August 2005: We compared and test drove new Subaru B9 Tribeca, Highlander LDT, Honda Pilot, Acura MDX, Nissan Murano, Infinity FX3,and used Lexus RX300. Final Round was between MDX & Tribeca. Tribeca won for us. Here's why: Better handling, especially in sudden high speed manuvers. Slight lean never gets worse than slight. Quick, accurate steering and shifting response. 255/55/18 Tires w/ 18" wheels contribute. Fun to Drive: Std auto trans adds "sport" mode AND " Manual mode". Zoom. (But Murono 'shiftless' trans is cool!) Ground clearance: 8.4" allows a some off road adventure confidence. Features & doo-dads: All the rest being about equal or better than the competitors.
5 passenger w/ flat folding rear seats, "manual" shifting, VERY NICE interior design and layout. Nimble handling for SUV. (But, MDX was quicker) This is NOT the Subaru you know - It is significantly improved. This "crossover" SUV, crosses luxury vehicles and the utlitarian Subaru capibilites
Glove box is tiny. Audio sound quality OK, not great. A real Trip computer without NAV option would be nice. Fit & finish look like car was made by Subaru. I think the front & rear body styling is ugly.