2002 Mazda Tribute DX 2.0 four from North America


A very good, reliable car for the price


The air bag light came on; took it to the dealer, and was told it will cost over $500.00 to fix, because they have to tear the passenger side seat and carpet out to get to the broken part. Well being a mechanic, I did some research and found out they were trying to take me for a ride. The only problem is the wiring connection on the seat belt pre-tensioner on the passenger side. Rewired it, and works fine now.

The next problem I am having is this vehicle is a manual, and the gear shifter is rather hard to change gears. We have gotten used to it and am living with it, but I cannot find any reason for it. Have changed fluids in the trans, greased everything, just don't know.

Overall though, this has been a very reliable car. It has only left us sitting one time when the alternator went out at 183000 miles, but again very understandable for that many miles.

The power is not the greatest, but to be able to get 25+ MPG out of a SUV is worth sacrificing a little power to me. We would buy another, but Mazda no longer offers a manual in the Tribute, and I do not trust their autos. We will probably keep this until it rusts apart, but that may not take too much longer, as it is rusting pretty bad already. Car makers are so dumb to put plastic panels over metal; do they not know that it just holds dirt and salt behind it; behind our plastic is gone already.

General Comments:

A very good car for the price; love the MPG and the winter driving capability (this thing is a tank in 4 wheel drive).

Looks a little cheap in some areas, but it's priced very good compared to other brands.

Would recommend the four cylinder manual to anyone looking for a good work vehicle, or a nice little family vehicle.

The ride and comfort are fair for an SUV.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2012

22nd Oct 2012, 10:18

I thought the Tribute was recently discontinued? It's replaced I think with the CX-5, and that comes with manual in the base form.

5th Dec 2012, 03:51

You may have tried this, or it may not be relevant, but I had a similar problem with a stiff gear change on a Fiesta many years ago. At the bottom of the gear stick was a plastic ball and cup arrangement, in which the grease had dried out. Replacing the grease cured the problem.

2002 Mazda Tribute EX 3.0 from North America


Good looks, poor quality


The airbag light is constantly on after sending code # 4/7. I know it is the yellow connector under the driver's seat; I unplug it and plug it back, and it goes off, but after a time, it's on again!!!

I really liked the look of this SUV; the engine feels strong enough when passing other cars, and it's roomy, but at 40 mph or over it shakes a little on the left side. I also can see the left mirror vibrating at freeway speeds.

My main concern is the transmission failing; after reading all those bad reviews, I think I have a good reason to be concerned.

General Comments:

I bought this SUV exactly a year ago. I haven't spent much money on repairs so far; it is a 2002 year model, and it is normal have to it repaired every once in a while, but to avoid higher repair costs, I think I'm gonna get rid of it as soon as I can.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th April, 2010

2002 Mazda Tribute LX from North America


The passenger airbag light comes on about every two years. In other words, this particular repair seems to need to be repeated every two years.

General Comments:

I am in disagreement with the dealership about paying for another repair for the same airbag defect. This would be four repairs in six years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th July, 2008