Subaru try harder
Aimed directly at the Yanks, Soob’s first seven-seater was a petrol-slurping eyesore
THERE are times when carmakers get it horribly wrong. As Ford did with the AU Falcon and Leyland did with the P76, so did Subaru with the Tribeca.
So ugly was the Tribeca that Subaru launched in 2006 that just a year later it rushed an updated, much better-looking car to the market. It’s difficult to imagine what compelled Subaru to come out with the first iteration.
The new model made good on all the criticisms levelled at the first model.
It looked much better, had a bigger engine and a new transmission. There were two wagon models in the range — the R and the Premium — each available in five or seven-seat layout.
The changes to the styling, particularly the front, transformed the car and made it much more appealing to the eye. The rear was also given a tidy up, but it was minor in comparison to the major surgery that took place up front.
Inside, the cabin was little changed. The third row of seats in the seven-seater version was improved but that was about the strength of it.
Enlarged from 3.0-litres to 3.6, the revised flat-six had almost 18 per cent more torque and more than 5 per cent more power. The extra torque gave the Tribeca much-needed lowdown grunt and greater smoothness.
The new driveline — Subaru revised the five-speed sports auto — made the Tribeca a much more comfortable performer on the road.
We have had very few complaints about the Tribeca. If there’s one that has been consistent its about the fuel economy, or lack of it.
The trade also gives the Tribeca the tick of approval. A Subaru wrecker we know well says he rarely gets any calls for engines or gearboxes, the only Tribeca parts he sells are minor trim parts that might break.
There have been three recalls affecting the Tribeca in Australia. The first was in 2008 and related to the possibility of the lateral link in the rear suspension cracking and ultimately breaking. The result of breakage could be the loss of control of the vehicle.
Another recall in 2008 related to the sensor for the stability control, which could have been mounted in the wrong position and affect the operation of this important safety feature. In 2010 there was a recall relating to a possible interference between the front door latch cables and window regulators that could cause the doors to open unexpectedly when the windows were operated.
Check any car you’re considering buying to make sure it has been back to the dealer for the recall work. If you can’t find any reference to the recalls in the logbook, walk away or ask the owner for other confirmation. Check also that your prospective purchase has been maintained according to Subaru’s recommendation.
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