Going & Stopping

Subaru increased the Tribeca's standard horizontally opposed six-cylinder from 3.0 to 3.6 liters for 2008. The new engine makes 256 horsepower, which is a modest increase over the previous engine's 245 hp, and a more substantial increase in torque to 247 pounds-feet (up from 215 pounds-feet). As with all Subarus, all-wheel drive is standard.

The previous B9 Tribeca, while not underpowered, wasn't especially quick. Even though the new model has a more powerful engine and its curb weight is essentially unchanged, acceleration isn't remarkable at higher speeds. The Tribeca does have plenty of pep in city driving, though.

The Tribeca's five-speed automatic transmission includes Subaru's Sportshift clutchless-manual mode, which lets the driver control gear changes when desired. In normal operation, it shifts smoothly and kicks down quickly when needed. During the jaunt to Canada, most of the driving was on the highway at speeds approaching 80 mph, and the Tribeca averaged 21 mpg.

All-disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are standard, and they're up to the task of stopping this two-ton crossover. The brake pedal, for its part, has a natural feel that doesn't ask the driver to accommodate any quirks the way some cars do.

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