Before the rather well-executed Ascent, Subaru's solution to the three-row family hauler was the Tribeca, memories of which are best suppressed. Panned for its cramped third row, underwhelming gas mileage, and near inability to tow, the Tribeca was the last vehicle in its class that you'd call "heavy-duty," and thus, the least suitable for service as a commercial vehicle of any sort. Perhaps that's why seeing one converted into a limo is so bizarre. Who is responsible for this super-long Subaru, and why does it exist?
This vehicular oddity may be for sale today, but its history goes back several years. According to a 2018 Autotrader post by YouTuber Doug DeMuro, this vehicle was constructed from a 2010 Tribeca 3.6R by Subaru of New England, one of the brand's biggest dealers in the region. A year earlier in 2017, a Motor1 article reported that it cost $135,000 to build and that it was being sold by a Pennsylvania dealer for a hair under $40,000 at the time. Sometime between those two articles, the car entered the custody of Michigan-based used car dealer Nick's Motor Sales, which had been trying (unsuccessfully) to sell it on Craigslist for at least 16 months, lowering the price at least $3,000 in that period.
Nick's struggle to sell this stretched Subaru should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the model. Its 3.6-liter flat-six produced just 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, which Subaru hid all the way up at 4,000 rpm, meaning this Tribeca takes longer to stop occupying a single point in space than a WRX STI takes to hit 60. Tribecas were already thirsty cars, with a combined fuel economy of 18 mpg, and adding more weight to this car's body and driveline (it's still all-wheel drive according to Motor1) won't diminish its fuel consumption.
The fact that Tribecas were only rated to tow 2,000 pounds should worry any prospective buyers. Is that limitation due to shortcomings in the model's frame or its drivetrain? Either way, both systems are under significantly more stress than they were stock, and with how notoriously laborious Subaru engine work can be, this Tribecathon (can we call it that?) is only for one type of owner: A masochist. There seemingly aren't many of them in Michigan, as this Subaru has sat on that lot in the Great Lakes State for well over a year, and we can see it staying there for at least as long again unless someone has ambitious plans for their 24 Hours of Lemons race car.
H/T to Cam!
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