GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Subaru - Tribeca - 3.6R 5-dr wagon range

Launch Story

Subaru logo6 Dec 2007

By GEORGIA OCONNELL

SUBARU is not known for short product cycles, but may soon gain a reputation for one after the Japanese brand this week launched a significant revamp of the Tribeca SUV – a vehicle it released here barely 12 months ago.

Following the lead of the new Impreza as another example of the company’s increasingly conservative, populist approach to design, the revisited Tribeca counters criticisms of the first model – in particular its fussy, polarising styling.

As well as the styling revisions, it has also given the engine a much-needed capacity and torque boost, and improved access to third-row seats.

Subaru was motivated to undertake the urgent and no doubt expensive reworking of SUV as it was selling substantially less than it had hoped to in the key US market.

While the original Tribeca’s aero front end was a particularly brave move, it is not the first time the company has been forced to send designers back to the drawing board. The 2001 Subaru Impreza, with its bug-eyed headlights, was redesigned just two years later after negative customer reaction.

Tribeca’s sheetmetal at the front and rear is new, with insiders suggesting the design was actually originally intended for Saab for the aborted 9-7 SUV, when Subaru was still affiliated with General Motors. Subaru had already supplied Saab with a reskinned Impreza WRX, which sold as the disastrous Saab 9-2X overseas.

While there are the obvious changes to the metal, Subaru has also signed off on many changes under the skin.

The major change involves the new 3.6-litre engine, Subaru’s biggest-displacement engine to date, with 5.5 per cent more power (up from 180kW to 190kW) and 17.8 per cent more torque (up from 297Nm to 350Nm) than the outgoing 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, which originated from the Subaru Outback.

The 3.6-litre engine shares the same external dimensions as the smaller unit but is 0.7kg lighter and more fuel-efficient – claiming 11.6L/100km versus 12.4L/100km previously.

Subaru quotes the 0-100km/h acceleration time at 8.9 seconds. While these figures are gleaned using 95 RON premium unleaded, the 3.6-litre can run on standard unleaded, and is fed by a relatively small 64-litre fuel tank.

Subaru’s engineers have worked on ensuring that the new engine is more rigid, and on improving the cooling system and reducing engine vibration.

The air intake manifold is now a lightweight plastic item, while the timing chain was revised to reduce noise. A longer stroke was the chief means by which displacement was increased while not increasing block size or weight.

Additionally, improved casting methods have permitted the reduction of block thickness between cylinder bores by 6.4mm, while cylinder liners are lighter and thinner.

The five-speed auto transmission has also been heavily revised to suit the new engine and improve efficiency, with a new lock-up torque converter and an improved control unit.

Subaru recalibrated the rear suspension and fitted revised bushes.

The new exterior treatment includes the one-piece grille, front and rear bumpers, bonnet, headlights, tailgate, rear spoiler, tail-lights and 10-spoke alloy wheels.

The rear side windows are also 30 per cent larger for improved vision. Headlights are Xenon (across the range), the tail-lights are now a wider design, and the Premium model now has roof rails.

The major change inside is better access to the third row seat, which is a $2000 option on both 3.6R and 3.6R Premium models. The second row seats have a tilt-and-slide lever on both sides of the vehicle, plus a stronger spring to make sliding the seat easier, while new grab handles on the lower C-pillar have been fitted to aid entry and egress to the third row.

The standard rear-vision camera has been updated to include a wider angle and display marker lines indicating distance, car width, and the rear bumper.

Pricing remains unchanged for the 2008 model-year Tribeca, starting from $53,990 for the 3.6R, which has stability and traction control, ABS (with EBD and brake assist), dual front, side and curtain airbags and speed-sensitive windscreen wipers.

Inside, there is a nine-speaker six-stack CD/MP3 stereo, cargo security blind (for the five-seater only), cruise control, 10 cup-holders, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, eight-way adjustable power driver and front passenger seats, height-only adjustable steering column, leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, a trip computer, power mirrors/windows and satellite navigation.

The $58,990 3.6R Premium adds dual memory function for the eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather trim in a choice of ivory or grey, electric sunroof, rear seat DVD system with wireless headphones and remote controller, and roof rails.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Tribeca

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.