The 2011 Mazda Tribute is a compact crossover that drives more like a truck than an SUV. Being more popular in previous years, Mazda updated the styling, interior quality, and engine choices in hopes of returning to the top. Practically an identical twin of the Ford Escape in both mechanical and structural aspects, the 2011 Mazda Tribute retains better fuel economy with a sportier feel.
Body Styles: compact SUV
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Tribute i Sport, Tribute i Touring, Tribute i Grand Touring, Tribute s Grand Touring
The 2011 Mazda Tribute continues in production unchanged.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute has a nice and sturdy exterior that is enhanced by several standard features, including automatic headlights, keyless entry, foglights, and 16-inch alloy wheels on the i Sport model. The i Touring model adds privacy glass and a roof rack. Both models with the Grand Touring trim level come with a sunroof and heated mirrors, while the s Grand Touring has a towing prep package included. There are no other additional options for the 2011 Mazda Tribute unless purchased from a dealer.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute’s interior closely resembles the Ford Escape’s impressive build quality and control layout. Standard interior features of the i Sport include air-conditioning, four-speaker CD player sound system, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, full power accessories, and an auxiliary audio jack. The i Touring model comes with a seven-speaker six-CD changer sound system and has audio controls that are located on the steering wheel.
Both Grand Touring trim levels add leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Also included are heated front seats, satellite radio, and a rearview mirror with auto-dimming. Other factory options do not exist for the Tribute, but navigation or sound systems can be purchased from the dealership.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute front seats are very comfortable, although the second and third row seats feel uncomfortable because of the flat cushions that are made for creating the flat load floor when folded down. Cargo space totals 37.2 cubic feet when the second row seats are folded down. This is a little larger than the capacity of Mazda’s CX-7 but less than other crossovers.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Mazda Tribute has two engine choices: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder on the i models and a three-liter V-6 with the s Grand Touring model. The former provides 171 horsepower with 171 lb-ft of torque and the latter produces 240 hp with 223 lb-ft torque.
Standard on the i Sport is a manual five-speed transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional on the i Sport and standard on other trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models, while the i Sport model can be optionally equipped with the popular all-wheel drive.
The 2011 Mazda Tribute s Grand Touring model has a better engine and comes standard with an automatic six-speed transmission. Performance tests show that the Tribute is a bit on the slower side when getting up to 60 mph speed, taking 8.1 seconds. Overall, the Tribute is a pleasure to drive with good road feel around corners. The ride is smooth within reason, and the acceleration is adequate with both engine choices.
2011 Mazda Tribute safety features include traction control, stability control, side curtain airbags, side front-seat airbags, and rear drum, front disc anti-lock brakes. Testing for braking was longer than expected at 154 feet to come to a complete stop from a speed of 60 mph.
Fortunately, crash test ratings for the 2011 Mazda Tribute come in strong with perfect five star results by the government in side and front crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave a ""good"" rating in side crash tests and frontal-offset crash testing. The rating of ""Marginal"" was given for the test of roof strength.
EPA Fuel Economy
Tribute i Sport: 23/28 mpg city/highway
Tribute i Touring: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Tribute i Grand Touring: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Tribute s Grand Touring: 19/25 mpg city/highway
- Both V-6 and inline-4 engines provide power and fuel economy
- Great crash test scores for safety
You Won't Like
- Feels outdated compared to competition
- No slide or recline functions in rear seat
- Poor braking performance
- Lacks the competitor’s high-tech features
A safe, powerful crossover SUV.
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