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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Cars.com Staff
September 5, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Tribute Hybrid is a full hybrid, capable of running on 100 percent electric power from its hybrid system. The car is available in front- or all-wheel drive. The Tribute Hybrid comes in Touring and Grand Touring trim levels; its competition includes the Saturn Vue Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid. The Tribute Hybrid is sold in limited quantities only in California.
New for 2009 Like the new Ford Escape Hybrid, the Tribute Hybrid gets a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder for increased power. The vehicle also gets some additional standard equipment.
Exterior The outside of the Tribute Hybrid didn't get as dramatic a face-lift as its sibling, the Escape. The grille loses its crossbar, and the Mazda logo has moved up. The vehicle is 174.9 inches long and 71.1 inches wide, which is the same size as the Escape but smaller than the Vue.
Standard 16-inch alloy wheels
Standard automatic headlights
Standard fog lamps
Standard power mirrors
Standard roof rack
Power moonroof (standard on Grand Touring)
Interior The Tribute Hybrid has seating for five; passenger volume is 96 cubic feet, which is smaller than its competitors. The Tribute has 27.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up, but with its 60/40-split folding rear seat down, it has 66.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than the Vue and the Escape. The rear window opens independent of the liftgate.
Cloth seating (on Touring) or leather seating (on Grand Touring)
Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
Standard 110-volt electrical outlets
Standard steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
Standard cruise control
Standard power windows and doors
Standard satellite radio
Heated front seats (standard on Grand Touring)
Optional rear DVD entertainment system
Optional navigation system on Grand Touring only
Under the Hood The Tribute Hybrid's drivetrain allows the SUV to run solely on electric power up to 25 mph, making it one of the least-polluting cars available, Mazda says. For 2009, the hybrid receives an improved damping system that reduces engine noise, and the braking system has also been refined.
New 153-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled to a 70-kilowatt electric motor