2010 Mazda Tribute Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2010 Mazda Tribute was new.


Interior: 7.5

The five-seat Tribute gets so-so reviews for its somewhat confusing and dated interior design, as well as cheap-feeling materials.

  • "Disappointing overall. Tribute's interior imparts a low-buck atmosphere with lots of hard plastic trim and odd panel textures." -- Consumer Guide
  • "For the most part, the Tribute's cabin is virtually identical to that of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. Unless you're a devout Mazda fan, this isn't really a bad thing, as the control layout and build quality are generally impressive." -- Edmunds
  • "Shoppers should sit in the Tribute and get their own feel for the cabin layout, because reviews are mixed. Some critics find the control layout ergonomic, the amount and quality of convenience features to be first-rate, and the back seat to be well shaped and comfortable. Others feel the controls are awkwardly placed, the available features only average, and the rear seat to be lacking cushion and support.” -- Car Gurus
  • "The Tribute interior overcomes its ergonomic shortcomings with value, utility, sexy lighting, and an unexpectedly handy little pen holder." -- Car and Driver


The Tribute's five-passenger cabin is comfortable, and reviewers say the rear seats are especially spacious for a compact SUV. However, some of them say the rear seats themselves are uncomfortable.

Manually-adjustable front seats come on base Sport models, but the next trim up (Touring) gets a six-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard on top-of-the-line Grand Touring models.

  • "The Tribute's front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable. The rear seat, although roomy enough for adults, is flat and devoid of recline and fore-and-aft adjustments." -- Edmunds
  • "The rest of the interior is reasonably spacious, particularly in the theater-style rear seat." -- Car and Driver
  • "Three adults will fit for short trips on the nicely shaped rear bench. Entry and exit are hampered a bit by narrow door openings." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Standard features on the base Sport model include a tilt steering wheel, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, and an AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary audio input jack. Upgrading to the Touring model costs about $3,100 and adds popular features such as a power driver’s seat, a six-disc CD changer, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Tribute offers very few options. A downside for families with young children is that no rear entertainment system is available. If you need one, consider the Mazda CX-7 or Chevrolet Equinox, or look into portable options. A navigation system isn’t available either, which is surprising considering that virtually ever modern vehicle seems to offer one.

The Tribute’s platform-mate, the Ford Escape, offers more and costs about the same. Among its options are Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and a navigation system with Sirius Travel Link.

  • "The Tribute lacks a few basic features now common among its newer competitors, such as a telescoping steering wheel and an easy-to-fold backseat that reclines and slides fore and aft." -- Edmunds
  • "The new dashboard brings with it a new ergonomic layout but, alas, few ergonomic improvements. Its dozens of black buttons and knobs were difficult to distinguish from one another, especially against the black trim surround pieces. And if you're wearing sunglasses, forget it." -- Car and Driver
  • "All controls are simple to use once passengers become familiar with the location of all the buttons." -- Consumer Guide


The Tribute provides 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use and 67.1 cubic feet with the seats folded down. These figures are about average for the class and are slightly more than what the less expensive Hyundai Tucson can hold. However, reviewers say folding the rears seats down can be a pain.

If you really need more cargo space, look at the Toyota RAV4. It costs only a few hundred dollars more than the Tribute and matches its fuel economy. Best of all, it provides 73 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. It also offers an optional third row, which might be nice for families.

The Tribute's separate-opening flip-up liftgate window is a useful feature because you can quickly toss small items in. Other standard cargo features include a large center floor console with covered storage compartment, and two coat hooks.

A retractable cargo cover as well as an overhead console with a dual storage bin come with Touring and Grand Touring models.

  • "A low, level load deck and opening tailgate glass make for handy cargo loading and hauling. Rear seatbacks do fold flat, but require multiple, inconvenient steps to do so. Cabin small-item storage includes several bins, cubbies, and map pockets in all four doors." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Cargo space stands at 29 cubic feet behind the second row and 66 cubes with the second row folded. This is more than what's available in competitors such as the Nissan Rogue and Saturn Vue but less than what's offered by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4." -- Edmunds

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