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New 2008 Tribeca Debuts

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2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
By Mike Meredith
Subaru’s midsize crossover features revised exterior styling and a new, more powerful engine.
Click image to enlarge
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
Click image to enlarge
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
Click image to enlarge
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
Click image to enlarge
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker
2008 Subaru Tribeca Photo: Bruce Whitaker

The 2008 Tribeca features a new exterior design with virtually every body panel changed and is powered by a new 3.6-liter 6-cylinder horizontally opposed engine.

 

Subaru’s Tribeca midsize crossover SUV, which first went on sale in 2005 as a 2006 model, receives changes after less than two years on the market. The original styling was polarizing at best, with a controversial front end design. To Subaru’s credit, rather than wait a number of years before making a design change, they listened to customer input and addressed the two most common complaints; the front end styling and the need for more low-end power.

 

The most noticeable design change is the new wider, taller grille which is now integrated with the front bumper, a design that Subaru describes as a chrome spread-wing design. The front fenders and the raised hood are also new, as well as a deeper front valance and new headlights. Since the original grille design was controversial and detracted from the overall shape and design that is really very elegant and well-proportioned, it’s hard to blame Subaru for being a little conservative with the new design.

 

The shape of the side glass is also changed with new rear three-quarter windows that are also functional and the addition of new side-view mirrors. At the rear, the taillights are new as well as the rear valance.

 

The new and more powerful engine that produces 256 horsepower and delivers 247 lb-ft of torque compared to 215 from the previous engine for better low-end performance, is combined with a revised 5-speed automatic transmission. With a new lock-up torque converter and a new transmission control unit, the transmission delivers fasters shifts and a quicker response time while weighing 9.7 pounds less than the previous version. for a total weight reduction of 9.7 pounds for the new drivetrain. As with all Subaru models, the Tribeca continues to include standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.

 

The new 3.6-liter features Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust valves, operates on regular unleaded fuel, and maintains emissions levels. According to Subaru, the new engine will delivers improved real-world fuel economy with EPA ratings yet to be announced.

 

As much as the exterior design of the Tribeca was criticized, the interior design was widely praised for style and elegance and interior design has not been changed. To improve access to third- row seating, the second-row seat now features tilt-and-slide control on both the driver’s side and the passenger’s side of the vehicle with new assist springs added to reduce the effort necessary to slide the second-row seat. Also new assist handles are added to aid access to the third row. The rear suspension is recalibrated with new bushings to improve ride comfort.