2002 Mazda Tribute ES V6 from North America


Don't buy this car unless you have a bottomless bank account.


Transmission failed at 60,000.

Radiator developed a leak shortly after that.

Check engine light just came on and car is running rough.

Lots and lots of rattles in the back as well as front arm rest and squeaks in the dash.

Very rough ride especially on long trips.

General Comments:

Other than the squeaks and rattles this was a good car. Then the transmission went out completely with no warning. It just suddenly went out when we were driving down the highway. My husband works from home, but also travels. He uses the car strictly to drive himself to and from the airport. The transmission repair shop said they have replaced many transmissions on Mazda SUVs.

A few weeks after the transmission was replaced the radiator began leaking.

Just when we thought it was going to run fine the check engine light came on and the car began running rough. We weren't driving very fast when this happened and haven't taken it in yet to see what this repair will cost.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th January, 2008

2002 Mazda Tribute ES 3.0 litre from North America


A poorly manufactured piece of junk


Control arms have been replaces 3 times since new.

Instrument panel replaced at 73ooo km.

Emergency brake cables seized and were replaced.

Air bag light won't go off.

Broken ABS sensor cog on front axle.

Manifold flex pipe broke.

Manifold cracked and so on and so on.

General Comments:

This is my first and last Mazda product. Even though the dealership treated me well and most problems were covered by warranty, there have been far too many.

Problems began shortly after purchase and continue to today. Lately the vehicle has not been going into overdrive and you know what this does to mileage, which wasn't great to begin with.

For those with cracked manifolds check out your respective emissions regulations. Although my Tribute was not under warranty Mazda had to replace it at their cost which is about $1,500. By law in Canada and I believe the US, manifolds are considered part of the emissions system and must be warrantied by the manufacturer for 135,000km or 7 years.

Great look but no substance!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th November, 2007

2nd Dec 2007, 20:51

I also own the 2002 Tribute ES and I also have a bad "bank # 1" manifold leaking and making terrible noise.

And my airbag light is 'on' almost constantly, and my 4X4 light flashes constantly & will no longer engage.

But - I have owned and loved Mazdas since my 1983 GLC with 225,000 miles, still running like a sewing machine, succumbed to an 8-point buck.

I will continue to drive Mazdas, but never again one made at the Kansas City Ford plant. Japan only.

2002 Mazda Tribute LX V6 from North America


A good design with lots of creature comforts, but it is Ford under the hood


The automatic transmission failed at 63,000 miles.

The overall ride is not smooth, although replacing the tires helped.

General Comments:

I purchased the car used. Overall the design of the car with it's fold down seats is a great design. The ride is stiff and rough on bumpy roads. Engine has good power. It came with trailer package and I use it twice a year.

Fuel economy is very bad (14-15 mpg in winter).

Very disappointed in a transmission failure at 63,000 miles. Hint: do not let the dealer fix it unless you want to be overcharged by a factor of times 2.

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

Review Date: 20th September, 2007

2002 Mazda Tribute V6 Classic Traveller 3.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


I like the performance, but am concerned by reliability issues and lack of dealer knowledge


The vehicle has developed a clunking noise in the front end when turning sharp right usually at slow speeds (such as turning into a driveway with uneven surface). Took it to my dealer who said it was worn bushes on the right lower control arm and the whole unit would need to be replaced (expensively). This I did and guess what, the clunking is still there so now I still have the problem and no faith in the dealer to fix it.

Also the vehicle is not well sealed against dust which leaks in when on gravel roads.

General Comments:

Enjoy the on bitumen performance and comfort of the Tribute compared with my old diesel Hilux, but for reliability give me the Lux any day.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th October, 2006

23rd Oct 2009, 07:06

I have the same problem as yourself. The same advice was also given to me by a suspension/steering specialist to replace the front control arms (expensive) on my Mazda Tribute 2002. But, the front end noise is still there. Have you found a solution to your problem?

Email me at kopack74@gmail.com