2011 Mazda Tribute SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Mazda Tribute SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Tribute Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 171 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Mazda Tribute

  • The 2011 Mazda Tribute is a rebadged Ford Escape, and more like a traditional SUV than a crossover. And without the Escape's high-tech features, this SUV can't measure up to the new breed of compact crossovers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Both inline-4 and V6 engines balance power with fuel economy; good crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Feels old compared to rivals; poor braking performance; lacks high-tech features of crossover competitors; rear seat doesn't slide or recline.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Mazda Tribute carries over unchanged for 2011.

Full 2011 Mazda Tribute Review

What's New for 2011

The Mazda Tribute carries over unchanged for 2011.


It must be tough for the 2011 Mazda Tribute at family get-togethers. Like the red-headed stepchild, this compact crossover sticks out as the oddball among its fellow Mazdas with their rakish profiles, beefy fender flares and wide-mouth grilles. That's because the Tribute has been adopted from a different family. Remove the badges from the Mazda Tribute and what you have is a Ford Escape, except without the Ford's many appealing high-tech features.

The Tribute and its Ford twin date back to the turn of the millennium, and you can tell, as this vehicle's blocky shape and upright driving position are indicative of the truck-based SUVs that used to rule back in Y2K. The Tribute has been thoroughly updated since then with refreshed styling, dramatically improved interior quality and more potent engines, but the underlying vehicle has remained the same. That means it lacks new, now-common features like a telescoping steering wheel or a reclining and sliding rear seat. And it drives with a truck-ish demeanor that seems very un-Mazda-like.

More important, it's also a little hard to fathom why someone would opt for a 2011 Mazda Tribute instead of a Ford Escape, since the Ford can be equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system, excellent self-parking technology and the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes cell phone and iPod connectivity along with voice controls.

However, note that the Escape is far from a top pick among compact crossovers. It might have the admittedly appealing option of Sync, but it's still an aging design that lacks many of the beneficial attributes of competitors like the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, 2011 Honda CR-V, 2011 Kia Sportage, 2011 Subaru Forester and 2011 Toyota RAV-4. Either way you cut it, though, this 2011 Mazda is a Tribute to neither its adopted nor birth families.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Mazda Tribute is a compact SUV available in i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring. (These "i" descriptors don't indicate a partnership with Apple; rather they represent the Tribute's four-cylinder engine, whereas the "s" indicates a V6.)

The i Sport comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control (with automatic transmission), air-conditioning, tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The i Touring adds a roof rack, privacy glass, a six-way power driver seat, a cargo cover and a seven-speaker sound system with six-disc CD changer and steering-wheel audio controls. The Grand Touring trims add heated mirrors, a sunroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio. The s Grand Touring gets a V6 and a towing prep package.

There are no factory options available, but it's possible to purchase a portable navigation system and an auto-dimming mirror from the dealer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Mazda Tribute i models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 171 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the i Sport, while the six-speed automatic is optional on the i Sport and standard on all others. Front-wheel drive is standard on all Tributes, while all but the i Sport can be equipped with all-wheel drive. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 20/26/23 with all-wheel drive.

The Mazda Tribute s Grand Touring gets a 3.0-liter V6 good for 240 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard. In Edmunds performance testing of the identical Ford Escape, a 0-60-mph sprint was dispatched in 8.1 seconds, which is rather slow for a compact crossover with an upgraded engine. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/23/20 with all-wheel drive.


The 2011 Mazda Tribute comes with standard antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing of the Tribute's twin, the Ford Escape, we found that it came to a stop from 60 mph in an unacceptably long 154 feet, which is about 30 feet longer than it should be.

Thankfully, the Tribute and Escape's crash ratings are strong. The government gave them a perfect five stars in all front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Tribute the top mark of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests, but the second-lowest rating of "Marginal" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

For the most part, the Tribute's cabin is virtually identical to that of the Ford Escape. This isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally impressive. The straightforward climate and stereo controls are split, with readouts placed high atop the dash in legible blue and white characters. Unfortunately, the Tribute does not offer the Escape's excellent available navigation system or the innovative Sync electronics interface, which includes Bluetooth, iPod interface and voice controls.

The Tribute's front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, though a tilt-only steering wheel might prevent some from finding an ideal driving position. The rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, has an uncomfortably flat bottom cushion in order to create a flat load floor when the seatback is laid down, and the seat itself is devoid of reclining and sliding adjustments. Folding down the seat is a bit of a chore, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be lowered (it's that flat load floor thing again).

Cargo space stands at 31.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 67.2 cubes with the 60/40-split second row folded. This is a bit larger than Mazda's own CX-7 and smaller crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson, but the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 are bigger.

Driving Impressions

In general, the 2011 Mazda Tribute is pleasant to drive. The electric-assist power steering system delivers good road feel and response, and around corners, this compact crossover SUV provides a good amount of driver confidence. However, if you're looking for the sort of dynamic driving experience indicative of Mazda's other vehicles, you won't find it with this aging, rebadged Ford. At least the Tribute's ride is reasonably smooth. Acceleration from both engines is adequate, though the V6 isn't as energetic as the more powerful upgrade engines found in its many competitors.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Crap-mistake to have bought this

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

2010 Tribute bought new (I thought) had a recal to recalibrate tranny...gas milage got worse, rear wiper has failed and worse still I cannot get the wiper arm off to replace the motor..even tried a wheel puller but no go. Rusting under lip of the hood and the hatchback. Had to replace resonator because weld let go. had to change purge valve because it is made too cheap. Wheel lugs are constantly coming loose on mags even after being torqued to manufact specs. Now I was told that there is rust on the roof above the driver's side door in the roof rails that appears to have been fixed before we bought the car According to a Ford dealer looks like car was dropped-explains funny clunk closingdoor

Bland... but ok

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

I was about to get an edge, but I figured that this was going to be better because the dealer offered it for a VERY low price. There is enough room for a family of 4 and an excellent cargo hauler. Though it is very bland. I do not like the exterior look @ all. It has enough power for my needs and fuel milage is right were it should be: about 25mpg 90% city 10% highway w/ all economical driving. If you can find one for super cheap go ahead. If not, go w/ an edge/element. Also, no problems at all except for one thing: tire pressure is already low after 12k miles.

I'm lovin it !

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

I was looking for a Ford Escape Limited, but couldn't get one when my Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer was due, so I selected a Tribute AWD S Grand Touring. I'm very happy after 6K miles - no troubles at all, even towing my boat around. It's comfortable, very responsive, drives well and gets great mileage. Am planning on installing the remote start feature before winter sets it. I added white wall porta walls for my tires, as it looked like it needed something.

Had to buy another

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

still the best bang for your bucks in SUV'S. still have my 2004 tribute es. my wife has a bad back and loves this car. love the V6 (zoom zoom)in both vehicles.decided time to buy with no payment 90 days and 0% for 60 months.lucked out as this was the only V6 in the state of florida. the 2010 has all the bells and whistles, michelin tires, back up camera , sun roof , heated front seats (great for bad backs) etc. i did test drive hyndai sante fe (nice), kia sorrento (nice) and mercury mariner (ok). i'm 6'4" wife 5'2" no problems.so had to stick with mazda tibute. got a GREAT deal from dealer plus a surprise $500 loyalty rebate.

Not happy

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

Can't recommend! The transmission was replaced at 1,400 miles, because it shifted so rough. Thing is it still shifts rough and has very noisy idle. The drive is very noisy also. I am going to trade it in. The upside was the dealership service dept. Was exception. I feel bad their product was so disappointing. Will never buy another Mazda.

Shifting issues & gas mileage

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Tribute

Would like to comment on the shifting smoothness from 20 mph up to 40-50 mph. Car seems to hard shift on accelerating, like a drag, and on down shift, strong feeling of jerking into gears. The gas mileage seems to be hurting from this situation. No help from the dealer service manager and Mazda area rep, all say normal. No check engine light has come on. Waiting for some answers from another dealer. Have driven a 2010=6 cyl Ford escape and did not feel this odd shifting. Also, the interior has black shiny dashboard, attracts a lot of dust. Sure wish they would go back to dull finish.

Talk About The 2011 Tribute

2011 Mazda Tribute Discussions See all Started By

I have a 2006 I4 Tribute with 73K miles on it, the automatic transmission started bucking and jumping two weeks ago. Six weeks ago the repair shop I use refused to service the transmission at the las...

With Mazda, last year they did not introduce any new models (except the Mazda5) while dropping the RX-8 and Tribute. This year, they will have potentially three updated models (Mazda3, CX-5, and Mazd...

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411