Mazda Tribute Washington DC

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Koons Pontiac-Buick-Gmc-Volkswagen Mazda & Suzuki
(301) 423-2200
5001 Auth Way
Marlow Heights, MD
 
College Park Motor Cars-Mazda-Subaru-Volkswagen
(301) 441-2070
9330 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD
 
Darcars Mazda
(301) 622-0020
12214 Cherry Hill Rd
Silver Spring, MD
 
Congressional Oldsmobile Volkswagen Mazda
(301) 762-1300
801 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD
 
Ourisman Madza
(301) 725-4400
3516 Laurel Fort Meade Rd
Laurel, MD
 
Darcars Of College Park Motor Cars-Mazda-Subaru-Volkswagen
(410) 792-4969
9330 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD
 
Brown'S Alexandria Mazda
(703) 660-8400
7400 Richmond Hwy
Alexandria, VA
 
Castle Ford Mazda & Mitsubish
(410) 792-9914
3111 Automobile Blvd
Silver Spring, MD
 
Rosenthal Nissan Mazda
(703) 749-6400
8525 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA
 
T G Auto Sales Inc
(202) 832-2716
1801 Adams St NE
Washington, DC
 

2004 Mazda Tribute Compact Sport Utility Vehicle

By Sandra Kinsler and Brian Leshon   

New Car Review of the 2004 Mazda Tribute Compact Sport Utility Vehicle.

Description: Compact SUV
Base MSRP Range: $18,797 - $25,122
Invoice Price Range: $17,567 - $23,466

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The SUV from a company steeped in the production of fun-to-drive cars is a so-called crossover wagon for the compact class. Mazda promotes it as a sport-ute reared by a family of sports cars. The claim comes from the fact that Tribute differs from the typical lumbering hulk of a sport-utility box built on the platform of a RWD truck. Instead, it rides on the chassis of a FWD sedan and carries lively independent suspension elements and crisp rack and pinion steering to fashion a nimble wagon.

All power from Tribute's four-cylinder or V6 engine goes directly to the wheels in front -- the ones that also steer. This ability of front wheels to both turn and steer the wagon makes it quite agile, and entirely predictable.

Another unique feature is Tribute's monocoque platform, a structure that integrates frame and body to forge a single unit that's extremely rigid when set to the dynamics of motion.

Tribute first appeared in Mazda's line of 2001 but returns this year without change. Tribute's models show three trim variations and each is available in FWD or optional all-wheel-drive (AWD). Tribute DX is the price leader with standard features including a four-cylinder engine, roof rack, tachometer, tilting steering wheel, and power windows with one-touch down for driver's window. Tribute LX adds a V6 and upgraded cloth seat fabric, while deluxe ES has leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power-motivated driver's seat. The frugal engine for Tribute DX is Ford's twin-cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder Zetec plant that hits 130...

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2008 Mazda Tribute Compact Sport Utility Vehicle

Derek Price   

It's clearly still based on an old design that's bumpier and noisier than its more recently designed competitors.

It's clearly still based on an old design that's bumpier and noisier than its more recently designed competitors.

Mazda Tribute (2008) - enlarge

What was tested? 2008 Mazda Tribute S Sport ($21,555).

Options: None.

Price as tested: $21,555.

Pros: It looks like a traditional off-road SUV, with a high seating position and beefy driving feel. It has a new, good-looking and well-designed interior.

Cons: It's clearly still based on an old design that's bumpier and noisier than its more recently designed competitors.

RATINGS: (1-10)
Style: 6
Performance: 5
Price: 7
Handling: 4
Ride: 4
Comfort: 5
Quality: 6
Overall: 5

It has a new, good-looking and well-designed interior.

It has a new, good-looking and well-designed interior.

Mazda Tribute (2008) - enlarge

There comes a point in every person's life when they realize they're no longer young.

For me, that moment came when I heard a Nirvana song playing as background music at Wal-Mart. Hearing Kurt Cobain wailing while people shopped for their deodorant and ground beef, I instantly knew I was on my way to becoming an old man.

But pop culture isn't the only way to tell. Some new cars do the exact same thing.

When the Ford Escape first came out around eight years ago, I remember being absolutely amazed at how quiet and smooth it drove. It was one of the first car-based SUVs on the market, and -- compared to the traditional truck-frame SUVs -- it was heaven on wheels. The Escape's refinement made it such a success that buyers snapped it up, and suddenly every other car maker had their own car-based SUV to compete with it.

That's the problem.

It's not that the Tribute has gotten worse; it's that all its competitors have simply gotten better.

It's not that the Tribute has gotten worse; it's that all its competitors have simply gotten better.

Mazda Tribute (2008) - enlarge

Today I'm driving a Mazda Tribute -- essentially a clone of the Escape -- and instead of thinking it's smooth and quiet, I think it's rough, bouncy and noisy. It's no...

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