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.

2002 Mazda Tribute LX 6 liter from North America


Japanese scrap


At 57000 km my motor blew in my truck on the way back from a family reunion. Past warranty company is looking into it now. Door locks gave me problems also. Had to pay more money for that. Always maintained my truck for the hole three months I had it before the motor blew. Oil change transmission flush etc. Hoping to hear from company soon. They are gonna probably say they can't do nothing, but I will keep on fighting with them. The big boss in Toronto already said they can't do nothing, I'm not gonna let this one go.

General Comments:

Love my truck having second thoughts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2006

10th Sep 2006, 16:06

It's not actually Japanese, it's a Ford built truck! So now it's Ford scrap!!! These trucks have every aspect of a Ford, cheap, careless and junk. If Mazda moved away from Ford I will be happy. My 1993 MX6 is great, that's why I bought a Tribute!

2002 Mazda Tribute 6 cylinder from North America


The Tribute is Good


The interior of the 2002 Mazda Tribute was it's worst factor because the covers for the seat belts fell off along with some paneling in the rear. And the overdriver shifter rubber cover was not glued on properly. A lot of plastic that seemed flimsy.

This is not an off-road SUV. No low range gear. Felt awkward on back woods dirt roads.

Once I reached 100,000 miles the Tribute started to head downward fast. Hard starts in the winter. Needed replacement of mostly everything. Probably all my fault because I drove it hard through a few harsh winters.

Also, the rear window to the tailgate vibrated a lot in the last year and made an annoying chirping sound.

General Comments:

This was a very good vehicle. It served me well, as I drive approx. 50,000 miles a year. It withstood a lot of punishment. But the cost to keep it going after 125,000 was not worth it and I traded it in a month ago for a Jeep. If I coddled the Mazda and lived in a less harsh environment, I'm sure I would have had it for a few more years. Mazda makes a very good product and I'm considering buying a small car (the 3) from them for the good driving season to save on gas. The Tribute came with excellent features that are not normally associated with something in it's price range, such as fog lights, cruise control, power everything. The stereo system was an in-dash 6disc tape cassette with great speakers. It was the best stereo system I have ever bought that came directly from the manufacture.

The Tribute handled very well on the highway and accelerated nicely.

Very comfortable to drive.

Excellent cargo room.

I didn't buy a new Tribute because the '05 had performed poorly in recent roll-over tests (Along with the Ford counter-parts) according to Consumer Reports. I was also looking for something that seemed more solid and tank-like to handle my driving experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2005

14th Dec 2005, 06:50

Has anybody Had a problem with a bad clutch judder on a Tribute, Mine has only done 32,000 Mile's. apart from that it is a very nice car.

17th May 2006, 12:49

Re the query about Mazda Tribute clutch juddering:

I have a Canadian model 2001 Tribute DX 2WD and this is a constant problem, caused by either a string of faulty clutches, or by a defective transmission. In the 65,000 kms we have put on the truck, we have had to replace the clutch twice. The current clutch is also on its way out, though - as with the other problems we've experienced with the power-train - Mazda is giving us the runaround. The extended warranty is about to expire, and I have a feeling that by the time they "find" the problem, it will be on our dime.

It's too bad the vehicle is, in my estimation, a lemon, as we love it when it works.

To back up the "lemon" claim, here is the list of repairs needed to date, over and above the standard maintenance schedule:

June 6/03 - 33210 km

- replace front wiper rack

- order clutch assembly and latch assembly for rear hatch.

June 30/03 - 33495 km

- replace clutch assembly

- replace defective DP-FE sensor ("check engine" light)

Feb 19/04 - 41571 km

- latch assembly replaced.

Feb 27/04 - 41941 km

- replaced brake cables

- key fobs & receiver replaced as not reading one fob.

April 29, 2004

- rear brake service & adjust rear brakes (cable replacement did not 100% cure problem)

- reposition, adjust motor mounts.

-re-flashed PCM (1st attempt to fix two problems - motor surging and return of trans-axle hop)

**extra** replaced recalled seat belt covers.

May 21 - 44112 km

Took truck back with same problems (surging and juddering) as Apr 29. They handed it back and told us to try a few tanks of different gas. It wasn't the gas.

June 14-26 - 45168 km

- replace clutch and flywheel assembly (2nd time in a year)

Autumn of 2005 - after several follow-up visits to dealer and communications with regional rep about the surging, only days after basically being told we were imagining the problem, we received a recall notice from Mazda describing exactly the problem we had. We had a PCV valve replaced per the notice and the surging stopped.

- And now the clutch is on its way out again. Mazda has, to date, refused to replace the entire transmission (which, given the way it eats clutches, seems the likely source of the problem), despite our requests. And we are about to run out of warranty.

Finally, for the record: My wife and I have never owned anything, but manual-transmission vehicles. We had, between us, six prior vehicles, buying the first one in 1986, have never put less than 45,000 kms on a vehicle (with most going 100,000 to 175,000 kms while in our ownership) and have never before replaced a single clutch - so we're pretty confident that it isn't our driving!!

Keith Osmond

42 Gondola Crescent

Brampton ON

L6S 1W6

(905) 792-9088.