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Mazda Tribute

The Mazda Tribute compact SUV was introduced in 2001. This dangerously vivacious and appealing looking small sport utility vehicle was manufactured to replace the Mazda Navajo, which had been discontinued years earlier. The 5 passenger, four door Tribute came equipped with either a 2.3 liter 4 cylinder or 3.0 liter V6 engine and in front wheel or all wheel drive. Models included the DX, which was the only model that could be configured with either the 4 cylinder or the 6 cylinder engine, and the LX and ES upscale models, both 6 cylinder automatics with 60/40 split fold rear seatbacks and a variety of available safety, comfort and convenience options.

For the 2002 and 2003 model years, the Tribute received interior upgrades that included steering wheel mounted audio system controls and a redesigned steering column. The 2005 2.3 liter Tribute engine was beefed up to produce 153 horsepower. Safety and security were features were added and one of several upgrades in this area included the availability of side air bags. The 2005 model year also saw a change in model names from the DX, LX and ES to the 'i' and's'.

This fun to drive smaller SUV had made a favorable mark with its solid, roomy, comfortable and mechanically reliable vehicle. The Tribute offers an excellent alternative to mid size SUV's and truck based wagons that are not as efficient in their use of fuel or space. Although the Tribute saw no significant changes for the 2006 model year and there was no 2007 model produced, the 2008 Tribute arrived with a more rounded and rejuvenated appearance.

13 various configurations of the 2008 'i' and's' models are available in Sport, Touring or Grand Touring trims. The Tribute is equipped with a 2.3 liter, 4 cylinder or a 3.0 liter V6 engine, and is also available in all wheel drive or front wheel drive, depending upon model and trim selected. Extensive safety features, including stability and traction control mechanisms and airbags are standard on all models. The new steering system is extraordinarily responsive and the ride is comparatively smooth. A hybrid version of the Tribute is due to be released later in the 2008 model year.

Although not as refined as some of the compact SUV's manufactured by the competition, the affordably priced Mazda Tribute offers an overall upscale and fun driving experience that more than adequately meets daily driving needs while being capable of light hauling and overcoming rough road conditions when necessary.

Mazda Tribute Reviews by Year

2011 Mazda Tribute
In the affordable compact SUV genre, Mazda is scraping the bottom of the barrel with the 2011 Tribute. Opening at $20,555 and climbing to $29,065, the Tribute gets, on average, 22 city and 28 highway. A platform mate to the Ford Escape, the Tribute gets everything wrong that the Escape does right. Even the Hyundai Tucson is a better deal with more standard features, a longer warranty, and a lower starting price. Basically, Mazda has just missed the mark by letting the Tribute languish and become dated and clunky next to its sector-mates.

There are five trims: the i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, and s Grand Touring. (A hybrid version is offered in California only.) There are two engine choices, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 171 hp, and a 3-liter V6 with 240 hp. The base sport models have a five-speed manual, while all others are outfitted with a six-speed automatic with a manual mode. Acceleration on the Tribute is adequate in and of itself, but against the competition, the vehicle is underpowered. more
2009 Mazda Tribute
The 2009 Mazda Tribute is a direct carryover from the 2008 model which was redesigned on both the exterior and interior to accommodate more comfort and enhanced safety.
2008 Mazda Tribute
Knocked by some critics as an unnecessary addition to the Mazda line because of its chunky lines, especially when compared to the brand's much sportier CX-7, the 2008 Mazda Tribute, which is a re-branded, co-developed version of the Ford Escape with a few cosmetic differences (specifically the grille, bumpers and head- and taillights) returns the model to production after a year off.
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