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.
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