Used 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid

2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid
List Price Estimate
$5,435 - $7,978

Pros & Cons

  • Surprisingly powerful hybrid drivetrain, gets 30 mpg in the real world, comfortable and roomy interior.
  • Pricey for its size, noisy under hard acceleration, fussy rear-seat folding process, handling not as sporty as that of some rivals, disappointing braking performance.
Mazda Tribute Hybrid years
Mazda Tribute Hybrid for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

Combining impressive fuel efficiency with peppy performance and SUV functionality, the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid allows you to enjoy the day-to-day convenience of a compact SUV while saving trips to the pump.

Vehicle overview

Saying the words "SUV" and "fuel efficiency" in the same breath may seem as ridiculous as doing the same with "Big Mac" and "healthy diet." But not all SUVs are gas-guzzlers. The evidence is in the form of the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid which, in two-wheel-drive versions, earns an EPA combined estimate of more than 30 mpg. Perhaps, then, it's not so far-fetched to believe that someday double cheeseburgers could be good for us, too.

Essentially a clone of the Ford Escape Hybrid (and its cousin, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid), the Tribute Hybrid shares the Ford's platform and most of its sheet metal. As such, the Tribute HEV receives most of the same improvements as the Ford this year, including a larger, more powerful engine, stability control, an economy mode for the air-conditioner and a new processor to smooth out the transition between gas and electric modes. Sadly, the Escape got a few features that the Tribute didn't; namely, Ford's Sync system, which allows users to control the audio and navigation systems, as well as cell phones and MP3 players, via voice commands.

Mazda has labeled the latest version of its hybrid cute ute as the 2009 Tribute HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle). As with other "full" hybrids -- the kind that can run up to 30 mph or more solely on their electric motors -- the Tribute HEV offers surprisingly sprightly acceleration. Thanks to the nature of electric motors (they make peak torque almost immediately) and this year's stronger engine, the 2009 Tribute provides "have your value meal and eat it, too" performance that is more akin to that of a V6 than an inline-4.

Having said all that, consumers who cross-shop the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid with regular compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 may be disappointed in the Mazda's comparatively noisy power delivery, mediocre braking performance and somewhat sluggish dynamics. And because both of these rivals are priced at thousands of dollars less and are capable of returning average mileage in the mid-20s, there's really no immediate cost benefit to choosing a hybrid over a gasoline-powered small SUV. Another interesting alternative is Volkswagen's new diesel-fueled Jetta wagon, as it's cheaper and boasts better highway mileage. However, if you compare the Tribute Hybrid to its closest competitors -- the less refined Saturn Vue Green Line and the more expensive Vue Green Line Two-Mode and Toyota Highlander Hybrid -- the Mazda becomes a much more attractive candidate.

Mazda Tribute Hybrid models

The 2009 Mazda Tribute HEV is a compact crossover SUV available in two trim levels: Touring and Grand Touring. Both come in a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The Touring comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rear tinted windows, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, a 60/40-split rear seatback, dual-zone automatic climate control and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls. The Grand Touring trim level adds heated side mirrors, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a seven-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer. A touchscreen navigation system is optional on the Grand Touring.

2009 Highlights

For 2009, the Mazda Tribute Hybrid gets a larger, more powerful engine, stability control, an economy mode for the air-conditioner, satellite radio, front and rear stabilizer bars and automatic headlights. Oddly, it also swaps its rear disc brakes for drums.

Performance & mpg

The Tribute hybrid power plant consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motor/generators. Their net output is 177 hp, and they're mated to what Mazda calls a continuously variable transmission, but there's no rotating belt as in a conventional CVT. Instead, the electric motors work in concert with the gas engine through a planetary gearset to provide seamless power and maximum efficiency. If you're not a car buff, you needn't worry about figuring that out -- as with a regular automatic transmission, all you have to do is move the shift lever to "D" and press the gas pedal.

On AWD Tribute Hybrid models, a third electric motor drives the rear wheels when extra acceleration or traction is needed. It's not a true AWD system, though, so buyers needing a serious snow vehicle will be better served by the regular gasoline-powered Tribute with its more traditional AWD setup.

The front-wheel-drive Tribute Hybrid posts impressive mileage ratings of 34 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. The AWD version is rated at 29/27/28 mpg.


Antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are standard.

In government crash testing, the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid scored five (out of five) stars for both the driver and passenger in frontal crash tests. In side impact crash tests, the Tribute HEV again scored a perfect five stars for front and rear occupants. In frontal offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the '09 Tribute received an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest on a scale of four). In that agency's side impact testing, it received a "Good" rating (the highest).


Although the gasoline engine can get noisy under hard acceleration, the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid feels like it's powered by a peppy V6, yet it returns outstanding fuel mileage. Ride quality is fine for this class, but handling is a bit of a letdown for a Mazda. Even with this year's suspension changes, the HEV exhibits more body roll around turns and generally feels less agile than most small SUVs due to its extra 300 pounds of curb weight.

The Tribute Hybrid's regenerative brakes feel solid enough in everyday driving, but we have to question the decision to fit them with rear drums. In a simulated panic stop from 60 mph, we tested a Ford Escape (the Tribute's twin) with the same brakes and recorded a dangerously long 154-foot stopping distance -- a good 25 feet longer than expected -- and that was without the Hybrid's added weight.


Like the Tribute HEV's exterior, the interior features little Mazda family resemblance apart from the badge on its steering wheel. In fact, the Tribute is virtually identical to the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. Unless you're a devout Mazda fan, this isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally good. The climate and stereo controls have a tidy layout, and the instrumentation has an upscale and modern appearance.

A new feature this year is an "economy" setting for the air-conditioner, which allows the auto-shutoff feature for the gas engine to function even while the A/C is on (such as when you're stopped at a red light). But unlike those of a few other hybrids, this system won't allow the A/C compressor to run with the gas engine off, so you might have to endure a temperature increase inside the cabin while waiting to get going again.

The front seats will accommodate adults of all sizes, and the backseat is roomy enough for adults and children, even if its cushions are a bit flat. There are 28 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40-split rear seats, which fold down to open up a total of 65 cubic feet -- a decent figure for this class. Be forewarned that it's not a one-step process, however. You must first remove the headrests and flip up the seat bottoms before folding down the seatbacks.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • value
  • interior
  • infotainment system
  • fuel efficiency
  • engine

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.875 out of 5 stars, Surprised by Quality at 15,000 Miles

I test drove several small SUVs like the Jeep Patriot, Hyundai Tucson, and Honda CR-V. Now all of these (Ford Escape and Mercury, are similar to the Mazda) had their good points, and some better than the Mazda, but in meeting my requirements of comforts, space and fuel economy, the Mazda Tribute fit the bill (fuel prices climb). I purchased my Mazda Tribute Hybrid with Grand Touring pkg, AWD, and NAV System, and a good price just over 30K. Fuel economy in the SF Bay area is 32 MPG! It is really peppy when you press the accelerator combining both electric and gas engine power. I drive regularly in snow and ice, and it drives very nice, it does takes getting used to the AWD engaging.

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See all 1 reviews

Features & Specs

Touring 4dr SUV features & specs
Touring 4dr SUV
2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
MPG 34 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
177 hp @ 6000 rpm

Grand Touring 4dr SUV features & specs
Grand Touring 4dr SUV
2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
MPG 34 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
177 hp @ 6000 rpm

Touring 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
Touring 4dr SUV AWD
2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
MPG 29 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
177 hp @ 6000 rpm

Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD
2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
MPG 29 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
177 hp @ 6000 rpm

See all Used 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Rollover3 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact TestNot Tested
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front TestNot Tested


Is the Mazda Tribute Hybrid a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2009 Tribute Hybrid both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Mazda Tribute Hybrid fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Tribute Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg to 32 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Tribute Hybrid has 27.8 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mazda Tribute Hybrid. Learn more
Is the Mazda Tribute Hybrid reliable?
To determine whether the Mazda Tribute Hybrid is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Tribute Hybrid. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Tribute Hybrid's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2009 Tribute Hybrid is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid?

The least-expensive 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid is the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $29,175.

Other versions include:

  • Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $29,175
  • Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $31,695
  • Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $30,925
  • Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $33,445
Learn more
What are the different models of Mazda Tribute Hybrid?
If you're interested in the Mazda Tribute Hybrid, the next question is, which Tribute Hybrid model is right for you? Tribute Hybrid variants include Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). For a full list of Tribute Hybrid models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid

Used 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid Overview

The Used 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Tribute Hybrid SUV. Available styles include Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What do people think of the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2009 Tribute Hybrid 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2009 Tribute Hybrid.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2009 Tribute Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid?

Which 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid.

Can't find a new 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mazda Tribute Hybrid for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $23,458.

Find a new Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,217.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mazda lease specials