What's New, Changed, Different
For 2002, the interior of the Tribute received new front seats with separate adjustable head restraints, a reconfigured center-dash storage box/switch unit, and a modular audio system. Also, its palate was expanded with four new colors. This year, the Tribute is receiving its most significant interior upgrades since its introduction. Model-year 2003 modifications include new, softer, and more supple leather seats (ES), a two-tone dashboard in either gray or beige, a brushed-aluminum finish to the center-dash panel (DX, LX), a carbon-fiber finish to the center-dash panel (ES), and dual-illuminated sun visors (LX, ES). To complement the Tribute's standard interior changes, Mazda has added a Cold Package option, complete with heated seats and mirrors (ES). On the exterior, the rear key cylinder has been removed and a remote key fob now accesses the rear liftgate. Four new colors also make their debut.

From the Logbook
"The Tribute's 'just-right' size offers carlike size and handling for day-to-day driving, but it's just big and rugged enough to haul supplies and do light off-roading."— John Kiewicz

"I've been driving more than my share of SUVs lately, and the Tribute is certainly the most nimble and fun. It's sport-sedan-like up the canyon roads."— Brian Vance

"It's not hard to spot cost-cutting in the cabin. While the exterior looks rich, with chrome accents, glossy cladding, deep metallic paint, and nice headlamp clusters, the cabin is drowning in a sea of cheap plastics. Even the leather feels like vinyl."— Matt Stone

"First impression? It's much better than I anticipated: sporty feel, taut steering and suspension, and superb wet-weather handling."— Thomas Voehringer

"If manufacturers are going to go to the trouble of offering a moonroof, then make the size count--like in the Tribute. Look at that huge opening!"— John Matthius

"At first, the Tribute struck me as un-Japanese, more Euro-flavored, but now there are so many SUVs out with lines as clean and stylish. It's too bad the good-looking Mazda gets overlooked after just a year." — Chris Walton