2009 Subaru Tribeca Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Subaru Tribeca was new.


Interior: 7.3

The Tribeca seats five in two spacious rows, or seven with an available third row. With plenty of cargo space and a stylish, practical layout, the cabin earned high marks from most reviewers.

  • "The expressive dashboard is formed from materials that look nice enough, but too many are hard plastic and lack the richness of those found in top competitors." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Tribeca features a wraparound cockpit with metallic overlays. In seven-seat models, as part of last year's reworking, Subaru says the second-row chairs now have easy-to-use adjusters that slide the seats forward for third-row access." -- Cars.com
  • "The Tribeca interior is very modern, yet very functional with upscale materials and excellent ergonomics." -- MSN
  • "There were times that I felt deceived by the 2009 Tribeca. With its leather interior, stylish accents and a more-than-$37,000 price tag, I expected to find automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a more adjustable driver's seat." -- Mother Proof


The Tribeca seats five, or seven when equipped with an available third-row seat.

  • "Adding the third row significantly cuts down on rear leg and cargo room, and only kids will feel somewhat comfortable here." -- Car Gurus
  • "The 2nd-row seat splits 60/40 and slides fore and aft up to 8 inches for adequate to ample legroom. Three adults won't be squeezed, but headroom is just OK for six-footers. The available 3rd-row 50/50 bench is sized for two kids, has virtually no legroom if the 2nd-row seats are fully aft, and is difficult to access." -- Consumer Guide
  • "If you need room for seven adults, the Tribeca's child-sized third-row seat falls short." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "You can access the third-row seat from both sides of the vehicle. Previously, you could only fold down the right-side second-row seat to access the way-back. It's still really tight in the back, but at least now you can get out of it a bit more quickly after your cramped ride back there." -- Automobile Magazine

Interior Features

Reviewers thought the 2009 Tribeca is well-equipped and features easy-to-use controls.

  • "The 2009 Tribeca does offer a long list of standard features in its Base trim, including power front seats, wheel-mounted audio and cruise control, leather trim, and a CD player with MP3 jack, but the Limited represents the luxury model here. It adds heated leather seats, memory settings, a sunroof, and a 6-CD changer." -- Car Gurus
  • "Main gauges are large and legible, but flanking fuel and temp dials are harder to see. Audio and climate controls are mostly easy to use and none are absorbed by the optional navigation system -- a plus." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The control buttons have been simplified to the point of near non-existence. But once you identify the function of each button, the system becomes fairly intuitive." -- The Detroit News
  • "The 2009 Subaru Tribeca adds the Special Edition that includes leather seating, 2-position memory driver's seat and an upgraded 160-Watt audio system with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, 8 speakers and rear subwoofer." -- MSN


With all seats in use, the five-seat Tribeca offers 37.6 cubic feet of cargo room, while the seven-seat version offers just 8.3 cubic feet.

  • "Space behind the 2nd row is ample, but only a few grocery bags fit behind raised 3rd-row seats, which fold flush into the floor. Cabin storage is OK, but less generous than it appears. Note that in one test Tribeca, the floor storage lids fit poorly and were prone to rattling once underway." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With both second- and third-row seats up, cargo capacity is a mere 8.3 cubic feet, enough for a few grocery bags and not much else." -- Car Gurus
  • "There are handy cupholders sculpted into the vehicle's sides for occupants of the third-row seats." -- BusinessWeek
  • "Folding all the rear seats results in 74 cubic feet of cargo space, which is below average for the midsize crossover segment." -- Edmunds

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