I bought an early model Mazda Tribute from brand new and have since put nearly 300,000km on the clock. It was well maintained for most of its life but has had nothing but regular oil changes for the past few years. The Gearbox failed at 150,000km and was replaced used and has been perfect since.
From new it was the best handling small SUV on the market, definitely living up to the “Spirit of a Sports car” claims. The V6 engine was a nice addition in a segment filled with asthmatic four-cylinders.
It is a shame though that performance through the ancient four-speed automatic column shift doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain. It doesn’t punch hard in acceleration or towing as you might think it should either, struggling to pull larger loads. This leads to the worst trait of the car, fuel consumption. The car won’t consume less than 12L/100km even cruising at 1800rpm on the highway.
Despite leaving me wanting for a V6, it still has plenty of guts to get where I need to be and has been a fantastic off-road companion on the few times it’s been on the beach. The electronic centre diff lock makes all the difference.
In the end though, it is a safe and pleasurable car to drive. The sunroof is huge and the leather seats are very comfortable, perfect for us ageing arthritic people!
The six-CD stacker is getting old but it’s nice to put all six CDs in the dash. Rear seats fold perfectly flat too, PERFECT for loads and a mattress!
The Mazda Tribute luxury has been the most comfortable, versatile and reliable car I have ever owned and I expect it to keep going beyond 300,000km for a long time!