2003 Mazda Tribute SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Mazda Tribute SUV

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Mazda Tribute Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 130 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Mazda Tribute

  • Despite the entrance of revised and redesigned competitors to the marketplace, Mazda's Tribute remains a favorite due to its competent blend of style, space and fun-to-drive nature.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and comfortable, peppy V6 engine, great value for the money, drives more like a car than a truck.

  • Cons

    Loud engines, poor fuel economy and range with V6.

  • What's New for 2003

    DX, LX and ES trims carryover, but the V6 is newly limited to LX and ES. If you want to see what's new on the 2003 Tribute, you'll need to look inside. This year, the dashboard is two-tone, and the insert trim is either brushed aluminum (DX and LX) or fake black wood (ES). ES models are equipped with upgraded leather and a cold package that includes heated seats and exterior mirrors. New options include an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and a DVD entertainment system. Four new colors round out the changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (199 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great little suv - even

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I am sad to say that I recently totaled my tribute and am now shopping for a new one. I bought my 03 used with 25k miles on it. I was super impressed with its reliability in the 6 years I owned it. Bought new tires once. Major tuneup before a trip at 100k. Other than that - just oil changes. Ran perfectly. It did have some wind noise which was slightly annoying, but certainly tolerable. Other than that, no complaints. It was the perfect size for our family of four..not too big, not too small. Pretty good mpg. And super fun to drive..very peppy lil guy! I'll miss my trib!




The best vehicle i've ever

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute ES-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I bought it in Nov. '02. I just cleared 170,000 Miles. Sure! There have been some quirky issues. The most annoying: the illuminating light which shows you what gear you are in went out recently and there is a short in a harness that indicates the status of the airbag. I had my power moon roof switch replaced. Most expensive repair 150,000 mile tune up required the replacement of the "Coil Packs" on all 6 cylinders @ $118 each! With the other routine maintenance I had performed = $1000. Replaced the Battery @ 170,000. Replaced steering linkage arms "clunking" at 125,000. First tires went 70,000. Second set 70,000. Now in only the third set. Brakes, somewhere way back when. Oil! Thats it!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Solid and fun to drive

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my 03 Tribute LX 4WD at 95,000 miles and I've been happy with it every single day. It's amazing in the winter and even better in the summer! Everything still works at 106,000 miles a year later. The wheel bearing on the front right passenger side was broken when I bought it, unfortunately, and it wasn't until much later that I found that problem and the dealership paid for it. The crash test ratings are spectacular on this SUV! I was just hit a week ago by a drunk driver going 70 mph and I walked away without a scratch. My Tribute is in great condition save for a few cosmetic repairs. If I had been in a lighter SUV I would have rolled over. Definitely worth every penny.




In balance, best ever

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I've owned and driven a lot of vehicles in the past 40 years including a 63 Corvair, 2 67 Corvettes, big Plymouths, Mercurys and Cadillacs, and a Dodge Ram truck. My 2003 Tribute is clearly the best ever on an overall basis. The other ones did some things a lot better than the Tribute, but none did everything to the same good level. It has the most driver leg room of any car I've owned. I have used the temporary 4WD to go through some really hairy places. Put the rear seats down and it can carry a surprising amount of stuff. And it is surprisingly kind of fun to drive in most situations.




Transmission problem

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute ES-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Great driving car and reasonable gas mileage. All was fine until 68,000 miles when the auto trans started slipping when shifting into 3'd. Upon disassembly the hub assembly P/N 7G120/a was found to have a cracked weld, unfortunately two new replacement hubs were also bad, took a third one and two weeks to be fixed. Other than this $2200 bump in the road it's been a great ride.




Pretty good, but many small

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Bought my 2003 Tribute FWD LX new and have been pretty pleased overall. 90k miles, still has original tires with plenty of tread. However, have replaced wheel bearings (~$450), brakes and rotors, throttle cable sticks and steering wheel squeaks, even after several attempts to have fixed under warranty. Now, power steering fluid leaks, alternator is going bad (seems to be common problem), and rust is forming on the tailgate (water collects on the window frame). However, gets decent MPG (20 city/ 25 hwy) and drives great, handles snow and ice well with FWD. Comfortable seats and fits my 6ft frame with no problems. Ok overall, but wouldn't buy again compared to others.



Full 2003 Mazda Tribute Review

What's New for 2003

DX, LX and ES trims carryover, but the V6 is newly limited to LX and ES. If you want to see what's new on the 2003 Tribute, you'll need to look inside. This year, the dashboard is two-tone, and the insert trim is either brushed aluminum (DX and LX) or fake black wood (ES). ES models are equipped with upgraded leather and a cold package that includes heated seats and exterior mirrors. New options include an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and a DVD entertainment system. Four new colors round out the changes.

Talk About The 2003 Tribute

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs