2010 Mazda Tribute Styling

8.0
Styling

The 2010 Mazda Tribute and Tribute Hybrid got a bolder, tougher new look two years ago, along with a more comfortable, more upscale interior. Though it's based on the Ford Escape, the Tribute carries its own distinctive styling inside and out-including a prominent and squared-off nose that frames a large chrome Mazda wing logo with a bright surround. The look is decidedly more masculine than earlier Tributes.

Kelley Blue Book and Car and Driver take opposite points of view on the 2010 Mazda Tribute's exterior design. The former says "the new [Mazda] Tribute puts classic SUV sheet metal cues into a contemporary context," and the result "effectively mixes rugged with refined." On the other hand, the latter describes the Tribute's look as "blander sheet metal."

The 2010 Mazda Tribute and Tribute Hybrid earn mostly high marks for exterior styling, though their interior design and switchgear get more mixed reviews.

TheCarConnection.com's editors think the exterior's best new feature is a prominent, squared-off nose. "With its boxy, traditional SUV body, the Tribute looks like the shipping container the Mazda CX-7 came in," Edmunds says-although it too calls the Tribute's design "a stylish, alternative take on the new Escape."

The more masculine look carries over to the interior. The 2010 Mazda Tribute has a handsome and blocky dashboard, with piano-black plastic trim and a chunky steering wheel. Automotive.com reports that the new Tribute puts "controls...at hand" in a way that is "not confusing for the driver," improving safety and convenience. But Car and Driver points out that the "dozens of black buttons and knobs were difficult to distinguish from one another," countering the safety claim. The magazine praises the back-lit instruments, which are "a pretty ice blue with Mazda-specific red-and-white gauges." Kelley Blue Book characterizes the gauges of the Tribute 2010 as "legible." And Edmunds says, "Available rich two-tone color schemes and 'ice blue' lighting create a warm, yet modern look."

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