2011 marked the final year of production for the Mazda Tribute, a compact SUV that shared a platform with certain Ford models. The Tribute managed to combine relative affordability with decent performance and a modicum of comfort while driving or riding.
Engine performance is a high point with the Tribute, and there are two options to choose between. It also features more than enough cargo space. However, it lacks the technology found in the Ford Escape. There are some standard features available, though, including automatic headlights, fog lights and keyless entry. You can also pay extra to upgrade the audio system or add a sunroof.
Changes for 2012
There were no changes to the Tribute for the 2011 model year.
What We Like
We really like the solid engine performance for the Tribute, and the ability to choose between a four and six-cylinder option. We can also appreciate the cargo room in the back, as well as the decent leg and headroom for the driver and front passenger.
What Concerns Us
There are quite a few things that concern us about the 2011 Mazda Tribute. It scored pretty low in crash testing (about the same as the 2011 Ford Escape). It also lacks all of the technology options that can be added to the Escape – there is no available navigation system, for instance. And while the engines perform well, they’re not particularly fast. There are several SUVs on the market with similar sized engines and far better acceleration.
There are several trim levels on offer: i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring.
The only one that comes standard with the V6 is the s Grand Touring (s indicates a 6-cylinder engine, while i indicates a 4-cylinder model). The i series models use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 171 hp and 171 lb-feet of torque. Fuel economy is 22/28 mpg. The s models use a 3.0-liter V6 with 240 hp and 233 lb-feet of torque. Fuel economy is 18/23 mpg.
Two recalls have been issued for the 2011 Mazda Tribute. One involved the SUV’s front wheel bearings, which could affect braking and steering. The second involved a steering torque sensor that might fail to detect driver input to the steering wheel. This would turn off the electronic power steering system and could lead to a crash.
The most common complaints for drivers is just how outdated the Tribute is, particularly when compared to most of the competitors on the market. The steering is a low point as well, with many drivers finding it lacking.