2012 Subaru Tribeca

The 2012 Subaru Tribeca is a midsize SUV, offering many standard features along with a third row seat, enabling it to accommodate 7 passengers. The 2012 Tribeca is the only 3-row model in the Subaru’s lineup, and it faces competition from other manufacturers.

This SUV comes with standard or full time AWD just like other Subaru’s.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV AWD Base Price: $30,595.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 gallons (64l) MPG: 16 city / 21 hwy
Length: 191.5 in. (486.4 cm) Wheel Base: 108.2 in. (274.8 cm)
Height: 66.4 in. (168.6 cm) Width: 73.9 in. (187.7 cm)
Curb Weight: 4173 lbs (1893 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.4 in. (21.3 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 8.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Engine: 6 Cylinder DOHC SUBARU Boxer® Displacement: 3.6 Liter
Horsepower: 256 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 247 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed shiftable Auto
Available Trims & Engine
Option:3.6R Limited MSRP: $32,595; MPG: 16 city / 21 hwy
Option:3.6R Touring MSRP: $35,895; MPG: 16 city / 21 hwy

Engine & Performance

The 2012 Tribeca is powered by a 3.6L 6-cylinder boxer powertrain that generates 256 hp and 247 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is connected to a standard 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift function. With these features, the Tribeca gets a fuel economy estimated at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

The AWD feature enables this SUV to improve its four-weather capabilities as well as off-road abilities. This Tribeca is fitted with independent front and rear suspension for better performance. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, an average time for this class, not that you need it. The 2012 Tribeca has precise braking, that provide a smooth and composed ride.


This 7-passenger midsize crossover is available in 3 trim levels: Premium, Limited and Touring. Originally, Tribeca was introduced with a controversial grille; however the front side styling has been tweaked since then and now looks more conventional.

All trims are offered in standard 18-inch alloy wheels. The Premium trim comes with standard fog-lamps, key-less entry, rear privacy glass and heated mirrors. The Limited model is available with a moonroof package which includes roof rails, sunroof and rear view camera in addition to other exterior features found in the Premium.

Stepping up to the Touring model, you will get HID headlights, moonroof package, monotone exterior paint-scheme, and auto-dimming rear view mirror.


The Subaru Tribeca has a stylish cabin that is well equipped, with its attractive curvy dash design. The first and second row seats are significantly comfortable and spacious even for tall people. However, the third row is suitable for small people or children.

The Tribeca is fitted with standard heated and power adjustable front seats, although a customer can go for the optional leather upholstery and 2-position driver’s seat memory. This SUV is equipped with easy to use controls and navigation system.

The base model comes with standard features that include: CD player, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 6-speaker stereo and steering wheel mounted controls.

Behind the third row seats, the Tribeca offers cargo space of 8.3 cubic ft, increasing to 37.6 after folding the third row; and to a maximum of 74.3 cubic feet with second and third row seats taken down or folded up. This cargo space beats that of Subaru Outback wagon.

Safety & Reliability

Safety is important, with the Tribeca coming with standard 6 airbags that include; front seat airbags, side curtain airbags for second and first row passengers, and side impact airbags. Other standard safety features are: electronic stability control, 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control, integrated turn signal mirrors, child safety locks, brake assist, daytime running lights and 4-wheel ABS.

Owners will benefit from the 3-year or 36,000 miles limited warranty, in addition to the 5-year or 60,000 mile engine warranty. Rust damages are also protected by a warranty that lasts for the first 5 years.


  • More standard features than others
  • Standard AWD
  • Stylish cabin design


  • Steering wheel does not telescope
  • Unimpressive fuel economy
  • Cramped third row seat
  • Mediocre handling

The 2012 Subaru Tribeca is a good deal for people shopping for a midsize family SUV. This SUV will offer great off-road performance whenever it is required to, and with the fact that it is the first 3-row model in Subaru’s lineup, will make it to attract the attention of many Subaru lovers.


The Tribeca is comparable to the likes of the Acura RDX which gets the best mpg (MSRP $34,320; 20 city / 28 hwy), the Toyota 4Runner (MSRP $31,090; 17 city / 23 hwy), and the Chevrolet Traverse (MSRP $29,660; 17 city / 24 hwy).

Overall Rating
69 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Subaru Tribeca has excellent all-weather handling and top-notch safety, though it’s fallen behind the curve in features and interior appointments.” Car Connection

“Handling response is more minivan than high-body midsize wagon. Tight turns require slowing down more than you might think, but cornering lean is moderate for this vehicle’s height and weight. Steering is responsive if a bit numb, and Tribeca has a wide turning radius for its size. Brakes have adequate stopping control, but pedal action is somewhat spongy and non-linear.” Consumer Guide

“Fit and finish is very good, but the second- and third-row seats are cramped. It’s a long reach to the navigation system’s touch screen.” MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“A few minutes behind the wheel and it becomes evident the Tribeca is not your run-of-the-mill SUV. The handling is responsive, and the steering firm and linear. ” KBB

“The 2012 Subaru Tribeca has a few things going for it, but in the end most other midsize crossover SUVs will be better choices.” Edmunds