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2011 Subaru Tribeca (Premium, Limited, Touring) Review


The Subaru Tribeca 7-passenger crossover SUV continues for 2011 in Premium, Limited and Touring trim lines. Standard amenities include heated front seats and an auxiliary air conditioning unit with headliner-mounted vents in the second and third row seats.
Photo: 2011 Subaru Tribeca -Photo: 2011 Subaru Tribeca -
The Subaru Tribeca delivers an engaging driving experience and top safety performance with Subaru quality. Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and a four-wheel traction control system (TCS) enhance the capabilities of the standard Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The crisp, elegant exterior design gives Tribeca a strong road presence. The Tribeca is built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
The Subaru Tribeca received the highest rating (5-stars) in all of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests. These results are in addition to the 4-star rating in the NHTSA tests for rollover resistance. (No SUV to date has earned 5-stars in the rollover test.) The Tribeca in addition is a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
The Subaru Tribeca is built around the Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame structure proven in Subaru models for over a decade. The Tribeca is equipped with occupant-sensing, dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side impact air bags, and standard curtain side air bags (front and second rows). A rollover sensor can detect a potential vehicle rollover and deploy the standard side curtain airbags. Brake Assist on the standard ABS brake system analyzes the force and stroke on the brake pedal and increases hydraulic boost to provide enhanced emergency braking, also activating the ABS system early if needed.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
Premium Performance, Regular Fuel
The Subaru 3.6-liter Boxer engine is engineered to produce powerful low-end torque, and its use of regular-grade fuel helps reduce operating costs. Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing is employed on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. The engine produces 256 horsepower and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6-liter engine sustains at least 225 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm. Channeled through a specially tuned five-speed automatic transmission, that helps give the Tribeca ample acceleration and merging power and makes it feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
Award Winning Interior with High-Tech Features
The Tribeca’s twin cockpit interior design features a flowing, sculpted dash and center console design. Aluminum-look trim highlights the sculpted shapes of the dashboard. Electroluminescent dials and subtle ambient interior footwell lighting provide a sophisticated touch. The center console is anchored by an information center that groups the readouts for the audio system, clock, fuel economy, and outside temperature.
The second row seat features a tilt-and-slide control on both sides and an assist spring that reduces the effort needed to slide the second row seat. Molded assist grab handles on the lower C-pillar ease passenger step-in to the third row. The standard 50/50 split fold-down third-row seat features integral headrests.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
The Tribeca provides a very high level of quiet and comfort. Standard amenities include a dual-zone automatic climate control system; auxiliary air conditioning system for second and third rows; 8-way power driver’s seat; 4-way power passenger seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote audio controls, and a 100-watt AM/FM stereo system with CD player (with MP3/WMA playback capability) and six speakers. All Tribeca models come pre-wired for XM® or SIRIUS® Satellite radio, and all feature a standard console-mounted auxiliary audio jack to connect portable audio players, such as iPods, to play through the vehicle’s audio system.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
Luxury is stepped up in the Tribeca Limited models, which are equipped with leather seating surfaces for front and second rows; two-position memory for the front driver’s power-adjustable seat; 385-watt harman-kardon® audio system; XM Satellite radio receiver and antenna; BlueConnect® hands-free Bluetooth phone connectivity, and ambient center console and cup-holder illumination. The optional Moonroof Package also includes a rear-vision camera with a 3.5” auto-dimming mirror display that is standard on the Touring.
Reflecting increasing customer demand for added comfort in crossover SUVs, the Tribeca Touring incorporates exclusive design features and luxury amenities over the Limited trim line, including: HID headlights; monochrome exterior paint scheme; power moonroof; rear vision camera with monitor in auto-dimming mirror; silver-painted roof rails; a silver-painted front underguard, and 7-spoke alloy wheels. A Bluetooth® hands-free phone module is now also standard for the Limited and Touring trim lines, as is XM satellite radio (including a three-month trial subscription).
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
An optional touch-screen GPS navigation system available for Tribeca Limited and Touring models incorporates a Rear Vision Camera and 7-inch LCD display. When the driver moves the transmission shift handle into reverse, the center color LCD display will show what the camera lens can detect within its field of vision behind the vehicle. The screen view features distance/width guidelines to assist the driver in backing up the vehicle.
Customers can also order the Reverse Assist Sensors as an optional accessory for any Tribeca model. Ultrasonic sensors mounted in the rear bumper detect objects behind the vehicle and emit an audible tone as the vehicle gets closer to an object behind it. An available remote starter feature allows the owner to start the vehicle from up to 80 feet away.
The optional rear-seat entertainment system for the Limited and Touring trim lines consists of a nine-inch wide-screen format LCD screen and a DVD player featuring remote inputs for video games and a video camera. The package includes two sets of wireless headphones and a wireless remote control.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
Advanced Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with VDC
With more brands adding All-Wheel Drive – especially luxury brands – it is worth noting that Subaru introduced four-wheel drive passenger cars more than 35 years ago and automatic full-time All-Wheel Drive nearly 25 years ago.
Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive provides excellent balance thanks to the longitudinally mounted Boxer engine and the way power flows from it through the transmission and to the rear differential along a straight, near-horizontal path. In the Tribeca, Subaru integrated its All-Wheel Drive technology with a stability system and 4-wheel traction control to form one of the industry’s most effective dynamic handling systems.
The Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive utilizes a planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch to control power distribution between the front and rear wheels. Under most conditions, VTD splits the power 45:55, with the rearward bias contributing to handling agility. The VTD system continually optimizes power distribution in response to driving conditions.
Photo: 2011 Subaru TribecaPhoto: 2011 Subaru Tribeca
Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) is a highly sophisticated stability system that actively controls the center differential’s power distribution as part of its function. VDC ensures optimal torque distribution to the appropriate wheels based on input from steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors. The VDC system also monitors input from the ABS brakes, adjusting individual wheel braking as needed, helping to maintain vehicle control under a variety of driving conditions. Integrated with VDC, the 4-wheel electronic traction control system (TCS) provides an extra layer of handling control without impeding VTD All-Wheel Drive operation.
Standard 18 x 8-inch aluminum-alloy wheels feature an elegant dual 5-spoke design. The Tribeca is capable of towing a trailer of up to 3,500 pounds when equipped with the available accessory towing package.

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