The Good A hybrid powertrain gives the 2008 Mazda Tribute HEV excellent mileage and low emissions in an SUV, with room for plenty of cargo and five people.
The Bad At the Touring trim level, there are virtually no cabin tech options. You can't get navigation, hands-free cell phone integration, satellite radio, or even a six-disc changer.
The Bottom Line The 2008 Mazda Tribute HEV Touring has none of the cabin tech we like to see--you will have to get the Grand Touring version for those options. But it is a very practical car, with good interior space and low mileage.
2008 Mazda Tribute HEV Touring
Among the Mazda model lineup, the 2008 Mazda Tribute HEV looks a little out of place. If it noticed the curvier bodies of its siblings, it might figure out that it was adopted and that its real lineage lies at Ford Motor. Yes, its real siblings, actually identical triplets, are the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The boxy Mazda Tribute HEV offers the same kind of advanced hybrid powertrain in an inexpensive and practical package. But it looks nothing like the CX-7, the closest Mazda model in size.
Our Tribute HEV came in with the Touring trim, short of the Grand Touring trim, and no options whatsoever. And there aren't many worthwhile tech options for the Touring trim--you have to go up to Grand Touring to get features such as navigation or a six-disc changer. The Touring trimmed model is limited to a four-speaker stereo system with a single-CD player.