For 2009, base models receive an all-new 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that has more power and better fuel economy than last year's 2.3-liter unit. The 3.0-liter V6 also sees improvements in horsepower and fuel economy. An all-new six-speed automatic is standard on all but the front-drive Tribute "i" trim.
Designed for people who prefer more car-like styling in their compact SUV, the 2009 Mazda Tribute attempts to place as much emphasis on "sport" as it does on utility. As in the past, the Tribute continues to share its unit-body design, powertrains and fully-independent suspension with its corporate cousins the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner. To help ensure broad appeal, the Tribute offers seating for five, both four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines, front or all-wheel drive and three different trim levels. The Tribute HEV Hybrid model is available in limited numbers and only in the state of California.