast. I've been driving it like it needs to be when breaking in. Not crossing 110kms/hr, no Triptronic or sports mode and not letting the revs get past 3500. Hoping she settles down soon.

    Coming up on 1000kms since I got it, but it has primarily been city driving. Have not had a chance to let her run loose on the highway much (we've been hit by a number of bad snowstorms).

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,963
    Cold weather, snow storms... these kill fuel economy anyway. While I usually get ~27 mpg from a 2.5 liter Outback in the summer months, I am getting just under 20 mpg right now with -30 and colder temperatures. When the temperatures were warmer, but there was fresh snow through which to drive every day, the economy was still less than 22.

    The small tank in the Tribeca, though, sure does make the low economy pronounced!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also winter blend gas knocks down economy as well.

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    My last two tanks averaged over 21 mpg in mixed commute driving. That's calculated- not just off the display.
    I guess I'm a 'feather' foot. I often pop the gear into neutral for coasting to save fuel. Is that a bad thing to do?

    '07 Tribeca with the 'old' engine. Sipping premium however.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You don't need to use neutral, and here's why.

    In Neutral, the engine burns fuel just to stay idling.

    Coasting in gear, the ECU can cut off fuel, because your momentum is making the engine spin, actually the engine helps you slow down with engine braking, without using fuel.

    My guess is the ECU is smart enough to use less fuel that you would use idling while coasting to a stop.
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