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Journeys : June July 2008
Subaru Tribeca, launched recently barely a year after the first iteration arrived here in Oz. Crude but true. Subaru Tribeca ‘N Minor tweaks and reasonably significantly styling and equipment upgrades are not uncommon in new cars; in fact they are factored in from the project’s beginning. But it’s very rare for an extreme visual makeover such as that lavished on the Tribeca to occur so soon after the original launch. But such was the adverse reaction to the original styling – well, the front end at least – that Subaru basically had to do something sooner than later if the model were to succeed. Enter the new-look Tribeca with much revised snout which, it must be said, is still no thing of beauty, but it’s a lot easier on the eye than before. But the new Tribeca (named after an upmarket part of New York – go figure ...) has received mechanical and specification tweaks as well as a nose job. The six-cylinder, 3.0 litre Boxer engine has made way for 3.6 litre job offering 190kW at a high 6000 revs and a most respectable peak torque of 359Nm at 4000rpm. Significantly, the engine now runs on normal ULP instead of the premium unleaded that the previous model demanded. The official fuel economy figure is improved but in real time we averaged between 13 and 16 litres per 100 kays which is generally comparable to its competitors. But like its contemporaries the figure will quickly blow out with a load or heavy right foot. The base model 3.6R starts at $54k and our test vehicle, the range-topping Premium with all the fruit, lists at $58,990. The Premium in seven-seat mode is impressively equipped – twin front, side and curtain airbags (none for the third row though), stability/traction control, ABS with EBD and BA, reversing camera, dual-zone climate, powered heated front seats, cruise control, trip computer, satellite navigation, six-CD player with input for your iPod, rear DVD entertainment system, power sunroof, two 12-volt outlets, 10 cup holders, 18-inch alloy wheels, engine immobiliser and Datadots, three years’ unlimited kilometre warranty. And excellent Xenon headlights. The spouses of two of the test team blokes (one a Territory owner) took a shine to the Tribeca, especially the interior design and layout which they described as ‘stylish’. One says it is easy to drive, rides well and is ‘one of the better SUVs I have driven recently’. And the small-item storage space got the tick too. Oddly for an upmarket machine the steering adjusts only for height and not reach. All adult testers were disappointed with the flat seats but were impressed with the versatility of the three-row configuration. The middle row splits, hinges and slides and the third row folds away into the floor when not needed, naturally making considerable more luggage space. But entry to the third row is not easy and it’s a tad cramped in there so it’s pretty much a kids’ domain. For: Equipment levels, smoothness, easy to drive Against: Seat comfort, compromised rear-seat space, no third-row airbags, space-saver spare RACT Battery Service – Membership Benefit • Free mobile installation service – you only pay for the battery itself • We come to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from most RACT branches, RACT agents and Approved Repairers statewide • High quality, fully sealed, maintenance-free batteries • 3 year nationwide warranty on all premium range batteries • RACT actively recycles your old battery – giving the environment a hand • Competitively priced Call 13 27 22 ot pig-ugly like the last one’ is how one mate describes the second-generation service that keeps you moving. convenient mobile Batteries' RACT www.ract.com.au June / July 08 35 6253
April May 2009