Hey, sorry to dedicate a thread to my review of the car, but as most of you probably know, I am a Tribeca NUT!!! Just looking at my posts over the last couple of years (and going back even further than my registration date here), it is pretty obvious that my prime reason for registering here in the first place was to fulfill my mission on trying to get info on the "7-seater".
Yep, it was an intersting path to discovery during this time. First I studied Subaru's concept cars of the past, namely the Exiga and WX-01 concepts since they were 7-seaters. Then comparing those to newer concepts like the B11S and B9 Scrambler and trying to guess where the vehicle was headed.
Then the bombshell struck where i was invited to a closed-door focus group to see the car first hand, but was turned away last second. It seems they recognized me from other Subaru focus groups and didn't want me involved in this one. This made me more determined. There was nothing more painful than being 10 feet away from the car I've been waiting to see and not actually be allowed to see it!
I got more determined. I posted some educated mockups, and this drew the attention of a couple of different insiders from Subaru who basically said my mockups were wrong, yet close. They allowed me to ask questions, and they would answer those that wouldn't give their identities away. It turns out they were ligit, because all of the things they confirmed with me were in fact reality (the sliding second row was one thing they unveiled). I remember one of them PMing me the day the spy shots slipped out and told me that they are the real thing! The light at the end of the tunnel was getting brighter.
I planned to own one on day one, but unfortunetely, finances got a bit tight and to top it all off, I suddenly lost my job. However, prospects for a new, better paying job loom on the horizon, and last night, since we were near our favorite dealership, my family and I decided to stop in a say hello to the owner of the dealership. I mentioned I still haven't test-driven a Tribeca, so she quickly handed me the keys to her personal fully-loaded black one and just like that, we were off on a test drive. I have been waiting for this moment for YEARS!
First off, I never get used to how nice the interior is everytime I sit in one. This was overshadowed a bit by the fact I was about to drive one. Of course interruptions came. My two daughters wanted to try out the DVD player. My wife didn't want me changing the owner's settings on anything.
After a few moments of drooling over the interior and getting a feel for where everything is, my wife and I couldn't resist playing around with the nav system a bit. I can honestly say that this is a VERY nice feature with many more practical features than I was not aware of (emergency assist for one). The floor lighs and puddle lights were a nice touch as well... very classy. I couldn't believe how much roomier it was in the driver's seat than in my '03 LL Bean Outback. To my surprise, the seat was in the raised position, something I would never be able to do in my OB due to my 6' 5" frame. When I adjusted down the seat, I was more amazed at the headroom. I was... (gulp)... comfortable! The guages were absolutely stunning and easy to read. Now came the big test, the drive.
This car drove like a dream. The ride was the best ride I think I have ever experienced. It was very smooth and felt SOLID. It is funny, a lot of the reviews I've seen out there say that the car feel a lot heavier than an Outback. Well, that's true to a degree, it does feel a bit bigger, and that can be perceived as heavy, but the thing they don't mention is that it feels like it is actually FASTER with its acceleration than my '03 LL Bean Outback. It does have 31HP more, so perhaps this makes up for the increased weight?
On the flipside, the '05 and up H6 Outbacks have 250HP, so I'm sure the Tribeca DOES feel a little bit slower than those however. The point is, it is not like driving a fully-loaded trash truck like some reviews make it sound like, and it is in fact fun to drive. if you use the Sportshift, it can be a real kick to drive even.
Yes, it is not a WRX, but would you expect a 7-passenger vehicle to be in the same vehicle class?
The sad moment came at the end... I had to get out of the car. Hell, my kids didn't want out of it either, and even my wife seemed to really love the car. Anyway, when I get a new job, and my bills get straightened out a bit, you will see an Atlantic Blue Pearl fully loaded Tribeca wandering around Orange County, that much I can guarantee!