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

2002 Mazda Tribute 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Solid, well priced SUV


The engine warning light on the dashboard wasted no time in lighting up after I'd bought the car. This was traced back to an expensive engine part called the ERG Valve. The previous owner was a gent who replaced this at his own cost (about 350 euro).

Since then, I have had no problems whatsoever.

General Comments:

This car is good fun to drive and has decent acceleration through 2nd-5th gear. It is bright, airy, and reasonably comfortable inside. My last car was a VW Passat which initially made the Tribute's interior look cheap and nasty, and the car feel rough on bumps and corners, but the upside is a very firm ride and a no-nonsense approach to roundabouts. Other reviews have mentioned a sticky/ clunky gearshift, which is spot on.

The Tribute is a fairly priced and OK looking SUV. Modern upgrades to the Rav4, CRV and the new Korean SUV's make the Trib looked dated and sparse inside, but I've been in most of these cars and would still prefer the Tribute's all round package of space, functionality, reliability and drivability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2006

7th Jan 2010, 08:46

I live in Redmire Village, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

The 2002 Mazda Tribute is as good as a Landrover in the snow; it has no trouble in the snow or ice, and that is without engaging the 4 wheel drive. With the four wheel drive engaged, it is faultless, which was proven last Saturday; my wife abandoned our Passat Highline in Richmond, and I had to cross over the moor road to get her in 6 to nine inches of snow, no problem at all. If there was a problem it was avoiding all the other motors sliding around.

Marvellous Motor.

Paul Blair.