Used 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV
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.
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.
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Features & Specs
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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Find a used Mazda Tribute for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,576.
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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.