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2008 Mazda Tribute GT-V6 Review

This year is definitely turning out to be a big one for Mazda. Its CX-9 utility vehicle was named North American Truck of the Year and its CX-7 is enjoying solid success, as is the Mazda3, whose sales are among the highest in the compact class in Quebec, despite the fact that the car's design is becoming a little dated.

This year is definitely turning out to be a big one for Mazda.

Of course, there is also the Tribute, Mazda's compact SUV, which is back after a one-year sabbatical. So, 2008 marks a fresh start for the Tribute, whose new exterior design, which is well executed, albeit very tame, suits it beautifully. The changes are minor, to say the least, but tasteful. However, don't expect to find the long, pure lines of the Tribute's big brothers. Although redesigned, the Tribute is still behind the times in terms of style, compared with the rest of Mazda's line. When considering its competitors, though, the Tribute is doing just fine.

Major makeover
A simple, yet adequate style has breathed new life into the Tribute's interior, which features a mix of textures that work well together and materials whose quality doesn't lie. The finish of the vehicle I test drove was flawless.

The Tribute offers a good driving position and greater visibility owing to the seat height. There are a few problems, such as rainwater running inside and dripping onto the rear seat when the hatch is open in the rain. But let's be honest--the flaws we noted have more to do with fickleness than faults. In fact, the Tribute's interior is what sold me on the vehicle's qualities.

No Zoom Zoom Zoom
If, like me, you like vehicles that make you tingle with excitement, that give you the sudden urge to push it as far as it could possibly go, the Tribute is not for you. The Tribute has an engine, but its responsiveness is somewhat lacking.

Upon acceleration, your patience is put to the test because acceleration is anything but instantaneous, even when not towing any loads. Although the four-speed automatic transmission responds well, a fifth gear would not have been out of line. Nevertheless, the transmission seems dragged down by its own engine.

Although the four-speed automatic transmission responds well, a fifth gear would not have been out of line.