2009 Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
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.
On long drives or commute traffic it is very comfortable, the speech recognition NAV system is the easiest I have ever used (I have used some very nice systems). The separate driver- passenger climate controls are great! Surprising amount of rear seat room, Big passengers are comfy. And 32MPG!!
Rear seats take a bit to fold (like my Jeep Grand Cherokee), but once down provide a lot of space, would be nice if these folded down easier. Also under hard acceleration the engine is a bit loud, not bad, just noticeable in an otherwise very quiet cabin. Sub- woofer and MS Sync option would be nice