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Mazda Tribute



  • Has reliability improved on the 03s? Seems to be a good vehicle except for the numerous problems.

    Just bought a Mazda Millenia S and I love it but it built was in Japan and isn't a clone of the Escape.
  • Oh the nerve of some people. The other side of the story is that you need to ask Mazda. I have documents to prove everything I stated. Certainly I don't have to prove it to protectors of such a company. And I say that b/c if they wanted to do what was ethical they would contact me and make this whole dilemma right, but as I said.

    I have purchased Mazda products several times in the past and have been very pleased. I have a 1992 Miata that I hope to keep until I can physically no longer drive it.

  • ryan41ryan41 Posts: 21
    Have a 02 Lx Tribute love the car, rides nice, 20Mpg, and looks really nice, but I have the same wind noise as everybody else, also engine seems a bit loud, like a valve or tick noise, only after it has been running for a while. Could it also be the fuel injectors? It has about 4,000 miles on it, does not burn or leak any oil, or is just the way this durateck v-6 sounds?
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    just hope it's not the service dept. pulling a fast 1 on you. One of the local Dodge dealers around the area I live got busted for fraud. Everytime people were bringing vehicles in for service.. within a couple of hours / day after work was done... in the same area work was done something else ended up breaking or needing service, whether it was on warrenty or not.
    My advice is try going to a different service dept.

  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Mazda has just announced 0% financing for 60 months on the 2003 Tribute in the Northeast zone. Not sure about other regions.
  • rotarykidrotarykid Posts: 191
    There is a bulletin on fluid leaking at brake master from the cap. As far as rattles and other issues, WELCOME TO TRIBUTE WORLD. Have you replaced the DPFE sensor yet? You will. Have you been unable to open one or more of the front doors from inside or out? It will happen. Mazda waits 10 years to put out a decent suv and they go and use a ford product. Oh well.....job security for me........
  • I received a letter from Mazda on Thursday stating that everything had been done to correct any problems. The vehicle is now operating to Mazda standards, guess they didn't realize that it was built to Ford standards. I would just like to know how someone in California knows that. My dealership doesn't even have a clue what a Tribute is, denial maybe?

    The letter was filled with misinformation which tells me it was just a put-off. Steve Duran is the consumer complaint person and he will NOT call you back or answer you directly.

    I was under the impression that Mazda would attempt a final repair like it says in their owner's manual. That was not offered to me at any time. I have contacted the BBB and will go on to an attorney if they cannot help me.

    Buyer Beware!
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    Sorry to hear you are having such problems. You are not alone, but you are not the majority either. Look at Edmund's long term Trib -- theirs was driven hard with very few minor problems.

    Our '01 LX now has 27K on it. No problems in past 15K. It did have 1 stall, had some sensor replaced, had a creaky tailgate. Our Mazda dealer fixed em all cheerfull, the 1st time. I had fewer problems with my 85 Protege, all 5 Honda Civics my family has owned, and my new Hyundai Elantra. Still we like it for its looks, practical size & comfort relative to its perfomance.

    Is it a perfect rig? N)! Are the all horrible? NO!

    If I were to buy another mini-ute, I would look real hard at the new Honda CRV and Subbie Forester (almost bought one in 01, but liked Trib better, but now believe we could have done fine with the smaller Subbie).
  • I have test drvied the kia sorento,(seats to small and hard)but great otherwise xlnt warrenty and the nissan murano. Love the murano but a little pricey.I want a v6 or something with some gusto since I live in a hilly area. Help, Any suggestions on a crossover that gives enough power and wont fall apart. I have a 99ody van and want to trade in due to so much talk on trannys. But I love otherwise.
  • djp2104djp2104 Posts: 11
    Hi - I'm ready to purchase an 03 ES-V6 4WD. Sticker with all the bells and whistles and destination charges is just under $28K. Want to pay no more than $26K with 0% financing for 60 months. How does that price sound?

    Appreciate any advice.

  • rverderverde Posts: 3
    I drive a 2002 Tribute ES, just turned over the first 5k.

    I have read all of the various horror stories on this board but so far my only complaint is the gas mileage. I can gas mileage. I can get 21 if the whole tank is highway miles, but any city driving and 18 is more common.

    I am not experiencing the loud highway or wind noise that I have read so much about, nor is the engine loud. I read a number of comments about hard shifting, that the trans slams into the next gear etc. I find just the opposite, I cannot tell when it shifts other than looking at the tach.

    I did notice that a lot of the complaints on the 2001 model were addressed with the 2002. Little things like the tuning, (or non-tuning), knob of the stereo now actually functions to tune the radio etc. The weird shift lever is still there. I wonder what vehicle they frankenstined that off of to save $6.

    I know it's early in the life of this vehicle but hopefully, I can share some good experieces on this board since typically, only the minority who have had a bad experience post. (OK, I know that sound naive but I'm crossing my fingers)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    About 18 is what our editors got in their long-term road test of an '01 ES (linked on the left). Lots of that was clogged LA freeway driving I guess. Since yours isn't really broken in good yet, I think you may wind up ahead of our editors' mpg.

    Steve, Host
  • mbd57mbd57 Posts: 7
    I just purchased 03 Tribute ES with list price of 25,089. I made deal with dealer to purchase $200 over invoice price. I paid 23,600 and change. Also got dealer to throw in a cargo tray for nothing. So far I'm very happy with the vehicle.
    And yes this was for th 0% for 5 years!!! I love the way it drives - ZOOM ZOOM

    Hope this helps alittle in your decision
  • mbd57 -
    Thanks. It helped very much. Talked with one dealer who made me the same offer over the phone. Shopped at another close by who added $1088 to the invoice price for advertising, etc. Said everyone does it. Result was a $27,819 vehicle would cost me $26,900 instead of the $26,150 I thought I'd need to pay. Will see the other dealer Saturday to determine if they all do it in this area (Southeastern VA). If they do, I'll need to find a different SUV to purchase.
    Anyone else have any thoughts?
    Thanks again!
  • I just purchased a 2003 Tribute ES last Saturday. This is the wife's car, and she put over 300 miles on it this week. Filled it up and it had averaged 23.2. Her commute is 35 miles each way, with about 1/3 being stop and go. She absolutely LOVES this car! Calls it her zoom zoom SUV...I kinda like it myself, but a little small for my personal taste. (I'm a big guy) Ours has the luxury pkg and the cold pkg, which is the main options she wanted, pebble ash color. Color was not my first choice, but she liked it and it was equipped the way she wanted. 23,306, plus a 2 grand better trade than offered by any other dealer. We took the 0% also, got the extended warranty to 60 mo./75000 mi, for an extra 600 plus. Painless dealer to work with, but still spent more than 5 hours at the dealership. This was at a dealer in the DFW metroplex, Hiley Mazda of Arlington. I had taken it back to the dealer Wed. to get the compass/temperature dimming rear view mirror installed, and was thoroughly shocked that the labor would be 360 dollars! Part was bad enough at 236, but it seems Mazda did not stub the wire up to the front of the headliner on these vehicles, and the entire headliner has to be removed. Not sure I want them to do that on a brand new car, so told the spouse she would have to stick heer finger to the wind for temps and direction...
  • officeroz - Thanks very much for the response. This message board is great. I'll give my feedback in a couple of weeks. On Saturday, we went to another dealer. No stupid markup or added dealer profit. Had the vehicle we wanted on the lot. Gave me the MSRP and Invoice numbers which matched all the website numbers I had. Sold it to me at $200 over invoice with the 0% financing. We were in and out in 90 minutes. $27,445 and paid $25,686. Could I have done better? Maybe, but we had to figure what our time is worth. Concerning the mirror. Last week I drove one with that option. Really ugly thick nylon cord cover running from the mirror to the headliner. Real tacky looking and would have driven us crazy. We can do without that. Have my fingers crossed. Thanks again.
  • we went sat 2/1 got an lx 4x4 lux package all opections dont like leather thats why no es model
    we pick it up monday after the inservice
  • Some others have asked if problems with 2001-02 have been resolved in 2003. I haven't seen much feedback -- does that mean there are no problems?I am currently comparing the 2003 CRV. Are there any issues with stalling or otherwise with the 2003 Tribute? If not, what was done to correct the serious problems? Thanks for any comments.
  • IF you have brought it back numerous times, maybe it would qualify for a lemon law buy back? A nice little lawsuit against mazda/ford may help them take you seriously :)
  • I am still trying to get some resolution to my problem Troubute. I am now spewing brake fluid all over the engine b/c the idiots can't even give me a new cap until they can verify that this is an actual problem. I refuse to pay for it! If I am in an accident or have an engine fire Mazda will be in deep do-do.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Brake fluid isn't flamable at those temps.
  • I’m looking for advice on replacing my original tires on my 2001 Tribute. The Firestone Wilderness HT’s are worn out after 36000 miles, and I think I can do better. But it seems like the P235/70-16 size is not common enough to be stocked and/or on sale.

    Right now I’m being steered toward many different types by various dealers, which basically seems to be whatever type they have in stock and/or have the most of (and even different sizes, which I’m really not sure about). Some of the brands I’ve never even heard of before.

    Right now I’m leaning toward the Yokahama Geolander HT or Michelins – either the LTX M/S or Cross Terrains, all of which I’d have to order since none are in stock anywhere near me. This is based on the reviews I’ve read at, which believe it or not has a lot of consumer reviews, good and bad, for all of the many tires they sell. It’s amazing so many people take time to write about their tire experiences.

    Any advice on these two types, or any other recommendations? Now that these vehicles have been around for a few years, what types have you other Tribute/Escape owners used for replacements, and with what results?
  • Bought an '03 ES two weeks ago today. Leather, lux, tow, perim alarm, auto dim, & all weather mats for $23.6K @ 0% for 60 mos. 1622 miles and only problem has been a CD changer that ate 3 CD's and wouldn't play them or spit them out. 1 trip to dealer, quick changer swap, good fix, no huhu! I love it! I guess research and perseverance does pay ... :-)
  • jcs77jcs77 Posts: 1
    Hi all! Test drove the Trib today, LOVED it. However, the salesman told me it was simply impossible to get a cloth interior, with a power driver's seat. What he failed to mention was, it's perfectly possible to get it on an '02, just not the '03. I absolutely MUST have a power driver's seat, there is an 11 inch height difference between my husband and I! Cloth is just a preference, I hate how hot leather gets, but if that's what I have to have to get the power seat, I'll (grudgingly) take it. However, I've now located an '02 with the cloth interior, plus power seat. Is there is big quality difference between the '02s and '03s? Would I be better off sacraficing the cloth for the quality of an '03? Opinions, please!

  • Just finished a first lengthy ride in our 03 Tribute ES-V6. Now has approx 200 miles on it. A good mix of highway and city driving. When I pulled back into the garage, I was astonished at how much greasy brake dust there was on those great looking wheels. What's the deal? Is it only because it's new? I sure hope so. Took me 20 minutes to get it off with a soft cloth that's now in the trash.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I've noticed a lot of brake dust on many Escapes (Trib's sister), too, especially on the front wheels, which do most of the braking work.

    It could be that the brake pads are softer than average, which means shorter braking distances (and more frequent pad replacement).
  • My wife's '03 tribute came with Continental SUV tires of the same size you are looking for. As luck would have it, I had installed a set of the same tires on my 99 Suburban last spring purchased from Discount Tire. If you have Discount Tire Stores in your area, they stock these, and many others, including Michilens, which are much pricier...
  • Every vehicle we have purchased in the past 10 years has had leather seats, and we live in Texas. Doesn't get much hotter anywhere than it does here. The nice thing about leather is that it adjusts to YOUR body temperature very quickly, wheather hot or cold outside. I would go with the leather, and opt for the cold pkg which gives you heated seats and mirrors at the push of a button. In fact, that was one item my wife had to have on her '03 Tribute, especially after traveling long distance in my Suburban with the leather seats and heaters. That feature does wonders on long trips if you have a back problem...
  • achocachoc Posts: 1
    To jcs77--I bought my 2003 LX Tribute in January with cloth interior and power driver's seat. Go to the website to check different dealers' inventory to see what their Tributes come with.
  • Does anyone know if you can get heated mirrors on the LX? If not a factory option, can they be added as a dealer installed accessory, i.e., is the wiring harness there?
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