Used 2003 Mazda Tribute Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mazda Tribute - Consumer Reviews

2003 Mazda Tribute

Average Consumer Rating

200 Total Reviews

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Over 300,000 miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bluechicken
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought my Mazda Tribute new in December 2002. I live at 6,000 ft elevation on a mountain. For the first 9 years of owning my Tribute, I commuted 100 miles a day, mountain road all the way. My Tribute had no trouble pulling the grade going up the mountain. It performs great in the snow with snow tires. It is a very stable vehicle. I now have 306,000 miles on my Tribute!! The only major repairs I have done is a new alternator at 175,000 miles, at 280,000 the radiator blew. When having the radiator replaced I had the coil packs and spark plugs replaced since they were still original!!! Other than those repairs it was just the normal stuff .. batteries, brakes and oil changes.


Favorite Features

Very comfortable interior. Great visibility.


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Great little SUV - even after 120K!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wbzcourt
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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!


Favorite Features

Had everything I needed


Suggested Improvements

Reduce wind noise


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The Best Vehicle I've EVER Owned!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By tributetomazda
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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!


Favorite Features

Powerful! Will squeel the tires! Towing my 2500lb Bass Boat pushes it a bit! Very Comfortable. Drives beautifully!


Suggested Improvements

Coil Packs are too dang expensive!


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Solid and Fun to Drive
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cristanka
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

The solid structure and suspension, reliability, safety, smooth shifting, and completely comfortable. The fuel economy is on the better end of the SUV spectrum for sure. Definitely the best in its class. Great room for passengers in the front and in the back. Great visibility.


Suggested Improvements

I don't like how it's identical to the Ford Explorer, but understandable as they are both assembled in the US and use the same exact parts in the same factory. Center console is really hard to clean properly. Some vibration after 75 mph.


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IN balance, best ever
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Oldfrat
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Wonderful for tall drivers. Tons of leg and head room! If you get a dashboard message saying your air bag isn't working, go to Google - not your dealer. Your dealer will tell you about the $500 fix. Google will show you how to fix it yourself in about 10 minutes.


Suggested Improvements

Wind noise and the gear shifter, as others mentioned. Also, I have three pins in my hip. The very firm seats just about killed me on my first long drive. I then added a very thick gel seating pad (which the Tribute's high head room made possible) and can now drive 12+ hours with no problems.


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