2010 Mazda Tribute Review

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Mazda Tribute model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Engines offer a good balance of power and fuel economy, smart interior controls, strong safety scores.
  • Feels old compared to rivals, poor braking performance, second-row seat doesn't recline or slide or easily fold, Sync system not available as on Ford/Mercury competitors.

Despite its attractive styling and solid performance, the 2010 Mazda Tribute (as does the Ford Escape from which it's cloned) lags behind newer and more refined rivals.

Vehicle overview

In most respects, the 2010 Mazda Tribute appears to be a fully modern compact crossover SUV. As a clone of the Ford Escape, it shares the same basic set of strengths and weaknesses. In its favor, it has handsome exterior styling, a choice of a powerful four-cylinder or V6 engine and top-notch safety scores. But the Tribute also has a number of small failings, and overall they add up to keep this SUV from truly matching other competitors.

Number one on the list is an outdated interior. The Tribute lacks a few basic features now common among its newer competitors, such as a telescoping steering wheel and an easy-to-fold backseat that reclines and slides fore and aft. Also damning, though, are brakes (discs in front but antiquated drums in the rear) that simply don't have the power to bring the Escape to a stop as effectively as other small SUVs. One other disappointing quality is that the Tribute lacks its sibling's useful "Sync" multimedia interface that allows easy voice control of cell phones and portable audio devices.

In this segment, there are a lot of very good choices, such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda's own sporty CX-7. They all have the edge over the Tribute when it comes to overall refinement, braking performance and functionality, while also providing similar performance and crash test scores. And if the Tribute still tickles your fancy after all this, then we'd suggest at least opting for a Sync-equipped Ford Escape instead.

2010 Mazda Tribute models

The 2010 Mazda Tribute is a compact crossover SUV broken down into i and s models that correspond with the four- and six-cylinder engines. The i variant is offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, while the s version is offered as a Grand Touring only.

The base-level Sport comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, air-conditioning, full power accessories, an ambient temperature gauge, cruise control, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Touring adds a roof rack, tinted rear windows, a power driver seat and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Grand Touring gains a sunroof, heated side mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a back-up camera (with the display shown in the rearview mirror) and an upgraded sound system (with a six-CD changer and satellite radio).

Satellite radio is optional on the Touring, while remote engine start and a towing package are among the items that are optional on all three trim levels.

2010 Highlights

For 2010, the Mazda Tribute carries on unchanged save for a handful of newly standard features, including an ambient temperature gauge for all trims. The Grand Touring version now comes with a garage door opener, a back-up camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror that contains a built-in display for the back-up camera.

Performance & mpg

All Mazda Tribute models can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. The Tribute i gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 171 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sport trim; a six-speed automatic is optional on the Sport and standard on the others. The Tribute s versions have a 3.0-liter V6 (good for 240 hp and 233 lb-ft) that comes paired to a six-speed automatic.

Fuel economy with the 2.5/automatic powertrain and front-wheel drive rates 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. All-wheel drive drops that to 20/26/23 mpg. With the V6 and front-wheel drive, the numbers stand at 19/25/21. The V6 with all-wheel drive rates 18/23/20.


The 2010 Mazda Tribute comes with an impressive portfolio of standard safety equipment including front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, stability control and traction control. Unfortunately, the Escape is hampered by poor braking performance. From 60 mph, the last Escape we tested stopped in a lackluster 128 feet.

In government crash tests, the Tribute scored five stars in all frontal and side impact categories. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Tribute scored the top rating of "Good" for frontal offset and side impact crash protection.


In general, the 2010 Mazda Tribute is pleasant to drive. The electric power steering system delivers good road feel and response, and around corners, this compact crossover SUV remains relatively flat and inspires driver confidence. The ride quality is also smooth, making the Tribute a suitable choice for commuting or hauling the family. Acceleration from both engines is adequate, though the V6 isn't as energetic as the more powerful mills in the Equinox and RAV4.


For the most part, the Tribute's cabin is virtually identical to that of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. Unless you're a devout Mazda fan, this isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally impressive. The climate and stereo controls are split, with readouts placed high atop the dash in legible blue and white characters. Unfortunately, the Tribute does not offer the innovative Sync electronics interface system that is such a strong selling point in the Escape and Mariner.

The Tribute's front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable. The rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, is flat and devoid of recline and fore-and-aft adjustments. Folding that seat down is a bit of a chore, too, as the headrests must be removed and the bottom cushions tipped forward before the seatbacks can be lowered. Cargo space stands at 29 cubic feet behind the second row and 66 cubes with the second row folded. This is more than what's available in competitors such as the Nissan Rogue and Saturn Vue but less than what's offered by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Mazda Tribute.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2.13 out of 5 stars
Not happy
not happy,08/18/2010
i Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Can't recommend! The transmission was replaced at 1,400 miles, because it shifted so rough. Thing is it still shifts rough and has very noisy idle. The drive is very noisy also. I am going to trade it in. The upside was the dealership service dept. Was exception. I feel bad their product was so disappointing. Will never buy another Mazda.
5 out of 5 stars
Reliable and VERY Safe
i Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I am about ten years late for reviewing this car, but for anyone looking to buy one used, I would have to recommend it highly. I bought my Tribute in 2018 with 130k on the odometer. I have had a few gremlins as you would in any used car (ac condenser leak, valve cover gasket, electronic gremlins, all easy fixes). The powertrain had been bulletproof and never left me stranded. I just drove it from Tennessee to Arizona and back with no problems at 190k. But the real reason I am writing this review is because of the car’s safety. I just got rear ended on the interstate this morning and the car was DESTROYED. I, however, walked away without even a bruise or scratch. It protected me amazingly well. Definitely would recommend. Also, it was practical, comfortable, and surprisingly fun to toss around on a back road for an SUV.
4.38 out of 5 stars
Bland... but OK
i Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I was about to get an edge, but I figured that this was going to be better because the dealer offered it for a VERY low price. There is enough room for a family of 4 and an excellent cargo hauler. Though it is very bland. I do not like the exterior look @ all. It has enough power for my needs and fuel milage is right were it should be: about 25mpg 90% city 10% highway w/ all economical driving. If you can find one for super cheap go ahead. If not, go w/ an edge/element. Also, no problems at all except for one thing: tire pressure is already low after 12k miles.
2 out of 5 stars
CRAP-mistake to have bought this piece of junk
i Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
2010 Tribute bought new (I thought) had a recal to recalibrate tranny...gas milage got worse, rear wiper has failed and worse still I cannot get the wiper arm off to replace the motor..even tried a wheel puller but no go. Rusting under lip of the hood and the hatchback. Had to replace resonator because weld let go. had to change purge valve because it is made too cheap. Wheel lugs are constantly coming loose on mags even after being torqued to manufact specs. Now I was told that there is rust on the roof above the driver's side door in the roof rails that appears to have been fixed before we bought the car According to a Ford dealer looks like car was dropped-explains funny clunk closingdoor


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2010 Mazda Tribute

Used 2010 Mazda Tribute Overview

The Used 2010 Mazda Tribute is offered in the following submodels: Tribute SUV. Available styles include i Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 5M), i Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), s Grand Touring 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A), i Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and s Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A). Pre-owned Mazda Tribute models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 171 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 Mazda Tribute comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2010 Mazda Tribute comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Mazda Tribute?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Mazda Tributes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Mazda Tribute for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Mazda Tribute.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 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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