After owning 3 Subarus since 1988, I bought Subaru's premium model-Tribeca Limited-7 Seats. Subaru's improvement over the years shows in Tribeca-A gorgeous interior design/luxurious feel; sleek exterior lines; ample ground clearance/best AWD in the business; 5-star crash ratings. Pure joy to be in the driver's seat & has a solid feel on the road. We have driven our Tribeca on 1000 mile road trips of open freeways over weekends; winding steep roads and of course the in-town daily commutes/family and grocery hauling - Tribeca does it all with grace - a solid performer when it comes to merging on highways; changing lanes and passing traffic.
The 256HP H6 boxer engine really performs in Sport mode-even in normal D mode, it has some pep-& all this with unleaded gas. The dashboard is functional yet has an elegance found in luxury brand models. Other features we like - steering wheel mounted audio functions; vehicle info display.
We wanted a 5 seat Tribeca but had to buy the 7 seat Ltd for rear a/c vents. Slightly improved mileage/larger fuel tank, and 2-3 inches of more leg space in the third row seat would make it a much stronger candidate in the segment.
After 90k on my '06, I just bought an '09. (The '06 is still in the family, and my previous Legacies have made it to the high 200ks with one at 330k - without major repair.) I felt the ride on the '06 was hard & sharp, but the '09 has smoothed that. I feel it is still firm - not soft like the review stated. The driver's seat position has always given me more room than I need (6'1). Although I like the outside "look", I'm one of the few who felt the '06 was original and creative (Alfa-Romeo comes to mind). Now it looks like a Chrysler. As for interior space, if you need more room, buy a "box."
Interstate cruising comfort (21 mpg). Style - in & out. AWD - my Subarus have always been very stable on ice. They are the northern states cult car.