Used 2002 Mazda Tribute Consumer Reviews - 143 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2002 Mazda Tribute Consumer Reviews

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Decent but not great
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Montana
on

Vehicle

2002 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I got a Mazda Tribute for college. It was a used car so I wasn’t expecting it to last forever. However with that being said I didn’t expect to have it in the garage every 6 months with a new 300$ problem. Like clock work every 6 months it was in the garage and just today I decided to scrap it after I had 400$ of repairs done 2 months ago and yesterday my mechanic told me I had 1000$ worth of rust damage and 600$ worth of mechanical issues. It was a great car when it was running it just wasn’t worth all the repairs


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A Nice Car That Comes With A Ford Repair Schedule
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Seth A.
on

Vehicle

2002 Mazda Tribute ES-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

So, My opinion on the Mazda Tribute is, it was designed to be a good car, Tributes have lots of potential, but the car falls flat with its constant repair schedule since it is a Ford vehicle. The goods about the car were, It was very comfortable (Supportive seats, good driving position, perfect height, just the perfect size), Has a fantastic radio, good ergonomics (placement of controls is perfect), lots of front row storage solutions (Large glove box, Extra large center console *almost as big as lots of large trucks* and there is lots of storage room in the area below the stereo and in the doors, you will never run out of storage), Back seats are roomy, And the cargo area is very spacious (tall, wide, and with the seats down there is enough room to move a full sized couch or a tall bookshelf, or both!), Towing capability is a hefty 3,500 if you have the tow package (Enough to tow a small trailer or help tow people in other vehicles out of trouble), Very stylish with nice lines, Has a reliable engine, and has very nimble and fun driving characteristics, you feel as if you are driving a car that was designed for sportiness. Now for the bad things. The Transmissions are horrible in these vehicles, when they work they hard shift constantly, They buck like a horse, the gearing ratios are horrible (lots of dead-no power zones), they definitely leave a lot to desire. And most of the time these transmissions give out within 100k miles (usually cost around 3-4k to replace or rebuild including labor), but you really cant blame the transmission, The CD4E 4-speed transmission was originally designed as a transmission for small front wheel drive cars mostly with 4 cylinders, e.g. the Mazda 626, Ford Probe, Ford Mondeo, and others, but Ford with their brilliant ideas thought it was a smart idea to stick these transmissions into a heavy trio of cars with 4 wheel drive and 6 cylinders (The Mazda Tribute, Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner), Smart thinking, huh? Next, They tend to kill catalytic converters because their spark plugs prematurely wear out (on the 3.0 Duratech engine), they usually wear out in about 25-35k miles, and if you drive with those spark plugs for more than a couple miles after the check engine light started flashing, congratulations, you've successfully messed up your catalytic converters. (about 600 dollars to replace both) If you see that check engine light start flashing, take my advice, immediately pull over and call a tow truck so you don't mess your catalytic converters up. If you do mess them up your catalytic converters, you will know because you will feel a large decrease in power, your car will struggle to shift cause it cant get enough speed, interstate driving will be very stressful because you will be holding up cars, and in my case your engine will frequently overheat because it is revving so hard and not shifting. These cars have weak alternators as well, they die prematurely, the A/C compressors seize about every 50k miles, the fog lights like to break, hood trim falls off often, sunroof rails like to snap, oxygen sensors go out pretty quickly, the airbag system likes to fail every once in a while so you have to un-connect the connectors under the seats and put some oil in them for the airbags to work again (something involving corrosion causes this), the knobs on the radio break off, door fabric or leather peals off cause the glue dries up, rear glass hinges break off. In conclusion, the Mazda tribute is a beautiful car, fun to drive, and very comfortable, But being a ford under its pretty exterior and interior, these cars were not made to withstand thousands of trouble free miles like other fully Japanese vehicles, you will experience lots of american car problems within the miles, they are very high maintenance vehicles. don't get me wrong, these are lovable cars, I loved mine a lot, they have lots of personality, even with the problems it had, but after the transmission gave out for a 3rd time in its whole 205k mile life, i decided it had served me well and it was time for it to go away. So if you have your heart set on one of these, know it isn't as bad as some other ford products, but realize you definitely will not be driving a super reliable vehicle, expect to have your car in the shop often (unless you are mechanically inclined), and expect to be on the side of the road sometimes waiting for someone to rescue you, lastly expect to be spending money frequently on the car.


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I'll cry when I have to part with thy Tribute!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Manny Cannatella
on

Vehicle

2002 Mazda Tribute LX-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Bought this SUV new 15 years ago and never regretted it. The V6 engine is super powerful and still runs smoothly. Roomy cabin space -very comfortable. This SUV has been everywhere with great performance. Never had to replace any of the major parts - just the battery now and then. It's is still going strong after reaching the 300,000 mile mark.


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Don't get a flat tire
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Ray Davis
on

Vehicle

2002 Mazda Tribute ES-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

The jack is useless. It won't lift the car high enough to get the tire off.


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The Mean Machine
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Nyame Lavan
on

Vehicle

2002 Mazda Tribute ES-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I absolutely love my 2002 Mazda Tribute! It is a good reliable car and is fun to drive. I've taken it through some pretty bad roads..and even off the roads! and it has always handled great, what an aggressive machine! :)


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