Mazda Tribute- Where Comfort and Reliability Meet

Table of Contents

Overview of Mazda Tribute

Mazda Tribute was introduced by the joint partnership of Mazda and Ford to contend in the thriving SUV market in 2001. From 2001 to 2011, Mazda Tribute continued to be the top consumer choice due to its practicality and versatility.

Mazda Tribute was discontinued by the manufacturer and was replaced by other lineups, such as the Mazda CX-5. Opting for a Mazda Tribute will be a wise decision if you are looking for a robust SUV that survives wear and tear. However, it may not be up to your aesthetic expectations. Tag along to know more about what it has to offer.

Origin and Evolution

In the late 1990s, Mazda and Ford joined hands to introduce strong contenders in the growing SUV market by sharing costs and resources. As a result, Mazda and Ford launched the Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape. Both vehicles had similar blueprints but had distinct styles and features. This collaboration proved to be a substantial contribution to the surging SUV demand in the 2000s.

The first Mazda Tribute was introduced as a 2001 model-year vehicle. The first-generation models had impressive interiors and decent handling and braking. Engine options were between 3.0 liter and V6. Other engine choices included a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The V6 engine models offered quick acceleration.

The year 2008 witnessed remodeling on a larger scale for Mazda Tribute. The tip-up problems noticed in the first-generation models, precisely the 2005 and 2007 models, were addressed by introducing electronic stability control. The remodeling also gave a fresh touch to the interior. The features such as spacious interior remained intact. However, a few problems, such as finishing issues with uneven gaps, remained unaddressed. The last modification came in 2011, after which the manufacturer discontinued Mazda Tribute.

Power, Performance, and Efficiency

The power output of Mazda Tribute varies depending on the type of engine. The four-cylinder engine produces power in the range of 130 to 153 horsepower. On the flip side, the V6 engine offers power in the range of 200 to 240 horsepower.

Factors such as engine type and transmission determine the performance of a vehicle. The Mazda Tributes with V6 engine performs better due to quicker acceleration. So, these models suit someone looking for a more dynamic drive. Other factors, including handling and ride quality, are typical of an SUV.

Fuel efficiency varies with the type of engine and derivation configuration. The four-cylinder engines are more fuel efficient, giving more miles per gallon than the more powerful V6 engine. However, the fuel efficiency of any vehicle also depends on the driver and driving habits.

Exploring the Interior Features

Step inside a Mazda Tribute, and you see a typical five-passenger seating configuration. The seat upholstery varies between cloth and leather, depending on the trim level. In the advanced trim levels, the interior is made of premium quality material.

On the interior, you will not find many high-end features, and the price tag completely justifies that. All trim levels include power windows and door locks as a standard provision. The dashboard provides easy access to climate control and audio systems.

In higher trim levels, the interior has features such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a built-in compass and outside temperature display. You will also find steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control buttons in higher trim levels. The addition of sunroof also varies in different models.

Color Options

In its production years, Mazda offered a variety of exterior colors. However, like the interior features, the availability varied among various trim levels. The standard exterior colors offered were:

  • Classic White
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Black
  • Tungsten Gray Metallic
  • Stormfront Gray Metallic
  • Mystic Black
  • Lapis Blue Metallic
  • Dark Titanium Metallic
  • Blazing Copper Metallic
  • Light Tundra Metallic
  • Platinum Metallic
  • Monterey Gray
  • Redfire Metallic

Exploring the Infotainment Technology

Till now, it has been established that Mazda Tribute only provides basic features, which is okay for the price. The vehicle lacks high-end luxury, and so does the infotainment system. It is simple and consists of a CD player, AM/FM radio and connectivity options for MP3 and iPod. It might seem rudimentary compared to the advanced infotainment systems we see now, but that’s how they worked back in the 2000s.

Space and Storage in Mazda Tribute

The manufacturers were quite generous with providing storage and organizational space in Mazda Tribute. It is because Tribute was designed primarily as an SUV. So, Mazda Tribute lives up to its purpose regarding space and storage.

The rear cargo space is spacious. The rear seats fold up entirely and partly, allowing the cargo space to expand even more. This flexibility helps accommodate regular cargo such as luggage or groceries. A few models also include a cargo cover. For additional cargo and more oversized items, roof rails are also provided in some models. 

In some models, there is an additional under-floor storage beneath the rear cargo space. It helps store smaller items. On the interior, there are various storage and organization compartments. These include cup holders, a door pocket and a center console, perfect for keeping eatables, drinks and other small items within hand’s reach.

Mazda Tribute’s stand among competitors

During its production years, Mazda Tribute gave tough competition to its contenders, such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and many more SUVs. Tribute lives up to Mazda’s reputation of providing sporty handling in their vehicles. The engaging driving experience is comparable to its competitors.

Tribute offers All-Wheel Drive (AWD) in most of its models, which adds to the traction and stability under various driving conditions. This stability of AWD gives Mazda Tribune a competitive selling point over other SUVs in the market.

The biggest downside of Mazda Tribute compared to competitors is its outdated design. In each production year, very minimum attention was given to remodeling. So, the main design aged over time in comparison to updated competitors.

Although Tribune has a decent fuel efficiency, it does not stand the challenge against its competitors as many manufacturers introduced fuel-efficient technologies in their models. Over the years, the SUV market grew more determined to enhance interior space. This section was overlooked in the remodeling of Mazda Tribute over the years.


✓      Comfortable ride

✓      Sporty drive

✓      Reliable option

✓      Value for money


✘       Limited interior space

✘       Lack of advanced safety features

Pricing of Mazda Tribute

Model YearResale value
2001Around $8,995
2002Around $4,995
2003Around $1,900
2004Around $6,997
2005Around $2,900
2006Around $4,699
2008Around $4,900
2009Around $4,485
2010Around $7,621
2011Around $9,995
Drive Abilities

The motive behind Mazda Tribute was to provide a comfortable drive with responsive handling. The responsive steering and swift handling enhanced the driving experience. The All-Wheel Drive (AWD) offers stability while driving in various road conditions.

The ride quality is predominantly smooth. The ground clearance sufficiently aided in light-off driving. Tribute came in both manual and automatic transmissions. Mazda Tribute offers a decent drive. It has the famous sporty DNA of Mazda, which was the reason behind its popularity in its production years. However, if you compare its power and sporty drive to some modern-day sports car or sports car-inspired SUV, the comparison won’t be legit due to time differences.


Mazda Tribute was a compact SUV of the 2000s. Being a joint venture of Mazda and Ford, it still held the ground of individuality and had distinguished features and unique appeal. Mazda Tribute stood tall in the competition for its strengths, such as drive quality, drive dynamics, comfort and reliability. All these features made it a practical and affordable option for daily use and commuting.

However, it faced some challenges due to its shortcomings, such as aging design and lack of modern features. All these could have been addressed by the manufacturers in remodeling, but unfortunately, many shortcomings persisted. Another contributing factor to the discontinuation of Mazda Tribute was the growing competition among SUVs. Tribute, with its aging design and outdated technology, couldn’t stand the test anymore and was discontinued in 2011.

The main reasons were a lag behind in fuel efficiency, interior space, and the availability of advanced safety and infotainment features. In short, Mazda, being a reliable and comfortable option, stood in the competition for many years. This fact speaks volumes about its credibility and features. ultimately, the suitability of Mazda Tribute as a vehicle now depends on personal taste, needs and priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Top of Form

Is Mazda Tribute the same as Ford Escape?

Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape are joint ventures of Mazda and Ford. Due to this, they have many similarities and distinct individual features.

What is the towing capacity of the Mazda Tribute?

The towing capacity of Tribute varies depending on the engine and configuration. Typically, Tribute could tow light to moderate loads.

What were the safety features of the Mazda Tribute?

Safety features offered by Tribute include airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control. The availability of advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control varies by trim level and model.

Are replacement parts readily available for the Mazda Tribute?

Replacement parts for the Mazda Tribute were generally available during the production years. Currently, availability could vary depending on the specific part and the region.

Written by: Motorcardata

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