2005 Mazda Tribute

  • 2005 Mazda Tribute I Sport Utility

    I Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.3L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Mazda Tribute s Sport Utility

    s Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.0L V6
    • MSRP
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2005 Mazda Tribute Review

Offering ample power and a smooth ride with a lower price tag than similar vehicles in its class.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Mazda Tribute is a compact SUV that is available in two models: the i-series and s-series. Buyers have the choice of either a manual or automatic transmission in the i-series, which comes standard with power windows, mirrors, and locks. The six-cylinder performance in the s-series models is quite impressive, giving it an edge in the SUV market; added benefits are the fog lights, cruise control, and fine cloth seats. Both models come with some flashy options, such as a six-disc CD changer, a DVD entertainment system, and various cargo area accessories.

The Tribute earns points for its roomy interior and all-around comfort. It seats up to five people without trouble and comes with ample storage space in the rear. Its weight capacity for towing is about 4500 pounds giving it the capability to tow small boats and snowmobiles.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Models: Mazda Tribute i Sport, Mazda Tribute i Touring, Mazda Tribute i Grand Touring, Mazda Tribute s Grand Touring

What's New

In 2005, a new four-cylinder engine was added to the Tribute, as well as a sharp new exterior style. A new four-wheel-drive system using electronics replaces the 2004 two-wheel-drive system. ABS is now included in all Tribute models, providing an upgrade to the braking system. The interior received an upgrade in style and performance, now featuring a seven-speaker audio system.


The 2005 Mazda Tribute has an elegant appearance with an aggressive look. Its dimensions are small in comparison with other players in the market, measuring about 175 inches in length. It does have a wider track than those other vehicles. The design is clean cut with a sporty touch. Its features include thick bumpers, wheel lip moldings, and side claddings. It's integrated smoothly into the body to give off an heir of ruggedness. On the roof, there is a rack with cross bars to hold and carry bikes and skis. Privacy glass is installed in the rear windows. In the back of the vehicle, there is a flip-up window, enabling more convenient storage of items. There are 16-inch aluminum wheels and tires. The color palette has five new colors available including dark titanium, mystic black, and platinum metallic.


When entering the Tribute, drivers can jump into comfortable front bucket seats padded with cloth. Both the driver and passenger seats have adjustable head restraints. Three-point seatbelts are installed for preventative measures. Looking down, they will notice the front and rear carpeted floor mats. A carpet is also located in the passenger cabin and cargo area. There are a total of four cup holders; two in the front and two in the rear. The controls for heating and air-conditioning are simple, straightforward, and easy to use. There is ample cargo space, measuring approximately 67 square feet. The downsides are the rear windows that do not roll down completely, and there is limited leg room for passengers.

Performance & Handling

The 2005 Mazda Tribute i-model is equipped with a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 153 horsepower. The Tribute s-model has a three-liter, six-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. The transmissions for these models got a tune up by Mazda to provide a smooth shifting experience. Acceleration is pretty quick for an SUV, going zero to 60 in 9.5 seconds.

The Tribute handles remarkably well for an SUV, almost as well as a compact sedan. Drivers are able to move at high speeds with supreme stability and control. Multi-link rear suspension provides a ride with a quality that surpasses that of other compact SUVs. The four-wheel drive helps to make travel on slick pavement smoother.


All 2005 Mazda Tribute models are equipped with anti-lock brakes on all wheels, front airbags on both the driver and passenger side, and curtain airbags for side impact. They also feature tire pressure monitoring and traction control, are equipped with child-safety locks on the rear door and three-point seatbelts with pretensioners, and received a five star crash test rating for driver and passenger side impact. Other safety features include an emergency fuel shut-off device and an anti-theft system that immobilizes the engine when triggered.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda Tribute i: 21/27 mpg city/highway
Mazda Tribute s: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good Handling
  • Comfortable Seating
  • Plenty of cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Poor gas mileage
  • Rear windows don’t roll down all the way
  • Noisy tires

Sum Up

Offering ample power and a smooth ride with a lower price tag than similar vehicles in its class.

If You Like This Vehicle

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