Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV

2002 Mazda Tribute
List price range
2002 Mazda Tribute

Pros

  • Stout V6 power, rugged good looks, roomy cabin, attractive pricing.

Cons

  • Weak standard four-cylinder engine, no low-range transfer case.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With rugged good looks, a stout V6 engine, plenty of room for four adults and their luggage, and a sport-tuned suspension that works beautifully on pavement, the Mazda Tribute might be the ultimate small SUV.

vehicle overview

Despite the fact that the Tribute shares its platform, drivetrain and basic design elements with the higher-volume Ford Escape, this Mazda SUV has plenty going for it, enough that it should be able to "escape" the Ford's shadow.

Three trim levels are available with either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Base DX models have a weak 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine teamed to a five-speed manual transmission, but the optional 200-horsepower V6 is worth the additional cost. Both motors meet LEV standards. No manual is available with the larger engine, which uses a four-speed automatic to transfer power to the wheels and can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. For 2002, standard equipment for the DX now includes alloy wheels, dark-tinted glass and a remote keyless entry system.

Mid-grade LX and high-end ES models come only with the V6. By selecting the LX, buyers get items included on the DX plus upgraded cloth seats, cruise control, in-dash cassette player, cargo net, alarm system, foglights, height-adjustable driver seat with lumbar support, cargo cover and a reclining split-folding rear seat. This year, LX buyers can select a power driver seat. Stepping up to ES trim nets leather upholstery, power driver seat and an overhead storage console. Not surprisingly, the LX V6 model is expected to be the sales leader. Antilock brakes with electronic brake force distribution are optional on Tributes.

A four-wheel independent suspension, unibody construction, all-season radial tires and speed-sensing rack-and-pinion steering all contribute to a car-like driving demeanor on pavement. Despite the availability of an on-demand 4WD system and 8.4 inches of ground clearance, the Tribute is not intended for serious bushwhacking use, because it lacks a low-range transfer case.

Five people can fit, but the Tribute is more comfortable with four aboard. Folding the seats down results in an impressive 65 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Tribute is likely to be cross-shopped against the Honda CR-V, Jeep Liberty and Nissan Xterra, as well as its corporate twin, the Ford Escape. With the rear seats in use, the Tribute offers 17.1 cubic feet of luggage space, more than a BMW X5.

Interesting features of the Tribute include available side-impact airbags, a 190-watt sound system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and a moon roof. Eight exterior colors are available, with DX models featuring gray lower body cladding, and they can be teamed with either a gray or beige interior.

Ford plans to sell four times as many Escapes as Mazda will Tributes, despite the fact that the Trib comes with a better warranty package and is arguably more attractive. Here's your chance to own something distinctive in a crowd of look-alike SUVs.

2002 Highlights

After an extremely successful introductory year, Mazda's Tribute SUV receives only minor modifications for 2002. DX models get additional standard equipment in the form of alloy wheels, dark-tinted glass and remote keyless entry. After a short production run, however, the DX-V6 model will be discontinued. Midgrade LX models can be ordered with ABS as a stand-alone option (last year it was bundled with side airbags) and with a six-way power driver seat. Both LX and ES models get a new driver lumbar support feature. Side step tubes are a new option on all Tribs, and four new colors debut for 2002.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Mazda Tribute.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

best car ive ever owned
moparman15,08/15/2011
got it in 2002 brand new, drive it everyday since now 100k miles...NOT ONE PROBLEM! the only thing thats been replaced is the battery. This thing can fly never expected it to be so fast. The steering is a little too tight but over all best car ive ever owned.
Reliable and good looking
apglaser,01/01/2011
We bought our Tribute LX used with 106,000 miles on it and haven't had any problems at all! We are now at 125,000, and took it on a road trip from CA to UT. This past week was very rainy and my husband went crashing through all the deep puddles and the #3 spark plug got wet, causing a misfire. However, after a day or so it dried up and ran normal again. It has plenty on room in the backseat for 2 carseats, with more than enough cargo space for our double-stroller. I love my "Mazzy" and would recommend it to anyone.
The Mean Machine
Nyame Lavan,02/02/2016
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! :)
Loyal Long-Term Friend
H. B. Laidlaw,03/28/2010
Purchased new as my wife's commuter and weekend driver. Living in Maine with grandchildren in Vermont, we learned quickly that it is terrific in the snow. Problem areas: front suspension work needed at 45,000 and new front axles due to rusted tone rings (part of ABS system) at 55,000. The torque converter stutters occasionally when downshifting, but otherwise the engine/drive train work seamlessly and after 8 years it still drives like new.
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Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    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 Test
    Poor
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 2002 Mazda Tribute
Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV Overview

The Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV is offered in the following styles: ES-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), DX-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), LX-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), LX-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), ES-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), DX-V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A), DX 2WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and DX 4WD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV?

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Which used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUVS are available in my area?

Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 2002 Mazda Tribute Tribute SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda Tribute for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,576.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 1 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $21,532.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Mazda Tribute?

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.

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