Love this SUV. Have 20,000 miles on it at the time I'm writing this and already planning to buy another one this spring to replace another vehicle we have. Have had no problems whatsoever other than the subwoofer died. Dealer replaced it in an hour, no questions asked. If you're shopping for one, there are two things to pay attention to. One, the driving position; with the power seat all the way back the steering wheel is a long reach. Two, compare the Tribute and Escape carefully. They package the options very differently. I find the 6-way power seat very necessary for comfort. You can get that feature in lesser priced editions of the Escape compared to the Mazda.
Style, size of vehicle, fun to drive, ease of use, decent gas mileage, low cost of ownership. Everything really.
Plan to buy new tires from the beginning. The Continental tires that come with it are the source of most of the noise problems. We bought the Bridgestone Aleza. Instantly made it more enjoyable to drive. Use Tirerack.com for research, one of the categories they rate tires on is noise levels.