2006 Mazda Tribute

  • 2006 Mazda Tribute I Sport Utility

    I Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.3L I4
    • MSRP
  • 2006 Mazda Tribute s Sport Utility

    s Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.0L V6
    • MSRP
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2006 Mazda Tribute Review

For the family that wants the bragging privilege of owning an SUV without living the outdoor lifestyle.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2006 Mazda Tribute is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) masquerading as a truck with a smooth ride and comfortable seats. On the road, the Tribute performs well, but when you take it offroad, it feels limited. It better suits city dwellers whose idea of adventure involves a marathon shopping spree at the mall or trips to the amusement park. It has plenty of space for the family and gear for the casual outing.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: automatic, manual
Models: Tribute i, Tribute s

What's New

Mazda made updates to the Tribute in 2005 when it upgraded the engine to a 2.3-liter with 153 horsepower that produces 152 lb-ft of torque. It revises the suspension system and restyles the interior and exterior. The Tribute also gets a new electronic four-wheel drive system called the Active Torque Control Coupling, which uses an electromagnetic clutch to control the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels. This means that the clutch adjusts the amount of torque depending on the driving needs. If you need more torque, the clutch automatically sends more torque to the rear wheels for you. If you need less, it automatically diverts torque elsewhere.


The Mazda Tribute comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, an inside-mounted steel spare tire, a roof rack, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a rear defogger, a manual, flip-up liftgate window, power windows, power locks, auto delay headlights, and power mirrors. The s model adds privacy glass and a moonroof.

This car has a stylish, classy exterior with clean lines. The rear window makes rear viewing easy and has a rear window wiper included. The body-colored bumpers blend in well with the rest of the car.


2006 Mazda Tribute i’s standard interior features include air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, dual vanity mirrors, remote trunk release, power steering, an overhead storage console, front reading lights, and a six-speaker CD stereo system. The s trim adds a height-adjustable driver’s seat and an upgraded, seven-speaker stereo system with a CD changer. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system and satellite radio remain optional on both models, but if you want the DVD entertainment system, you cannot get the optional sunroof.

The 2006 Mazda Tribute features comfortable front bucket seats and split-folding rear seats. The interior uses materials of a good quality, but not as good as the materials used in other Mazda models. The control panel has a simple layout, well-placed for the driver, and looks easy to read. This model offers plentiful cargo space for a small vehicle. It has 30 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats, and when the seats are folded down, it has a total of 66 cubic feet of space.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Mazda Tribute drives more like a car than a truck. The ride feels smooth thanks to the MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The handling is good, and the acceleration adequate. Four-wheel drive makes it easy to drive on snow and ice. When you drive the Tribute on pavement, you can feel the surety of the footing and its nimble maneuverability, but when you take it onto trails and other offroad surfaces, you may get stuck.

The i trim comes equipped with a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 153 horsepower and 152 lb-ft of torque. The s trim comes equipped with a more fuel-efficient three-liter, V-6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque. Front-drive and all-wheel drive remain available for both models. The maximum towing capacity reaches 3500 pounds and the vehicle comes equipped with cargo tie-downs.


The 2006 Mazda Tribute includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, child seat anchors, and ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes as standard features. The s trim includes side curtain airbags. It receives a perfect five out of five stars for driver frontal impact protection and four out of five stars for front passenger frontal impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it a ?marginal? rating for frontal-offset crash protection and a ?good? rating for side-impact protection for models equipped with side airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Tribute i: 21/27 mpg city/highway
Tribute s: 18/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Comfortable and roomy interior
  • Lively V-6 engine
  • Car-like handling
  • Lots of standard features

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Four-cylinder models cannot get side-impact airbags
  • Cannot take vehicle offroad

Sum Up

For the family that wants the bragging privilege of owning an SUV without living the outdoor lifestyle.

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