Mazda Tribute

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Mazda Tribute
Manufacturer Mazda
Ford Motor Company
Production 2000–2011
Body and chassis
Class Compact crossover SUV
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive
Platform Ford CD2 platform
Related Ford Escape
Mercury Mariner
Wheelbase 2620 mm (103.1 in)
Predecessor Mazda Navajo (United States & Mexico)
Mazda Proceed Levante (Japan)
Successor Mazda CX-7 (Asia)
Mazda CX-5 (Americas)

The Mazda Tribute (Code J14) is a compact SUV made by Japanese automaker Mazda from 2000 to 2011. It was jointly developed with Ford Motor Company and based on the front-wheel drive Mazda 626 platform, which was in turn the basis for the similar Ford Escape on the CD2 platform. The Tribute was priced below the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner in Ford's CD2 SUV lineup.

The Tribute and Escape debuted in 2000, offering front or all wheel drive and a choice of a transversely mounted 2.0 L Ford Zetec 4-cylinder engine or 3.0 L Ford Duratec V6. Ford Escape was also sold as the Ford Maverick in Europe with a Ford 2.0 L I4 Zetec engine with manual transmission, or 3.0 L Duratec coupled to automatic transmission.

One main difference between the Tribute and the Ford Escape/Maverick is that the Tribute's suspension is tuned for a firmer ride than the Escape/Maverick, in order to correspond with Mazda's sporty image. As Mazda had offered "spiced up" models in other segments such as the Mazda 3 and CX-7, the utilitarian Tribute was replaced by the more aggressively styled Mazda CX-5 in North America.[1]

First generation (2000–2007)[edit]


First generation
2001-2004 Mazda Tribute -- 03-21-2012.JPG
Production April 2000–December 2006; Asia-Pacific production continued until 2010
Model years 2001–2007
Assembly Hofu, Japan
Claycomo, Missouri, United States
Jhongli, Taiwan
Rayong, Thailand
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines[2]
Kairouan, Tunisia (IMM)
Engine 2.3 L 153 hp (114 kW) I4
3.0 L 203 hp (151 kW) V6
Transmission 5-speed G5M manual
4-speed CD4E automatic
Length 2001–04: 173.0 in (4,394 mm)
2005–06: 174.4 in (4,430 mm)
Width 2001–04 DX: 70.8 in (1,798 mm)
2001–04 LX & ES: 71.9 in (1,826 mm)
2005–06: 72.0 in (1,829 mm)
Height 2001–04 DX: 69.3 in (1,760 mm)
2001–04 LX & ES: 69.9 in (1,775 mm)
2005–06: 70.0 in (1,778 mm)

The Tribute made its debut at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show as a compact crossover SUV, a segment pioneered by the Toyota RAV4 in 1994. Its conservative styling resembled and eventually somewhat replaced the Mazda Navajo, a rebadged 2-dr Ford Explorer which was retired in 1994. In Japan, Mazda had an SUV called the Mazda Proceed Levante, a rebadged Suzuki Escudo, but the Tribute was Mazda's first original SUV. The Ford plant in Claycomo, Missouri assembled Tribute for the North American market, alongside Ford Escape. The Mazda plant in Hofu, Japan and the Ford Lio Ho plant in Taiwan assembled Tribute for their respective markets. The 2001–2006 Mazda Tribute was available as front- or four-wheel drive and featured plain-looking but comfortable roomy interior, decent handling and car-like ride.

Engine options:

The 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine had Timing belt driven Camshafts, while the 3.0 L Duratec V6 featured a maintenance-free timing chain.[3]


2005–2007 model year Mazda Tribute (US)

Both the Escape and Tribute were refreshed in 2004 for the 2005 model year. The base engine became the Mazda 2.3 L MZR 4, and the top remained the 3.0 L Duratec V6. In North American-built models, a floor-mounted automatic transmission shifter replaced the column shifter. However, Japanese-built models continued with a column shifter. Mazda decided to halt production after the 2006 model year for the Tribute, and a hybrid version of the Tribute has been introduced alongside the next generation Tribute as a 2008 model.

Engine options:

  • 2.3 L MZR I4, 153 PS (114 kW)/206 N·m (152 lb·ft)
  • 3.0 L AJ V6, 203 PS (150 kW)/261 N·m (193 lb·ft)

Mazda Japan released a limited version, the Mazdaspeed Tribute, in the year 2004 with a 2.3-liter MZR engine that has 200 PS (147.05 kW)/ 254 N·m (195 lb·ft) that is utilized by a column shifter. However, Mazda Japan decided to end its production in 2005.


  • 2.3 L MZR I4, 220 PS (164 kW)/254 N·m (195 lb·ft)

2006 (Asia-Pacific)[edit]

2006–2008 Mazda Tribute (Australia)

A significantly face-lifted version of the Tribute was released in the second half of 2006 for Asia Pacific markets. The updated Tribute featured a larger, bolder grille, with an enlarged Mazda emblem, as well as restyled front bumper and headlights. Side mirrors featured integrated indicators.

On the inside, changes included a new floor mounted automatic transmission shifter, in place of the old column shifter (Asia-Pacific model only; US-built Tribute gained the floor shifter in 2005). The dash was updated with a brand-new radio and automatic climate control with digital read-out, on certain models. Mechanically, the rear drum brakes were replaced by disc brakes. Engines remain the same, but the V6 has been modified to reduce fuel consumption by over 10%, while the 4-cylinder has improved mid-range torque and an electronic throttle. Both engines had been certified to meet Euro III emission regulations.

Starting from 2007, Mazda stopped selling and producing Tribute in Japan, and replaced it with similar sized CX-7. In 2008 Mazda Australia also discontinued the Tribute, the absence of the Tribute being filled by the Mazda CX-7 introduced in the previous year. For other Asia-Pacific markets, the production of Tribute was shifted to the Ford Lio Ho plant in Jhongli, Taiwan, which also produces Tribute's twin, Ford Escape, for Asia-Pacific markets. This arrangement continued until early 2010, when the Tribute for the Asia-Pacific markets ceased production, being fully replaced by the CX-7 imported from Japan.

Second generation (2007–2011)[edit]

Second generation
08 Mazda Tribute.jpg
Production January 2007–November 2011
Model years 2008–2011
Assembly Claycomo, Missouri, United States
Engine 2.5L MZR I4
3.0L AJ V6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 103.1 in (2,619 mm)
Length 174.9 in (4,442 mm)
Width 71.1 in (1,806 mm)
Height 70.2 in (1,783 mm)
Hybrid: 70.0 in (1,778 mm)
2008-09 FWD: 67.7 in (1,720 mm)
2010-12 FWD: 67.9 in (1,725 mm)

In 2007 for the 2008 model year, the Tribute was significantly revamped, like its Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner siblings. Originally set to be renamed the Mazda CX-5, the vehicle kept the Tribute name. The changes were significant, but fell short of a "clean sheet" redesign, as the vehicles remained on the CD2 platform, and kept the old 2.3 L MZR I4, and 3.0 L AJ V6 engines. Visible changes include all new sheet metal and interior. The interior was significantly upgraded using all new components and higher quality materials, and was generally praised by automotive journalists.[4] However, unlike the first generation of the Tribute, which had unique exterior and interior from its siblings, the new model only differs from its siblings in the "nose" (front fenders, hood, and front fascia), tail lights and detailing. Notable changes to the exterior include higher belt line, and more pronounced wheel arches. Overall the car was to look larger and more substantial than the previous model. As a cost-saving measure, the rear brake was reverted to drum brake, with predictable criticisms.[5][6]

The 2008 Mazda Tribute (non-hybrid) was first unveiled at the 2007 Montreal International Auto Show, and the 2008 Mazda Tribute went on sale in March 2007.[7]

A new addition was the Hybrid model which was previously only available on the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

The Tribute received additional major changes to improve performance for the 2009 model year, mostly by way of mechanical upgrades. Most significantly, all new engines replaced the increasingly outmatched 2.3L I4 and 3.0L V6. Mazda's new MZR 2.5L I4 replaced the 2.3L, boosting horsepower to 171 bhp (128 kW; 173 PS) and 171 lb⋅ft (232 N⋅m) of torque at 4000 rpm.[8] Despite increased horsepower, fuel economy also increased by 1 mpg‑US (240 L/100 km; 1.2 mpg‑imp) on both urban and extra-urban cycles. The optional 3.0 L (AJ) V6 was thoroughly updated, resulting in a 40 hp (30 kW) increase, bringing power output to 240 hp (180 kW) and 233 lb⋅ft (316 N⋅m) of torque. It also sees a 1 mpg improvement. The Tribute Hybrid was dropped after the 2009 model year.

Another significant change was the switch to Ford's new 6F 6-speed automatic, which became standard on all V6 equipped models and optional on the I4. As well, new front and 18.5 mm (0.73 in) rear stabilizer bars were added for 2009 to improve ride handling after complaints about diminished performance following the 2008 changes. Others changes included redesigned seats, daytime running lamps, optional steering mounted audio controls, and other additional features. The Tribute was discontinued at the end of the 2011 model year, replaced by the Mazda CX-5 in 2012.

Even though the Mazda Tribute has been discontinued since 2011, Mazda reported selling one in April 2014.


  1. ^ First Drive: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Prototype August 31, 2011 By Eric Tingwall
  2. ^ Sarne, Vernon (2012-06-27). "Ford makes 'business decision' to stop manufacturing cars in PH". Top Gear Philippines. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Mazda Tribute 2001-2006 review". Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Sneak Peek: 2008 Ford Escape". Detroit News. Retrieved April 19, 2006. 
  5. ^ "2008 Mazda Tribute s Touring – First Drive Review". Car and Driver. Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "2009 Mazda Tribute Review". Retrieved 11 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "New CX-9 is Mazda's latest crossover". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on March 24, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2007. 
  8. ^ "2009 Tribute". MazdaUSAMedia. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 

External links[edit]