Tribeca turns to fresh styling

Publié par: François Raymond Date: jeudi 21 juillet 2011

It wasn’t long ago Subaru Tribeca carried quirky exterior styling that catered to consumers whose design taste was far removed from mainstream sheet metal.

Today, the midsize 2011 Subaru Tribeca contours turn to broaden the appeal for traditional sport utility buyers’ palate with a flowing hood that cascades over a conventional grille, slim swept-back headlamps and large fog lights.

Redesigned tail lamps and cargo hatch give Tribeca’s rear fascia an upright posture that when combined with larger quarter windows serve to enhance visibility for reduced blind spots.

Tribeca’s outside rear view mirrors are also 50 percent larger than its predecessor for improved visibility.

The Subaru Tribeca comes in Premium, Limited and Touring models powered by a sole 3.6-liter, horizontally opposed, six-cylinder “boxer” engine with 256 horsepower mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It yields a fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon around town and 21 mpg on the highway.

And like all Subaru vehicles, the 2011 Tribeca comes with full-time, all-wheel drive for all-season traction and control.

The Tribeca’s ride quality is impressive with a tuned suspension that gobbles up road harshness and at the same time maintains well-balanced control with minimal body roll-through turns and brisk maneuvers.

Need to tow when you go? Trailer capacity reaches 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Inside, Tribeca retains its unique pod-style dashboard and center console that provides a personalized seating area for driver and front passenger. Instruments and gauges are straight-forward and easy to manage at a glance.

Second-row passengers are treated to an extra measure of hip, knee and legroom courtesy of middle seats that move fore and aft up to 8 inches. Seats split in a convenient 40/20/40 fashion for cargo carrying versatility.

Tribeca’s standard third-row seat is best dedicated to children as legroom is limited. Aisle access behind the second row is narrow making a trip to the rear quarters challenging for less youthful types.

With the third row occupied, cargo space remains for several bags of groceries or small parcels. When not in use, the 50/50-split third row folds flush into the floor to handle larger loads.

Standard equipment includes a generous list of power options as well as anti-lock brakes, anti-skid control and rollover sensors. Heated front seats are standard on all Tribeca models.

Our 2011 Subaru Tribeca Touring test model came with a Harman/Kardon 10–speaker audio system, power moonroof, rearview camera and leather trimmed upholstery.

A navigation system with touch screen display and second-row DVD entertainment system are popular options.

The 2011 Subaru Tribeca is built in Lafayette, Ind. The base Premium model starts at $30,495. Tribeca Limited and Touring versions cost $32,495 and $35,795 respectively. Add $725 to the bottom line for freight.

By Jim Jackson Times Auto Writer

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