2006 Mazda Tribute SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda Tribute SUV

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Mazda Tribute Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 153 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mazda Tribute

  • Roomy on the inside, stylish on the outside and fun to drive wherever it goes, the 2006 Mazda Tribute is one of our favorite small SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy and comfortable interior, peppy V6 engine, drives more like a car than a truck, long list of standard features.

  • Cons

    Mediocre fuel economy and range on V6 models, can't get side airbags on four-cylinder models.

  • What's New for 2006

    After receiving significant updates last year, the Mazda Tribute SUV enters 2006 unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Dead at 47,000 miles

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I've had this car for 6 1/2 years and just paid it off months ago. I loved this car the entire time I had it. Rarely had to put any money into it other than maintenance. It was the perfect size for me and went great in the snow. Until last week. The valves started to tap and before I could get to a gas station to put oil in it, the engine locked up. No warning. Got it to the repair shop and upon inspection, they found that the engine was dead - $5,300 for a new engine. Since that is about what the blue book value is, I decided to just buy a new car. The oil had been changed last 4,000 miles ago. There was no reason for the oil to have leaked, but apparently it did. Trade in $500.




Great value among all suv

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

this is great SUV, for less than 19k , which i paid this suv is great for its class and performance, i drove 29k miles and still going great , did not spend any dime other than regular oil change sporty and sexy suv,can not beat its value and class and modest price tag




Zoom

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

So far so good. Some tire road noise. Not sure about transmission. Exhaust needed repair. Still like it a lot. Good ride and mileage. Tows OK for a 4 cyl.




Poor gas mileage -nothing to

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I'll just list the bad stuff (I'm sure you've read enough good stuff so I need to balance it). I replaced a 1993 V6 Navajo that does 15 MPG. Now sticker says 22-26MPG on this tribute. I drive both so I'm hoping maybe 24MPG, but would be ok with 22MPG since it's more in the city. Guess what I get? 16-17MPG!!! I've told this to the dealer and all I keep getting from them is that it's right, that they (Mazda) are revamping the whole mileage rating because it's not accurate. !??!? Why not just list the right one? I got a 13 yr old newer car to get 1 MPG more? I don't even drive aggressively anymore. On top of that, when I accelerate from a stop sign, I can feel a thud in the gear.




Fun little car

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

I got this for fuel economy, after driving a 2000 Ford Explorer. So far I love it! It give me just about as much space as I used in the Explorer, and has the feel of a SUV. I love it so far!




Electric problem

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Tribute i 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl 4A)

Although I believe this vehicle is a decent mid-size SUV, I can't believe I had an alternator problem at 19,000 miles. It has to be replaced already and the dealership has to wait approximately 7-10 days for a new one. So I'm driving a rental until Mazda decides to ship a new one. I've had cars with 100,000 miles on them and never had an alternator failure. Anybody else experience this problem so early in their purchase?



Full 2006 Mazda Tribute Review

What's New for 2006

After receiving significant updates last year, the Mazda Tribute SUV enters 2006 unchanged.

Introduction

The 2005 model year marked the first serious refresh for the Mazda Tribute. The previous generation's weak four-cylinder base engine was replaced by a 2.3-liter four with 153 horsepower and 152 lb-ft of torque. Styling revisions were in evidence inside and out, and a revised suspension system took care of things underfoot. A new electronic four-wheel-drive system, called Active Torque Control Coupling, uses an electromagnetic clutch to control the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels. In other words, power is split front to rear according to the engine control computer, and the system can react appropriately before traction is ever lost.

As always, the Mazda Tribute is more a car masquerading as a truck than a truck masquerading as a car. It drives like a tall, sporty station wagon, feeling nimble and surefooted on pavement. The trade-off, of course, is that when you get a Tribute into the mud, it is somewhat limited in its capability to bash boulders and scrabble up mountainsides. Thus, it is perfectly suited to the lifestyles of the majority of its buyers, who live in cities and suburbs and use it to haul groceries, children and the occasional piece of furniture. Stylish, speedy (with the V6) and spacious, the 2006 Mazda Tribute is one of the best small SUVs on the market.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door Mazda Tribute is available in base i and high-line s trims. The i comes with a decent amount of standard equipment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, air conditioning, a CD player and power windows, mirrors and locks. The s adds privacy glass, a height-adjustable driver seat and cruise control. Key options include leather upholstery, a power driver seat, an upgraded seven-speaker audio system with a CD changer, a moonroof and a class II towing package. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system can be ordered on any Tribute as long as a sunroof isn't involved.

Powertrains and Performance

Two engines are available in the Mazda Tribute. The i comes with a 153-hp, 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine matched to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The s gets a 3.0-liter V6 engine good for 200 hp. A four-speed automatic is standard with the V6. Both Mazda SUV models are available with either front-wheel drive (2WD) or an electronic four-wheel-drive system (4WD). Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist are standard on all models. Side curtain airbags are optional on the s model only. The Tribute scored very well in governmental crash testing, earning a perfect five stars for the driver and four stars for the front passenger in the frontal-impact category, and five stars across the board for side impacts. Frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS told a different story, however, as the Tribute earned a "Marginal" rating (the second lowest of four). The Tribute did earn a "Good" in IIHS side-impact testing when equipped with side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Tribute cabins are roomy and functional with plenty of room for four passengers and a simple control layout. All radio head units are satellite radio-compatible (Mazda dealers can install a Sirius receiver). In general, materials quality is not as impressive as that of other Mazda vehicles, but considering the economical nature of this small SUV, most buyers won't find it lacking. Cargo capacity is generous for a small SUV with 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats and a total of 66 cubic feet when the seats are folded.

Driving Impressions

Mazda markets the Tribute as the Miata of SUVs, and the claim isn't far off the mark. With a wide track and powerful V6, the Tribute handles better than most SUVs on the road, driving more like a sporty car than a truck. Ride quality is smooth, making this SUV a suitable choice for commuting or hauling around the family. Equipped with 4WD, the Mazda Tribute can easily take on snow and ice during the winter. One of the few drawbacks to this Mazda SUV is the V6 engine's mediocre gas mileage. This year's new 153-hp four-cylinder is a good option for buyers on tighter budgets -- expect adequate acceleration and better mileage than what you'd get with the V6.

Talk About The 2006 Tribute

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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