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.
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
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.
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.