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 3 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 2006 Mazda Tribute owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"Replaced one ball joint normal for age of vehicle"

Anonymous, AK (2006 Mazda Tribute)

"Cracked ball joints after relatively low mileage. Major suspension work was required at about 90K km"

Anonymous, AB (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"handling is bad expensive fix for the struts and shocks 800.00 dollars"

Larry R., FL (2006 Mazda Tribute I 3.0-L V6)

"shocks broken at top fittings"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Had to replace the struts do to rusting off"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Grinding when turning steering wheel"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"The rack and pinion went out. When the failure occurred the vehicle pulled hard to the right and almost sent my wife off the road. The vehicle could only be steered straight by using brute force to hold the wheel straight, otherwise it would pull a"

Phillip P., AZ (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Tie rods

"Replaced two tie rods - they had been making noise for a few years"

Anonymous, AK (2006 Mazda Tribute)

"It just seemed strange that they wore out under 100000 miles"

Doug O., KY (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Tie rods needed to be replaced. Had just replaced them about 1 yr previous."

Anonymous, KS (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"The tires developed serious cupping. I replaced the tires and had alignments and balance checked. Yet the new ones started cupping right away. It sounds like I am driving on snow tires. The tires specialist claims this is common with the AWD models"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The tires would "cup" and make for a very noisy road noise. The tire dealer said it was a design flaw that was characteristic of this all-wheel drive units, that is, it was non-correctable."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"the tires develop cupping even though the balance and alignment all check out acceptable. The tire installer says that has been common with all wheel drive vehicles. The result is loud road noise, similar to deep tread snow tires. To me that is unacceptable"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Wheel bearing on left side went out. Heard noise, but unaware of the cause. Drove of another 1000 to 1500 miles before repaired."

Anonymous, KS (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Left front bearing needed replacement"

Anonymous, KS (2006 Mazda Tribute i 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

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 defective"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Sensor malfunction due to axle problem"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Calipers

"Partially seized rear caliper"

Anonymous, ON (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

"Caliper seized and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 3.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Replaced router and pads. 1 wheel bearing went out"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"Froze up - mechanic said we should not use it OR pay BIG money to get it fixed"

Anonymous, IL (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"The rear brakes stuck open and caused the front brakes to wear out in less than 1 year"

Alan S., KS (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

"brake flex line leaked, lost most of my braking ability"

Anonymous, ON (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

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

"It has developed some wind noise around the passenger side windshield. Have not fixed it yet"

Anonymous, NC (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"weather stripping around doors fell off"

Larry R., FL (2006 Mazda Tribute I 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Entire dashboard area constantly squeaks. Annoying as hell. Independent shop attempted to repair it once. Was unsuccessful"

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

"Rattle got worse and worse, now it is currently in garage waiting for pickup as donation."

Anonymous, (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 3.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"Just typical road noise. Once again, I have driven newer Lincoln and Lexus SUV's which are quieter but much more costly considering the Tribute is a 4-wheel drive vehicle."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"The car has always load with road noise"

James R., GA (2006 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

"Very slow fill tank. Don't understand why. When it's raining or cold, it becomes more of an issue."

Carolyn H., FL (2006 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Engine mounts

"#3 engine mount had broken"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Had problems with oil leaks in engine area"

Anonymous, GA (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Front engine seal"

Anonymous, CO (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Small leak, not sure if it is from engine or transmission. Transmission was replaced two years ago but engine has been fine... from the hood, can eat off the top of the engine. Therefore, the leak must be from below the top, side or oil pan."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"My transmission failed and had to be replaced with a one that was updated with a blower because Mazda knew there was a problem with the transmissions. However, my particular model was not on the recall list and I had to pay $5,200 to replace it"

Joyce J., FL (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The trans mission started with the torque converter not releasing when coming to a stop. It was intermitten for a couple of months. Finally in the 4th the tranmission started slipping and overheated. It was then rebuilt"

Anonymous, NC (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"I was at a stop light and when the light turned green, the engine revved up but the car would not move. At 53000 miles I had to replace the whole transmission. I replaced it with a Ford instead of a Mazda transmission since I got an extra year warran"

John A., TX (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

"Transmission failed and was replace by the dealer"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"2nd time in 3 years the Transmission has been rebuilt. Vehicle is very low mileage and is NOT used to tow or carry heavy loads"

Anonymous, AB (2006 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

"Was not entirely the Tributes fault. Locked out of the car with the air running for couple hours, air running at Idle for 2hours was too much for it flattened a couple barrings"

Karl J., NV (2006 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"a/c would shut off when at idle"

Anonymous, NM (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

"A/C started making noise and stopped cooling. Felt it might be a fan belt problem. Mechanic determined compressor had leak and replaced. Within two months that new compressor started leaking and was replaced. Six months later had same problem and took to a different mechanic determined that new compressor leaked and needed to be replaced. Found on-line info that NEW compressors are unavailable and these have been AFTER MARKET compressors. The 4th compressor is now leaking and won't provide cool air."

Glen H., NM (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"a/c would shut off when at idle. after compressor was replaced, problem continued. fan was malfunctioning"

Anonymous, NM (2006 Mazda Tribute 3.0-L V6)

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

Coil

"One of the ignition coils failed which caused the vehicle to run rough and cost approx. $500 to repair"

Anonymous, TX (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)
Electronic ignition

"No warning at all. Just went to stat and wouldn't run. Cost over $2000"

Carolyn H., FL (2006 Mazda Tribute 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Fuel injector had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Mazda Tribute 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)

"Whether it is a sensor or a faulty gas cap or whatever, the engine light comes on if ONE particular fuel brand is not used, and sometimes even if that fuel type is used, the engine light comes on. Two or more diagnostic checks show the gas cap to be the problem, but we have replaced gas caps and still get the engine light. There are times we fuel with the particular fuel brand and drive one or two or maybe three tanks and do not get the engine light, but next fill up, there it is again...it may or may not go away until we refill. No one has a solution and it's irritating having an engine light glaring - hoping it's the fuel and not something else!"

Glen H., NM (2006 Mazda Tribute S 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

Head gasket

"Head gasket leaked into the spark plug wells. In the process of changing the plugs, oil got into the cylinders."

Anonymous, KS (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Loud exhaust"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Mazda Tribute S 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Rust

"Holes rusted through from the wheel well"

Anonymous, PA (2006 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

Transmission leaks

"Rear axle seal slow leak causing transmission fluid to get low. Replaced seal"

Anonymous, (2006 Mazda Tribute Unsure 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"Thermostat had not worked for 1+ yrs. Had it replaced while the head gasket was fixed."

Anonymous, KS (2006 Mazda Tribute I 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

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.

Drive System

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

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.

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.

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