Just as its Ford Escape brethren got a new look, the Mazda Tribute has received some styling tweaks, including a new grille and interior, plus a rear window that now looks more like the Escape’s.
The outside of the Tribute didn’t get as much of a face-lift as did the Escape. The grille lost its crossbar, and the Mazda logo has moved up, while the headlights and taillights are new. Fog lights are standard. The windows taper and ascend toward the rear, in line with what many smaller SUVs are doing these days.
The Tribute still has seating for five, and there’s a center console storage compartment that Mazda says is big enough to hold a laptop. The rear seat is split 60/40, and the Tribute has just shy of 30 cubic feet of storage space with the backseat up; it’s 66 cubic feet with them down. The rear window opens independent of the liftgate if you just need to toss your stuff into the back. There’s an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Tribute buyers get the choice of two engines, a 153-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder or a 200-hp, 3.0-liter V-6. The base Tribute comes with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. Upper trim levels, including all V-6 models, come with the automatic transmission standard. Two-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional on all trim levels.
Electronic stability and roll mitigation systems are standard. The Tribute also gets front airbags that can sense the weight of occupants and how far the driver is sitting from the steering wheel, allowing the airbags to deploy with the appropriate amount of force. The Tribute’s standard side airbags are built into the seats, not the doors, to better protect occupants no matter where the seat is, Mazda says. Side curtain airbags and antilock brakes are standard.