1 Feb 2001
MAZDA and Ford co-developed the Tribute, a compact 4WD aimed straight at the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Australian-bound versions came from Japan where they were built alongside the Mazda’s Ford Escape fraternal twin. However they differed visually from one another.
The Tribute was a transverse engine front-wheel drive four-door compact wagon with unitary body construction, five seats and some interior versatility.
Mazda also brought in a four-cylinder manual-only model as the Tribute’s opening gambit. Dubbed Limited, it featured a 97kW/183Nm version of the 626’s evergreen 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve unit. But it had its work cut out hauling this heavy wagon around.
All other Tributes were 150kW/266Nm 3.0-litre DOHC 24-valve V6s married to a four-speed automatic gearbox.
The model range read: Limited, Classic and Luxury, with Traveller arriving in 2002.
Every Tribute featured dual front airbags, air-conditioning, power windows, power steering, remote central locking and roof racks.