By Tim Beaver on
2009 Mazda Tribute i Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I've had the Tribute for about a week now. So far I've noticed a few things that weren't right upon delivery. The driver's seat has a hole in the cloth, the grab bar on the passenger side has screw plugs that don't quite fit, and the paint job isn't perfect with globs and runs and bad orange peel on the rear hatch. None of this is a deal breaker though as this was purchased as a winter beater/cargo hauler to save my G35 Coupe and C300 from unnecessary wear and tear. Looked at Ford Escape, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia offerings. This vehicle was the best combination of features/value/fuel efficiency I could find. I look forward to many winters of pleasant AWD commutes with this vehicle.
Fun to drive, easy to speed with this 4 cyl motor! AWD is seamless and undetectable. The whole family likes the upscale interior bits like the 6 disk player and piano black trim that Ford makes you pay extra for. Easy to park and maneuver in parking lots/alleys. Ride if firm but not unpleasant.
Piano Black trim picks up/shows dust and finger prints daily. Carbon fiber might be a better substitute going forward. The rear end "hoots" at 5 mph. There is a TSB out about this that should have been dealt with before vehilce delivery. Better paint. Absent tie down hooks in cargo area.