I've had this car for 6 1/2 years and just paid it off months ago. I loved this car the entire time I had it. Rarely had to put any money into it other than maintenance. It was the perfect size for me and went great in the snow. Until last week. The valves started to tap and before I could get to a gas station to put oil in it, the engine locked up. No warning. Got it to the repair shop and upon inspection, they found that the engine was dead - $5,300 for a new engine. Since that is about what the blue book value is, I decided to just buy a new car. The oil had been changed last 4,000 miles ago. There was no reason for the oil to have leaked, but apparently it did. Trade in $500.
I bought my '06 Tribby used in 2010 and it has served me very well with no major mechanical problems. This is a great car for a DIYer, because the maintenance is easy to perform. It handles quite well, with almost a car-like feeling. Performance is decent as well, it can easily tow small boats and trailers with no problem. It does lack a little power when you seat 5 and haul luggage and a trailer, but this has to be expected for a 200hp and sub-200 ft/lbs vehicle. A downside of the car is that fuel economy isn't very good. Traction in the snow is amazing, the 4wd does its job very well. I have never been stuck anywhere, even in the worst Quebec snowstorms with 50cm of snow (of course, good winter tires and the high ground clearance also help). It has plenty of cargo space and the interior is roomy. The sound system is decent but I wish it at least had an auxiliary input. Just do your regular maintenance and replace aging parts before they fail, and this car will amaze you with its reliability. Mine is going on 10 years and I feel almost no signs of aging (keep in mind that I have taken great preventive care of it, religiously changed all fluids, etc.). You should also be careful of rust buildup, I had some rust starting on the tailgate and had it fixed by a bodyshop before it was too bad. 10/10 would recommend
I researched and bought my 2006 Tribute s AWD, but it did not have the factory tow package. The dealer told me that you can add a hitch. The only problem is that it won't accept aftermarket wiring! I had two different trailer wiring harnesses installed by a pro and they both fired the module. The second one burned out the Tribute's computer. Mazda replaced it as a "good will gesture", but said that it can't accept an aftermarket trailer harness. My tribute also needed the leather driver's seat cover replaced, and a sunroof switch. Can anyone help with the wiring issue. I really want to tow a small trailer and also want to keep the tribute. BTW- it only gets 18-20mpg around town.
When we first got the Tribute we really loved it. We got an extended warranty since we bought the car used. This was a good thing because wheel bearings, the 4WD shift controller, Rear Suspension where just some of the things that needed to be fixed in the first few months. We took on a trip through the Maritimes and it had lots of pick-up, no issues on climbing some hilly terrain or passing. The comfort inside was great, but the radio broke and cup holder kept coming off. The all leather interior on our model was great and easy to clean.
I owned a 2006 Tribute. I loved it. But the day before Thanksgiving me and my 3 year old daughter were involved in a roll over accident. Witnesses say it rolled 6-7 times. It happened so fast that I couldn't be sure how many times it rolled. I had my seat belt on, my daughter was sitting behind me in her car seat. WE BOTH WALKED AWAY WITH MINOR INJURIES (some bumps) but WE WALKED AWAY. The frame held up perfectly, the door where my daughter was sitting was almost perfect except a few scratches on the top. I was so impressed with the way this suv protected us that I'm going to buy another one. It's all about safety when it comes to my family and this proved safe. This time I will get the v6.