NEW FOR 2009:

- New four- and six-cylinder engines with new six-speed automatic transmission
– New sporty suspension with rear stabilizer bar
– Easy fuel system
– New front fascia chin spoiler
– New door trim inserts
– Auto door lock and unlock, and hill mode feature on automatic transmission models
– GS and GT add dual media controls on steering wheel
– GT adds satellite radio capability, one-touch open and close sunroof, and exterior temperature information display
– Exterior colours: Sport Blue, Brilliant Silver and White Suede added; Oxford White, Tungsten Grey Metallic, Marina Green Metallic and Light Ice Blue discontinued

Redesigned for 2008 to match the upgrades applied to its sister vehicle the Ford Escape, the Mazda Tribute receives a choice of two new engines. A new 171-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder replaces the previous 153-horsepower 2.3-litre, while a new 240-horsepower 3.0-litre V6 replaces the outgoing 200-horsepower V6. While the 2.5-litre still bases with a five-speed manual, a new six-speed automatic replaces the previous four-speed automatic as an upgrade on the four-cylinder and as standard equipment on the V6.

The Tribute also uses Ford’s new "easy fuel system", which eliminates the fuel cap, making it easier to fill the vehicle and also prevents the "check engine" light that can come on if a cap isn’t properly tightened.

Trim lines are the GX, with comes with the four-cylinder, and the GS and GT, which use the V6. An active split all-wheel drive system, which runs in front-wheel until it detects slippage, is optional on the GX and GS trim lines, and standard equipment on the top-line GT. When added to the four-cylinder, it can only be mated to the automatic transmission.

Features on the GX include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring system, front and rear stabilizer bar, CD stereo with auxiliary audio input, power windows, heated mirrors, power door locks with keyless entry, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, fog lamps, roof rails, easy fuel system, and with the automatic transmission, an auto door lock/unlock system.

The GS adds cruise control, privacy glass, roof rail crossbars, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cargo cover, six-way power driver’s seat, front seatback map pockets, overhead console with dual storage bins, trailer towing package and wheel-mounted audio controls.

The GT adds heated leather-trimmed seats, six-CD stereo with Sirius satellite radio, power sunroof, overhead console with single storage bin, and exterior temperature gauge.

The 2009 Tribute benefits from gutsier engines, a fuel-efficient six-speed transmission, and the capless fuel system that’s making its way across the Ford line-up. Despite the larger engines, its fuel economy improves over the 2008 models.