• (4.0) 20 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,978–$8,806
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 21-26
  • Engine: 153-hp, 2.3-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 5
2006 Mazda Tribute

Our Take on the Latest Model 2006 Mazda Tribute

What We Don't Like

  • Noise
  • Short seat bottoms
  • Occasional floatiness
  • Lack of low-range gearing

Notable Features

  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Available 4WD
  • Carlike driving feel
  • Sporty suspension tuning

2006 Mazda Tribute Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, so there's a close kinship between the popular Ford Escape sport utility vehicle and the related Mazda Tribute. Both SUVs were introduced for the 2001 model year and upgraded for 2005. When comparing the two, you'll find subtle styling differences, unique interior features in each and different suspension tuning.

Serving as the sportier member of the pair, the car-based Tribute attracts considerable interest even if its sales totals lag well behind the Escape's. Both models compete against the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

New Tribute i and s trim levels replaced the previous DX, LX and ES for 2005. A new 2.3-liter four-cylinder in i models produced 153 horsepower, versus 130 hp in the prior version. For the first time, four-cylinder models could be equipped with an automatic transmission. Little has changed for the 2006 model year.

Front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available, but the Tribute and Escape aren't considered true offroad machines. Mazda says its intelligent full-time Active Torque Control Coupling four-wheel-drive system reacts faster than a hydraulic unit.


Exterior
The Tribute has the same overall shape as the Escape but features unique exterior trim and a different grille and headlamps, which were redesigned for 2005. Both SUVs exhibit a conventional small-SUV profile, with similar dimensions. The rear fascia has vertical taillights, and alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires. The rear liftgate contains flip-up glass.

Tributes ride a 103.1-inch wheelbase and measure 174.4 inches long overall. Standing 67.7 inches tall (not including roof rails), the four-door Tribute has a fully independent suspension. Ground clearance is 8.4 inches when loaded.


Interior
Each Tribute carries five people on twin bucket seats up front and a three-place, 60/40-split, folding rear seat. Tributes have a floor-mounted gearshift, and the standard 100-watt CD stereo can feature Sirius Satellite Radio. Leather upholstery, heated front seats and side mirrors, and a power driver's seat are optional.

Under the Hood
Tribute i models get a 153-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder. A 200-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 193 pounds-feet of torque goes into s models. The four-cylinder teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission or a five-speed manual, while the V-6 is available only with the automatic. Tributes can be equipped with front-wheel drive or a four-wheel-drive system that engages automatically but has no low-range gearing.

Safety
Standard antilock brakes have electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Side curtain-type airbags with rollover protection are optional on s models.

Driving Impressions
In its previous form, the Tribute drew mixed reactions, but its sporty nature earned high marks. Tributes are quieter than they used to be, and energetic V-6 throttle response is satisfying. Automatic-transmission shifts are barely noticeable, and downshifts for passing and merging come swiftly.

Steering with a somewhat light touch, the Tribute handles adeptly. Occasionally, a floating sensation makes the driver feel less than fully connected to the highway.

Ride comfort is pleasing, but wavy pavement produces substantial up-and-down motion. The Tribute exhibits no raucous behavior and copes handily with bumps and holes.


Consumer Reviews

4.0

Average based on 20 reviews

Write a Review

Disappointment

by Quiet_Storm3 from Atlanta, GA on August 1, 2017

First and foremost, my car is currently on its 3rd engine. I have also had to replace my air conditioning compressor, the rear wheel differential, a swaybar, a fuel pump, several belts and lights and... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2006 Mazda Tribute trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Mazda Tribute Articles

2006 Mazda Tribute Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 4 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years