Have had the car for 3 years now. Although the car seems underpowered with the smaller engine the gas mileage is very good, the manual transmission really makes the difference. Comfortable in town and on trips and handles very well. So far has aged well both inside and out despite dogs and kids.
This is an SUV that drives like a car so that it doesn't feel heavy or stiff.
Mazda's paint finishes are not as durable as other cars I have owned.
I have always owned Toyotas, but hate the redesigned RAV. So I looked at the Tribute and got a great end of year deal. Now, I only require a vehicle with a CD player and AC, so features don't interest me. This car is reliable, economical (I get nearly 30 mpg on the highway and high 20s around town. I've had no mechanical problems in 45,000 and the tires are still original. Honda CRVs chew up the tires! The Tribute has room to tote lumber, move furniture and carry tools, but it's also comfortable on long trips and handles very well. I would buy another one in a heartbeat. Plus, my dealer charge for service is very reasonable. It's a great SUV!
Gas mileage, better than my friends CRV, or Forrester or the RAV. Far more affordable on the lot. It's roomy and easy to drive and park.
Donít buy it! Iíve had my Tribute for 6 months and have 9700 miles on it now. I bought it new. I wanted wait a while before posting anything online. Iíve had problems from the beginning: 1. One of my doors had messed up clear coat. Had to get refinished. 2. Missing clutch bearing plate. I am mechanically inclined, but never had a manual so I donít know what that is. But sure as heck sounds important. 3. When changing air vent flow from ground to upper vents, the ground vents blow air out for about another 10 minutes. Only happens on AC, not on heat. Go figure. 4. One of the upper vents does not close. 5. When it is cold out, it is near impossible to get back into first gear.
Just traded in a '99 Explorer on this little SUV. So far so good. It's 4 cylinder, five speed is very peppy. We have 2WD which is all most people need. Love the mpg. We added leather and moonroof to class it up a bit.
Five speed and interior design.
A little bigger seats with a little more padding would greatly enhance the comfort.
I test drove a 2005 model, 4 cylinder last year, and found it sporty My only complaint was why do the designers not add even 1" more padding to the front seats? This would open the potential to a whole new range of buyers. We decided to buy an '06 just recently, and it is perfect for what we need. Family of four, with two big dogs, who get the rear cargo area. I am 5' 11", and 200 lbs, with a 44" chest and I have plenty of room for both with room to spare.
Favorite features are the easy to use stick shift, power mirrors, and seat controls.
Add 1-2" to the seat cushioning in the front. Make this a more comfortable vehicle.