2011 Subaru Tribeca SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Subaru Tribeca SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru Tribeca Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L Flat 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 256 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Subaru Tribeca

  • The 2011 Subaru Tribeca has a few things going for it in the form of all-weather capability and a distinctive interior, but in the end, other midsize crossover SUVs present better alternatives.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stylish interior design; standard all-wheel drive; admirable crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Cramped third-row seat; limited cargo capacity; steering wheel doesn't telescope; indifferent driving dynamics; unimpressive fuel economy.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Subaru Tribeca carries over unchanged from the previous year.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

My 1st subaru is disappointing

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

I recently purchased a used 2010 Tribeca 3.6 L engine , my first Subaru, and am rather pleased except for a 'howl' in my automatic transmission. The sound changes as goes up through gears and especially noticeable from start through 2nd. Dealer has determined it is the alternator since engine speed also changes as gears change. Cannot believe any auto manufacturer would make their top of the line 'touring' vehicle with this howl or whine as I have been told by others. Either way a defective alternator OR transmission needs to be replaced.

Nice package

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

traded my 2009 Forester XT for a the 2010 Tribeca touring and it was a good decision. Needed a larger car with 2 kids. 3rd row is great for 2 extra passengers.

Nice upgrade

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

Traded in my 2009 Forester XT and don't regret it at all. The tribeca is overall a much nice SUV. The only thing I miss is teh Turbo in the XT but everything else has been great!

Powerful & safe awd family

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

Traded in '06 Outback for '10 Tribeca due to growing family. We were tired of the limited space in the Outback for rear facing car seats, wanted to upgrade to something with a bit more room. It is a great all around vehicle. The 'beca has plenty of power and handles corners with ease. Seats are wider than in the Outback, which makes long trips much easier on a big guy like myself. Third row is tight, but I was able to fit back there. In reality third row is meant for kids, so not a big issue for us. We purchased the "base" Tribeca, but the vehicle comes with standard features that come as options in competing vehicles such as the Traverse. Overall we have been very happy with our purchase.

2010 tribeca ltd - 2,000

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

After 2000 miles still love the handling and safe feel of the Tribeca. The leather seats are comfortable, and the power moonroof is nice too. The home-link on the sun visor eliminates all the remote control clutter. Have not setup the Blue-tooth as yet. Getting better mileage then advertised, around 18.5 mpg city, don't know about highway. Would like to see more storage compartments up front - glove box just big enough to hold manual nothing else. I have not tried the transmission in Sport mode - regular mode seems plenty perky and alive.

Like no other

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Tribeca

After 8000 km this car is definitely fun at the wheel. With the one of a kind symmetrical AWD this car is firmly planted on the road and while driving I always feel in full control of the vehicle. With a low center of gravity due to the lower placement of the Boxer engine this car does not sway while turning. With two small children safety is a top priority and with the 5 star crash test and safety ratings we could not ask for more. The stylish interior is a sight to behold and with smooth lines it is also very easy to wipe clean. Visibility is great front and back and the over-sized side mirrors are a bonus. Seats are comfortable and firm and on long rides the body stays rested. Great car


Full 2011 Subaru Tribeca Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Subaru Tribeca carries over unchanged from the previous year.


People champion excellence, not mediocrity. After all, you won't see a bumper sticker touting, "My child is a C+ student at Middling Jr. High." So we find it hard to rally around the 2011 Subaru Tribeca. While there's nothing about this vehicle that makes us cringe, it simply pales in comparison to other SUVs, which seem to do everything just a little better.

From the outside, the Subaru Tribeca was originally styled to be bold and innovative, but indifferent customer reaction has led Subaru to make it less distinctive, so now it looks too much like an artist's rendition of a generic SUV -- neither inspiring nor offensive. Even the Tribeca's performance is simply middle-of-the-road. The interior shows some signs of life with a futuristic dash design, but it comes at the expense of some usability.

On the plus side, the Tribeca's all-wheel-drive system delivers the assurance of solid footing in a variety of climates, a feature that sets it apart from the usual front-wheel-drive crossovers. Maneuvering in tight city confines is made easier by the Subaru's smaller dimensions. At the same time, a certain lack of interior space is noticeable. The second-row seats slide fore and aft, but all the way back is the way you'll use them. The third-row seat is for part-time convenience, not long-distance trips. Most important, taller drivers will bemoan the lack of a telescoping steering wheel.

Since there are no truly awful midsize crossover SUVs, it might be that benign doesn't add up to a compelling proposition. The Tribeca compares in size to the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox and 2011 Ford Edge, while it's a bit smaller than the 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander. And when it comes to price, dynamics and overall appeal, the Tribeca gets lost between these vehicles.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Subaru Tribeca is a seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV that is offered in Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels.

The Premium trim starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, a tilt (but not telescoping) steering wheel, heated power front seats, full power accessories, cruise control, a six-speaker CD/MP3 sound system with an auxiliary input jack, a 7-inch display screen and keyless entry.

Stepping up to the Limited adds leather upholstery (vinyl for the third row), heated front seats, driver-seat memory, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio and additional interior ambient lighting for the console. The Touring will get you exclusive 18-inch wheels, a monotone exterior paint scheme, xenon headlamps, silver roof rails, a sunroof and a back-up camera with a small display in the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Touring's roof rails, back-up camera and sunroof are available on the Limited as the Moonroof package. Optional on both Limited (Moonroof package required) and Touring is a Navigation package that includes a navigation system, a back-up camera (with the camera display migrating to the navigation screen) and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. These models are also eligible for a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Subaru Tribeca is powered by a 3.6-liter, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that produces 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode is the only transmission offered. Every Tribeca features an all-wheel-drive system that sends 55 percent of the power to the rear wheels in normal driving.

In recent Edmunds testing, the Tribeca accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is about average for this class. Fuel economy is below average, however, at an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Subaru Tribeca include antilock brakes (with brake assist), traction control, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In recent Edmunds brake testing, a Subaru Tribeca required 121 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, which is slightly shorter than its competitors.

The Subaru Tribeca has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedure. Its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) shows that the Tribeca scored a perfect five stars for both front- and side-impact protection. It also received the top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Subaru Tribeca's interior offers a taste of excitement, as the sweeping wraparound dash features complex organic shapes that blend smoothly into the center console. Unfortunately, most buttons on the dash are difficult to read and the curved panel shape hampers operation as the console bends away from the user. Most materials are either soft to the touch or well textured, and various panels are tightly fitted.

The Tribeca's front seats provide decent comfort for the average-sized driver, but the lack of a telescoping steering wheel compromises seating for taller adults.

The second-row seats offer nearly 8 inches of adjustable travel, but they don't slide far enough to the rear for us to get comfortable. Access to the third-row seats is hampered by a narrow opening and only the smallest passengers will feel comfortable once they get back there. Most competitors in this price range offer superior third-row accommodations. Maximum cargo capacity is just 74 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Unlike most other Subaru vehicles, which tend toward fun and lively, the Tribeca takes a step back. Though its all-wheel-drive system does impart a sense of confidence, this Subaru feels lethargic. The transmission is also a bit slow to react, but selecting Sport mode will sharpen things up.

Around town, the Tribeca is easily maneuvered into tight parking spots thanks to feather-light steering effort. Bumps and ruts in the road are readily absorbed, maintaining composure and delivering a calm and smooth ride quality. Once again, the 2011 Subaru Tribeca proves itself to be able-bodied, but lacking in spirit.


Talk About The 2011 Tribeca

2011 Subaru Tribeca Discussions See all Started By

I just purchased a 2014 Tribeca, and love the way it handles. I have had Subarus over the years, a 2005 Forester, and then a 2001 Legacy GTO which is still in my driveway with 223,000 miles on it. and...

Tribeca was a year behind the Outback so should have been redone for 2011, and a refresh now. So it is 1.5 generations behind....

MT is reporting that the next-gen Tribeca (due in 2014) could share much of the platform with the next-gen Highlander, which is due at the same time. It's also possible that the Tribeca may get a uniq...

Read more about the 2011 Subaru Tribeca

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific