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#17

in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $8,716 - $13,968
Original MSRP: $19,730 - $32,445
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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Used Car: 2009 Mazda Tribute Review

Review Last Updated: 9/2/14

The 2009 Mazda Tribute has a well-appointed interior and good fuel economy, but its poor performance and below-average reliability rating overshadow its positive attributes.

The 2009 Mazda Tribute is ranked:

Sharing a platform with the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner, the 2009 Mazda Tribute wasn’t well-liked by most reviewers. For 2009, Mazda added a six-speed automatic transmission and upgraded its engines. As a result, reviewers thought that the Tribute had adequate power, but still couldn’t keep up with better performers, like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Reviews on the Tribute’s handling were mixed. Some reviewers said it is comfortable and corners well, while others said the ride is uncomfortably rough and the handling subpar. On the plus side, the Tribute has good fuel economy from its base model, at 23 mpg combined city/highway. However, the Tribute’s reliability score falls below the class average.

When it was new, reviewers thought the Tribute had comfortable front seats. While they felt that overall rear-seat space is good, some reviewers complained that the back seats are a bit too flat to be comfortable. Like the performance, reviews of the Tribute’s controls were mixed. Some reviewers disliked the way that controls blended into the dashboard, making them hard to distinguish. Others thought they were easy to use and well-placed. Standard features on the Tribute include cruise control, automatic headlights and a four-speaker CD player system with an auxiliary audio input. Higher trims come equipped with a seven-speaker sound system, heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver seat. Cargo space inside the Tribute is class-competitive, but reviewers thought folding the rear seats for maximum cargo space was cumbersome.

See the full 2009 Mazda Tribute specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

Based on the same platform, the 2009 Ford Escape is a solid alternative to the Tribute. While they have comparable safety scores and fuel economy, the Escape is a better performer and has a slightly better reliability rating.

With a good reliability rating and spacious interior, the highly-ranked 2009 Toyota RAV4 is a smart choice for a used compact SUV. With the RAV4, you gain a more-powerful base engine that delivers better performance and fuel economy.

Compare the Tribute to the Escape and RAV4 »

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