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Subaru Tribeca 2008



  • 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: 10,908
    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.
  • Just picked up our 2008 7 pass, Grey, Limited Tribeca last Wednesday. Spent better part of the day reading all of the post here today.

    I drove all of the competition

    1. MDX
    2. Enclave, Arcadia, Saturn (whatever it was) - all the same Enclave was the nicest
    3. CX -9
    4. SRX
    5. Highlander
    6. XC90

    I know I am forgetting others. Anyways, kept coming back to the Tribeca. Yes, it has a few underacheaving things.

    1. No Telescoping SW
    2. Non-user friendly Navigation
    3. DVD screen does not come back on when car is turned off then back on, but audio continues to play.
    4. No HID - read the posts, if you have had or have them and live in dark, rainy/stormy areas, this is a real plus to have - I actually may have a source to get them anyways : )
    5. Can't operate NAV while driving. Love my Volvo for this as I drive all day long.
    6. Not prewired for bluetooth.


    1. Price - Well below any of it's competitors
    2. Reliability
    3. Not everyone and their brother has one - MDX, HIGHLANDER, XC90 tons around here.
    4. Great AWD system
    5. Fits all 5 of us plus some friends
    6. Way better gas milage then my 06 Titan crew cab I replaced at half the cost to fuel up. BTW, Enclave, et all say 24 MPG HWY, long term test say best HWY achieved has been 19MPG.
    7. Styling is really on par with MDX, etc.

    I know I am missing a lot on the plus side, but these are a few that kept bringing me back.

    My first Scooby, hope to make it long term.

    BTW, whoever did not think the Toureg is an off roader, needs to do some homework. DAKKAR :) EX- VW guy here, so let's chat :)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also putting it in neutral will cause a lot more wear and tear on the clutchpacks when putting it back into gear.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    BTW, whoever did not think the Toureg is an off roader, needs to do some homework. DAKKAR EX- VW guy here, so let's chat

    Dakkar, like WRC is based on stock vehicle but they are not stock ones! :)

    Also desert running is different than what I'd call off-roading, but let's not go down that road here, it's bad enough bob is still mad at me!

  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    Agree in almost everything.
  • Well, after 1500 miles the vibration was still there so I made a trip back to the dealer. They replaced all four tires and problem solved. Smooth as glass up to 80 MPH on the interstate. Everything else works well and I think this is going to be a pretty good touring vehicle.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Congrats! I've found that the headlights aren't bad at all. Nice cutoff and enough light on low beams.

    Yes, the Tribeca needs a telescoping SW and could use a 20 gallon gas tank. And up here in snow country, winter wiper blades (going to modify the 26" to fit the drivers side).

  • Mike -

    It's cool, I have seen way worse debates on VWVortex then you guys had :).

    Anyways, yes, DAKKAR, WRC, all loosly based on production model, but most "true" off road vehicles are never out of the box ready anyways. Still gotta modify the Jeeps, the Hummers, etc of the world to do the hard stuff. But, I think both of those are also, very capable off road cars for the masses. The Toureg, IMO, is one of the best at achieving both on/off road capabilites for "layman" not pro's :). It has a ton of technology that most drivers will never use. Watching a quick you tube video of some rock crawling is only very little what the Toureg can do. With some very simple mods (snorkle, WAY better tires, etc). Much better stuff has been done then that video, but then again, how many Toureg owners even do that ;)

    Anyways, I hope I did not cause I stir. I like learning about all types of cars through these forums. Part of being an enthusiast :shades:

    Tribe is off to the mountain tomorrow!! :) :D :)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No worries. I just have a very sore spot about "off-roading" having done off-roading just about every weekend for several years with my Trooper, in nearly stock form (aftermarket tires, sliders, and eventually a 2" spring lift) I sometimes take issue with a lot of the newer trucks that really are not setup for the true, back-woods, rock crawling offroading I've done. I wouldn't use a $50K+ truck for offroading either, cause you will get damage eventually no matter how good the truck is. :)

    On a side note, I just installed some aftermarket HIDs into the low-beams on my 05 LGT projectors, haven't had a chance to take it out at night yet but will report back, it may be a very inexpensive upgrade for folks.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats! :shades:
  • I test drove the same lot as above and ended up with the Tribeca as well.

    Concerning the wiper blades, what mods are you doing for the 08s? With the 07s, it has been a sore spot and have been left with very minimal options for wiper blade replacements.
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