The Tribute from Mazda is known to be a strong handling compact SUV and a good value. As it is essentially a Ford Escape in Mazda clothes, it has most of the benefits of that vehicle as well. This is also one of the most capable off road vehicles in Mazda's lineup. The original Tribute was once listed as one of the best small SUV's on the market. Newer competition dethroned it, however, and it took several years off to rethink itself.
The current Mazda Tribute is available in two trim models. The I, which comes with a four cylinder engine, or the s model, with a v-6 engine. The four cylinder offers 171 horse power and the v-6 generates 240 horse power. Both engines transfer their power to the ground through six speed automatic transmissions in two or four wheel drive configurations. The exception is the I sport two wheel drive, which is mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. There is also a hybrid option available, which again is the virtual equivalent of the Ford Escape Hybrid. The hybrid earns EPA ratings for fuel economy in the high 20's.
Engines: 2.5L I-4, 3.0L V-6, 2.5L I-4 w/electric motor
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Grand Touring, HEV
For 2010 the Mazda Tribute gets ambient temperature gauges, garage door openers, and two new colors (Steel Blue, Ingot Silver). Grand Touring and HEV models receive an electrochromatic rearview mirror with backup camera display. The HEV also gets a one-touch open and close moonroof.
The 2010 Mazda Tribute isn't striking, just to the point. Many of its traits, such as a high belt line and a tall roof, are typical fare for an SUV. The unpainted underbody plastic is an eyesore, but also relatively functional should the little ute ever stray off the pavement.
The Tribute features 16-inch alloys, air conditioning, and cloth seats are standard equipment on all models, as are power locks and windows. With the 60/40 folding rear seats completely down, there is 67.2 cubic-feet of cargo space.
Performance & Handling
The Tribute's 2.5-liter mill provides enough spunk for jaunts around town, but for that extra grunt when towing or on uncertain terrain, go for the 4x4 with a 3.0-liter. Both are relatively fuel efficient and are flex fuel capable.
Driver and passenger front and side airbags are standard, along with side air curtains, traction control and Dynamic Stability Control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Tribute i 4x2 with manual: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Tribute i 4x2 with automatic: 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Tribute i 4x4 with automatic: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Tribute s 4x2 with automatic: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Tribute s 4x4 with automatic: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway
Tribute HEV 4x2 with automatic: 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway
Tribute HEV 4x4 with automatic: 29 mpg city/27 mpg highway
- Great highway mileage
- Cargo capacity
You Won't Like
A Plain Jane that only shines in HEV form
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Escape
- Honda Pilot
- Nissan Rogue