2009 Subaru Tribeca

Find Another Subaru Tribeca
16 CITY / 21 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Little change evident after front/rear restyling for 2008
  • 3.6-liter horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine runs on regular-grade fuel
  • One new body color available for 2009: Ruby Red Metallic
  • 5-speed automatic is again the sole transmission
  • Standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and electronic stability control
  • 7-passenger models have second-row tip-and-slide seats on left as well as right side
Subaru addressed both styling and fuel efficiency issues with the 2008 Tribeca (\"B9\" was dropped from the original model name, used when the model (debuted for 2006). The reworked Tribeca features a one-piece grille and new, larger taillights have been added. Under the hood, the 3.6-liter engine puts out more power than its 3.0-liter predecessor and runs on regular fuel. The Tribeca's interior, with its flowing center console, changed little for 2008 and remains \"as is\" for the 2009 model year.

Model Lineup
As before, the 2009 Subaru Tribeca is available in two models: base and Limited; both are offered in 5- or 7-passenger capacities. Standard features on the base Tribeca include AWD; power windows, locks, mirrors and front seats; remote keyless entry; CD/MP3 player; dual-zone automatic climate control; 18-inch alloy wheels; and cruise control. Seven-passenger models also include rear air conditioning. Options include satellite radio; trailer hitch; auto-dimming rearview mirror; remote engine starting; and a backup assist system. The Tribeca Limited version adds leather first- and second-row seats (heated in front, with a memory setting for the driver's seat); upgraded stereo with 6-disc CD changer; roof rails; sunroof; and HomeLink universal remote system. The 7-passenger version of the Tribeca Limited can have an optional rear-seat DVD player with a 9-inch wide-screen LCD monitor, auxiliary input, and wireless headphones. A navigation system with rearview camera also is optional for the Limited.

Running on regular-grade gasoline, the 2009 Subaru Tribeca's 3.6-liter horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine (aka H-6 or \"flat 6\") produces 256 hp at 6000 rpm and 247 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm, All Tribecas use a 5-speed automatic transmission with SportShift manual control and Subaru's AWD system. EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2009 Tribeca are 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Vehicle Dynamics Control (Subaru's name for electronic stability control) are standard on all Tribecas.

Standard safety equipment on the 2009 Subaru Tribeca includes seat-mounted side air bags for front passengers and side curtain air bags for the first two rows (though none for the third row on 7-passenger models) as well as ABS and Vehicle Dynamic Control (stability control).

The Tribeca aced National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal- and side-impact crash tests with perfect 5-star ratings for both front and rear passengers. In the rollover test, the Tribeca scored 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Tribeca \"Good\" ratings for both frontal-offset and side-impact crash-tests.

The 2009 Subaru Tribeca features a Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system that, under normal conditions, sends 45 percent of the engine's power to the front wheels and 55 percent to the rear. The slight rear bias helps the Tribeca to feel more agile, Subaru says. In the event of slippage, the electronically managed center differential distributes more power to the axle that is not slipping. An electronic traction control system serves as a secondary method of preventing wheelspin.


J.D. Power Ratings

Automotive Performance Execution and Layout
Overall Performance and Design?
Features and Instrument Panel?
Initial Quality Study
Overall Quality - Design?
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical?
Body & Interior Quality - Design?
Overall Quality - Mechanical?
Features & Accessories Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality?
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical?

Power Circle Scoring Legend:

Among the best
Better than most
About average
The rest
*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

The Latest New Car Previews, Buyer's guides, Articles and more from J.D. Power: