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2011 Mazda Tribute Review

The 2011 Mazda Tribute has ample cargo space, but its subpar performance and low safety ratings keep it from competing with more capable used compact SUVs.  

Pros & Cons

  • Ample cargo space
  • Available V6 engine
  • Below-average safety ratings
  • Fuel economy trails competition
  • Cumbersome folding rear seats

Rankings & Research

The 2011 Mazda Tribute's #19 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Mazda Tribute has a score of 7.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 7.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mazda Tribute Overview

The 2011 Mazda Tribute shares a platform with the 2011 Ford Escape. Overall, reviewers thought that the Tribute’s out-of-date design made it a poor choice among compact SUVs. When it was new, reviewers thought that the 2011 Mazda Tribute had adequate power with either the base four-cylinder or optional V6 engine, but other compact SUVs accelerated better. The Tribute earned mixed reviews for ride and handling, with some reviewers calling it smooth and car-like, while others complained about a rough and noisy ride. The Tribute gets poor fuel economy for the class along with below-average safety ratings.

The Tribute’s interior is virtually identical to the Ford Escape’s, but lacks the Escape’s high-tech features. Still, when it was new, reviewers felt that the Tribute was comfortable enough, but some said that the rear seats were too upright and thinly cushioned. Also, they took issue with the indistinguishable controls that blended into the dashboard, while others thought the controls were easy to use and well-placed. The Tribute also does not offer an infotainment system like Ford’s well-liked SYNC system. Cargo space in the Tribute is class-competitive, but reviewers thought adjusting the rear seats for maximum space was a cumbersome task.

The base Tribute comes with standard features that include automatic headlights, foglights, keyless entry, cruise control and an auxiliary input jack. A sunroof, upgraded stereo, heated front seats, leather and satellite radio were all available features on higher trim levels.

See the full 2011 Mazda Tribute specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re considering the Tribute, you should take a look at its platform-mate, the 2011 Ford Escape. Both SUVs have comparable safety scores and fuel economy, but the Escape has Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and other high-tech features, like a self parking system.

Reviewers liked the 2011 Toyota RAV4 for its refined performance and spacious, comfortable interior.  The RAV4 gets better fuel economy than the Tribute, while producing slightly more horsepower. The RAV4 also carries higher safety ratings than the Tribute.

Compare the Tribute to the Escape and RAV4 »

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