2003 Mazda Tribute SUV - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 199 Total Reviews
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Great little SUV - even after 120K!
By wbzcourt on 10/20/11 14:24 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Tribute SUV 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!
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The Best Vehicle I've EVER Owned!
By tributetomazda on 01/10/11 16:11 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Tribute SUV 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!
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Solid and Fun to Drive
By Cristanka on 06/08/10 07:49 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Tribute SUV 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.
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IN balance, best ever
By Oldfrat on 03/17/10 23:07 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Tribute SUV 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.
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Transmission problem
By john on 09/29/08 14:04 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Pretty good, but many small headaches
By No Name on 09/18/08 08:21 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Drives like a big truck
By Jody in Plumas Lake on 08/18/08 10:15 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

My biggest complaint about this SUV is the turning radius. It's very hard to turn into parking stalls or make U turns in tight areas... impossible to do without doing a 3 point turn. The other thing is the road noise. It is very loud while driving. Need to turn the radio up to even hear it. Otherwise it's been a great little vehicle. The gas mileage is all right, averaging 19-20, except now after my tuneup, I'm getting about 15-16.
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Save Your Money
By Rozy on 06/08/08 15:14 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Buyer beware... save your money. This was the first car I bought new and was in love with it until the second day I had it and it wouldn't start. The car went back to the dealrship 5 times for this problem and they had no idea what was wrong, just started to change wires to play guess and check. My car shut down on the highway because the alternator went at 30,000 miles. Then my transmission went at 50,000 (no longer under warranty). Mazda won't do anything to rectify the piece of junk they sold me! They are not helpful and said these problems were my fault. 2 days old and broken... not my fault. This car is a heap of junk for all the problems it caused.
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Great SUV
By ****** on 12/07/07 16:52 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Have owned this vehicle for the past 5 years and love it. After 110,000 miles, it just got its 3rd set of tires (originals lasted 64,000 mi) and only other maintenance was oil changes. It snows here practically daily from Dec-Apr and my Tribute gets through all of it with no problem. Have another, larger SUV in the household, but take the Tribute when it snows. Gas mileage is just ok, but I can get 24 mpg on the highway if I watch my speed.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Mazda Tough, Mazda Reliable
By odydapogi on 09/30/07 05:06 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Rough, reliable sporty. The best SUV. An all rounder. Very very reliable.
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