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2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

3.0L Auto LX 4WD

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway

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  • $22,685 original MSRP
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Printable Version

2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

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2002 Mazda Tribute

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Mazda Tribute is among the sportiest of the small utilities. Sporty handling and brisk V6 performance place the Tribute among the best of the small sport-utility vehicles sold today. Mazda and Ford worked jointly on developing the Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape and together they outclass the other small utilities.

The Mazda Tribute delivers an excellent value for people who want the image and versatility of a sport-utility coupled with refinement and better on-road handling than truck-based utilities. The Mazda Tribute ES, the top model, comes loaded with leather seating, a six-disc in-dash CD player and other luxury features.

Model Lineup

Three trim levels are available: DX ($18,155), LX ($21,485) and ES ($22,715).

The base Tribute DX is powered by a 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission; it is not available with an automatic.

All other models are fitted with a 200-horsepower V6 and a four-speed automatic transmission. In fact, 90 percent of all Tributes will come with the V6 and automatic, including the DX-V6 ($20,635).

All models are available with either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive; four-wheel drive and other equipment included with it adds $1200-$1700 to the above prices.

For 2002, the Tribute gets new front seats, a reconfigured center dash storage box and control unit that holds a new audio system for the LX and ES versions with an in-dash six-CD changer. The LX version can be equipped with a six-way power driver's seat. New standard features on all Tributes include 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry and rear privacy glass. Four new colors also are offered for 2002: Glacier Metallic, Calypso Blue Metallic, Dark Titanium and Light Cypress Metallic.

Side airbags are optional.

Walkaround

The Tribute offers an aggressive look, due to its forward-tilted stance, short overhangs and wide track. Thick bumpers, side cladding and wheel lip moldings smoothly integrated into the bodywork convey a sense of stability and refined ruggedness. Large multi-reflector headlamps with clear lenses and rear combination lamps with crystal lenses convey a sense of sportiness. A two-tone color scheme and minimal use of chrome create a clean appearance. The Tribute is aerodynamically superior to several of its competitors.

Mazda Tribute's external dimensions are comparable to those of the Jeep Liberty and Honda CR-V. It is longer than a CR-V and wider than a Ford Explorer.

Interior Features

Capable of seating five people, the Tribute offers more front and rear legroom than the Lexus RX 300 luxury SUV. It's more comfortable with four people, however, and no shoulder belt is provided for the rear center position. The front bucket seats and the rear bench seat are comfortable and of higher quality than those found in many SUVs. Like many smaller SUVs, the rear windows do not roll down all the way.

The second-row seat folds down revealing a flat cargo floor and more than 74 cubic feet of cargo space. It will even accommodate 4x8-foot sheets of plywood, if you don't mind flipping open the rear glass hatch and letting the plywood stick out the back. The lift gate window does not have to be closed before opening the rear hatch. A 12-volt power outlet is located in the rear of the cargo compartment.

Radio controls are easy to use and the heating, air conditioning and ventilation controls are simple. Cruise controls are mounted on the steering wheel. The instrument panel is straightforward and easy to read. Noise, vibration and harshness levels are low when underway. Visibility in all directions is very good. The shape of the Tribute's hood and the seating position allow the driver to clearly see both front corners of the vehicle, an advantage over the Honda CR-V, while narrow A- (front) and D- (rear) pillars minimize blind spots. A low bottom edge maximizes visibility out the rear window and there's no spare tire to block the view.

Leather seating surfaces and a six-way power driver's seat are standard on the ES model.

Driving Impressions

The Tribute is an agile and powerful little SUV. It handles better than other sport-utilities. Its sharp steering allows the driver to guide it precisely. At high speeds, the Tribute is supremely stable. Handling response is relatively taut without that mushiness that characterizes SUVs with big off-road tires and long-travel suspensions.

The ride quality is smoother and more sophisticated than that of the other small sport-utilities in its class with firm damping and a well-controlled ride. It handles better on the road the a Jeep Liberty and it's more fun to drive than a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.

Steering response is direct and accurate without a big dead spot in the center. There's enough feeling in the steering to impart a sense of control. The tires provide respectable grip in paved corners. The Tribute provides surprisingly good transient response in left-right-left lane-change maneuvers. (The suspensions on front- and four-wheel-drive versions are identical.)

About 90 percent of all Tributes will come with Ford's 3.0-liter V6. Similar in design to the Duratec V6 used in the Ford Taurus, this specially tuned 200-horsepower engine gives the Tribute a distinctive advantage in performance over the other small utilities, including the Toyota RAV4 that's powered by a four-cylinder engine. It isn't the smoothest V6 on the market, nor is it the roughest. But it is smoother and more satisfying than the four-cylinder engines found on most small sport-utilities.

All V6 Tributes come with an automatic transmission. Engine and four-speed automatic communicate well. The transmission shifts smoothly up and down appropriately for the situation and the engine's broad power band never lugs or strains. Mazda tuned the suspension for slightly more aggressive shifting and mapped it for quicker acceleration than the Ford Escape. Properly equipped, the Tribute can tow trailers of up to 3500 pounds, which includes lightweight ski boats, ATVs or snowmobiles.

The Tribute is more than capable of heading down remote two-tracks on trout fishing excursions. It isn't not a highly capable off-road vehicle, however. The Jeep Liberty is better for that. Front-wheel-drive (2WD) Tributes may have trouble passing through silt and mud without getting stuck, but four-wheel-drive versions should get through most of the places most of us want to go. More important, the four-wheel-drive system improves driver control on wet pavement, ice and snow.

Specifically developed for the Tribute, the four-wheel-drive system works full time, automatically transferring power between the front and rear wheels as needed through a gadget called a rotary blade coupling. This coupling (similar to a torque converter in an automatic transmission) will, for example, send more power to the rear wheels if the front wheels start to spin when you're sitting at a traffic light on a rainy day and stomp on the gas. A switch on some models allows the driver to lock the torque split 50/50, which is useful when driving off road or on snow-covered roads.

Though it performs well on primitive unpaved roads, the Tribute is not intended as a serious off-road vehicle. There is no traction control system nor is there a low-range set of gears. Neither its four-wheel-drive system nor its suspension is up to tackling the Rubicon Trail.

Smooth and responsive, the brakes do a good job of slowing the Tribute down in a hurry and Mazda claims they are the best in the class. The optional anti-lock brakes (ABS) come into play just when expected and are detectable by the familiar pulsating sensation. We highly recommend opting for ABS.

Summary

Mazda Tribute offers more power than the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and other small SUVs with four-cylinder engines. On the road, it is more sophisticated than the Isuzu Rodeo, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Nissan Xterra or Suzuki Vitara. And it costs less than a similarly equipped Xterra. It's a joy to drive and is at the top of its class.

 


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: DX 2WD ($18,155); DX 4WD ($19,855); DX-V6 2WD ($20,635); DX-V6 4WD ($22,035); LX 2WD ($21,485); LX 4WD ($22,685); ES 2WD($22,715); ES 4WD ($23,915)
Engines: 2.0-liter DOHC 16v 4-cylinder; 3.0-liter DOHC 24v V6
Transmissions: 5-speed manual (DX); 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual front airbags
Safety equipment (optional): ABS, side airbags
Basic warranty: 3 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in: Kansas City, Missouri

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): ES 4WD ($23,915)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, power windows w driver-side express down, rear wiper, rear privacy glass, tilt steering column, 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, luggage rack, dual power fold-away mirrors, three power outlets, CD, tachometer; LX adds fog lights, cruise control, cargo area cover; ES adds overhead storage console with map light, reclining front bucket seats with six-way power for driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seating surfaces
Options as tested (MSRP): ABS ($495); Luxury Package ($1090) includes Premium Audio Package with 6-disc in-dash CD, power sliding glass moonroof; Tow Package ($355); destination charge ($540)
Destination charge: N/A
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 26,150
Layout: four-wheel drive
Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC 24v V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 200 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 200 @ 4750
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 24/20 mpg
Wheelbase: 103.1 in.
Length/width/height: 173.0/71.9/69.9 in.
Track, f/r: 61.0/60.2 in.
Turning circle: 36.8 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 38.3/NA/41.7 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 36.9/NA/36.9 in.
Trunk volume: 74.4 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 3500 Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent MacPherson strut, coil springs
Suspension, r: multi-link
Ground clearance: 8.4 in.
Curb weight: 3455 lbs.
Tires: P235/70R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/drum w ABS
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gal.

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of February 01, 2002.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-222-5500 - www.mazdausa.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


 

Printable Version

2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 3 Years/50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/50,000 Miles

Mazda Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Each Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicle comes with a 12-Month / 12,000 Mile Vehicle Limited Warranty with no deductible on covered components, which begins when the factory warranty ends. If it's out of warranty, the 12-month/12,000 miles warranty begins on the certified retail date.

Coverage begins on the limited powertrain warranty from the original retail sales date and covers 7-Years /100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2008-2014 model years and less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150-Point Detailed Inspection

Autocheck® Vehicle History Report with 3-year buyback protection from Experian, subject to all Experian & Experian Automotive buyback terms and conditions.

Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 24hr Roadside Assistance for the life of the Powertrain Limited Warranty offers confidence on the road around the clock.
Special Financing Yes, see your Mazda dealer for details.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Mazda Tribute Sport Utility Crossover

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