2012 Subaru Tribeca Review

The 2012 Subaru Tribeca has standard all-wheel drive and a comfortable ride, but reviewers were unimpressed with its limited cargo space and small third-row seat.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Limited cargo capacity
  • Cramped third row

Rankings & Research

The 2012 Subaru Tribeca's #21 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Subaru Tribeca has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 99 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.7
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2012 Subaru Tribeca Overview

The 2012 Tribeca is powered by a six-cylinder engine, and a few reviewers said the Tribeca feels a bit sluggish off the line, but most said the Tribeca has sufficient power. Critics mentioned that the standard five-speed automatic transmission can be hesitant to downshift when power is needed. The Tribeca comes standard with all-wheel drive, and at 16/21 mpg city/highway, its EPA fuel economy estimates are slightly lower than what its comparably equipped midsize SUV rivals get. According to auto journalists, the 2012 Tribeca has a comfortable, car-like ride, though there is some body lean in sharp turns. Reviewers added that the brakes have sufficient stopping power, though some complained that the steering is vague, and that the Tribeca has a larger turning circle than they expected.

Some test drivers said the 2012 Subaru Tribeca's cabin has a pleasing design, though others complained that the materials aren’t up to class standards. According to some reviewers, the front seats are comfortable and supportive, though others said taller drivers may want more legroom. The second row also received a bit of criticism for not being especially spacious, and most critics agreed that the third row is cramped, though this is a common complaint of third rows in this class. The 2012 Tribeca comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control and front seats that are power-adjustable and heated. Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system, a rearview camera, navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system are available. Maximum cargo space is 74.4 cubic feet, which is low for a three-row SUV.

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2012 GMC Acadia has one of the most spacious interiors in the class, with great cargo capacity and ample passenger space, according to reviewers. Test drivers said the Acadia has a smooth ride and confident handling.

The 2012 Ford Flex offers more overall cargo space than the Tribeca, and reviewers agreed that its third row is one of the most adult-friendly in the class. Test drivers were also impressed with the Flex’s composed handling and powerful EcoBoost V6 engine.

Compare the Tribeca, Acadia and Flex »

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