Although we classified as a small SUVs, the Mazda Tribute's relatively spacious interior stretches the definition of small. Co-developed with the Ford Escape, these are contemporary vehicles, offering a strong V6 and good handling. The Tribute's suspension is tuned for crisper handling, although its gain in agility is offset by an uncomfortably stiff ride.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2005. Side and head protection air bags available, standard from 2008. ESC standard from 2008.
Road Test

Although we classified as a small SUVs, the Mazda Tribute's relatively spacious interior stretches the definition of small. Co-developed with the Ford Escape, these are contemporary vehicles, offering a strong V6 and good handling. The Tribute's suspension is tuned for crisper handling, although its gain in agility is offset by an uncomfortably stiff ride.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.3-liter 4 (153 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (200 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2005 Mazda Tribute owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Behind the back doors are rusted through."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Front hood chrome ripped off in car wash"

James G., MI (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Rear window would no lock. Front hood chrome fell off,"

Anthony F., TN (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear coat is peeling off on outside door mirrors."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Clear coat starting to flake off"

Paul Y., IL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Rust

"Right rear shock absorber and inner fender. Repaired it"

W H., NJ (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Rust over windshield resulting in leaks"

Richard C., FL (2005 Mazda Tribute I 3.0-L V6)

"The wheel well and shock support rusted badly and had to be rebuilt."

Anonymous, OH (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"It rust through right rear inter wheel and both rear sub frame members."

Anonymous, MI (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Rear passenger wheel well rusted out and had to be replaced. Same problem as recall on earlier models"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

"Passenger rear fender well rusted. Installed patch panel to repair it"

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The right rear wheel well got entirely rusted and perforated. The suspension ended up banging on the interior plastic trim"

Gilles D., QC (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Right rear inter fender well. lots of rust, well know problem. Recalled & fixed on 2001 to 2004, but not 2005 or 2006"

James G., MI (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Both rear dog legs rusted. Had them repaired at independent body shop"

W H., NJ (2005 Mazda Tribute i 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"A lot of rust just inside the rear doors. So much is has worn right through the metal. Luckily it is in a place that does now effect the integrity of the vehicle"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Mazda Tribute i 3.0-L V6)

"The rear right wheel well has completely disintegrated from rust. Top of shock now not attached to anything. Known Mazda Tribute issue but Mazda won't repair/recall"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"ABS sensor failed twice. Still comes in al l the time but breaks are fine."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensor issues. Cog on wheel cracked. ABS ceased to function. Could still drive, but not sure about safety."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"About 8 months ago, the ABS light came on. After having the brakes inspected and repaired, the ABS light disappeared but reappeared a few weeks later."

Anonymous, MD (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"ABS "ring" on drive shaft broken. Rplaced Drive Shaft"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Calipers

"Clamp holding brake line rusted and squeezed off fluid to caliper rendering it inoperativde"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"The plates that support the parking brake rusted away and it cost almost$1200.00 to repaire"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Pulsation or vibration

"The brakes currently pulsates from time to time when braking. This sensation has been occurring for about 8 months."

Anonymous, MD (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

"The car had normal wear-and-tear to the brakes"

Anonymous, AK (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Difficult to fill up gas tank

"Gaz pump keeps stopping over and over when filling tank. Not very serious but annoying"

Anonymous, QC (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Engine computer

"Computer died"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"I disagree with CU's designation of this as a "minor" problem. The computer failed and had to be replaced along with the electronic coil for each cylinder. Total cost was about $2500!"

Ken N., CA (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

"head gasket issues. but not the 'real' problem. apparently it's burning oil. gaskets replaced 3 times in 2 years. still 'burning' through 1Qt + per tank gas"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Oil leak from oil sender and minor leak from oil pan around the gasket"

Malachy D., CA (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"oil cooler seal leaked"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"front main seal seaping"

Bobby M., AL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The converter broke down and clogged the exhaust system which caused serious engine performance issues."

Anonymous, TN (2005 Mazda Tribute S 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust leaks

"Catalytic converter failed another $1200.00"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Needed to replace the muffler as well as the exhaust pipe"

Steve V., ON (2005 Mazda Tribute I 3.0-L V6)

"Repaired"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Rattling when going over rough surface and turning"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"The needed replacement as the ride was horrible. They were quite costly to replace. These were struts."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute I 3.0-L V6)

"Has to replace the front struts and mounts"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"all the remaining issues are related. got repaired and all's well"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Sunroof slipped off the rail and leaked"

Lynn W., CO (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Rear end rattle sound when shutting the doors"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"All noise - wind, tire, pavement, engine substantially increased...........but then it is a 12 year old car"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"This has become a loud car on the highway"

Paul Y., IL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Radiator

"Radiator leaks. Recent problem"

Anonymous, QC (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Thermostat

"Bad thermostat"

Anonymous, GA (2005 Mazda Tribute i 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine light came on. It was diagnosed as thermostat needed to be replaced"

Sonya W., TX (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Alternator failed idiot light did not illuminate, when battery discharged car died in traffic."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Coil

"engine was running rough when trying to accelerate, would hesitate and sputter"

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Electronic ignition

"This was related to the engine computer issue"

Ken N., CA (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Headlights bulbs keep burning at an abnormaly high frequency"

Gilles D., QC (2005 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"I was told that the electrical system was at fault. I did not fix the problem."

Anonymous, NE (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"Torque converter locked up - mechanic recommend replacing whole transmission"

Richard C., FL (2005 Mazda Tribute i 3.0-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Torque converter locked up - mechanic recommend replacing whole transmission"

Richard C., FL (2005 Mazda Tribute i 3.0-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Valve sticking caused a ticking noise while car was idle"

Sonya W., TX (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"I did not fix the problem because I did not want to spend the money necessary to remove the engine, fix the problems and put it back together again."

Anonymous, NE (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"Transmission slipping - can band-aid by flushing transmission fluid and topping up. Not sure where tranny fluid is going. Car can stall on hills or while shifting down or up"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Auto trans is starting to shift harder into the second gear"

Denny S., CA (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"see above"

Anthony F., TN (2005 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

"driver's door and driver side passenger door will not unlock with the remote fob"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Radio

"Could not read the Radio station ID'S nor clock"

Lynn W., CO (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"The radio has static about half the time. If I didn't have the six disk CD changer I wouldn't have music when I'm driving."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Had to replace the entire AC system"

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Leaked the frenon out of the system"

Lamar J., LA (2005 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"One fuel mixture sensor went"

W H., NJ (2005 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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