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Wraps come off bold new Mazda Tribute

Global Auto Index

Mazda has issued the following press release:

Boasting a new look and a host of mechanical upgrades Mazda’s updated Tribute makes its global debut at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

On sale from mid year, the new-look Tribute range is instantly recognisable with the SUV wagon’s front end completely reworked for a sleeker, more sophisticated appearance.

With redesigned front sheet metal, the new Tribute blends the original vehicle’s rugged, athletic appeal with a more refined “face”.

A mesh grille, incorporating a larger Mazda logo, new clear-finish headlamps and reprofiled front bumper with integrated bumper guard, help blend the Tribute’s more sophisticated look with traditional SUV cues.

The bonnet is a fresh pressing and features sharper, cleaner cut lines that flow into, and blend with, the new grille and headlamps. Tighter panel gaps and new-wheels also add to the Tribute’s higher quality look.

Inside, the changes are just as bold with the previous column shifter replaced by a floor-mounted gear lever.

The centre dash has been completely redesigned to be more functional and aesthetically pleasing, while new-look instruments, door trims and seat fabrics add a more integrated and upmarket ambience.

The cabin is quieter with redesigned mirrors, which incorporate turn repeater lamps, reducing wind noise.

Mechanical changes to the SUV wagon’s 152 kilowatt 3.0-litre V6 engine and drivetrain have improved average fuel economy by a significant 10.6 per cent.

The upgrades have cut the V6-powered Tribute’s average fuel consumption from 12.2L/100km to 10.9L/100km on the ADR 81/01 test cycle.

The 2.3-litre four-cylinder powered model offers better low and mid-speed torque delivery and an electronic throttle for a smoother acceleration feel. Both engines pass clean Euro III emission regulations.

Tribute’s safety equipment, which continues to include standard ABS anti-lock brakes and dual front and front side airbags, has been upgraded with the centre rear seat passenger now protected by a lap/sash seatbelt and headrest.

Braking has also been improved with the superseded model’s disc/drum system replaced by an all-disc setup incorporating bigger diameter brakes front and rear. The suspension has been retuned.

“With the new Tribute making its global debut today in Melbourne and the news that the CX-7 crossover will arrive this year rather than next, further demonstrates that Australia is a key market for Mazda and that we intend to strengthen and extend our range beyond our class leading passenger car line-up”, said Doug Dickson, managing director of Mazda Australia.

“By late this year Mazda will, for the first time, have two strong competitors in the all-important SUV market”.

Mazda had sold almost 30,000 Tributes in Australia to the end of 2005. Pricing and detail specification of the new Tribute will be confirmed at launch time.

The updated SUV shares the Mazda motor show stand with the MX-Crossport concept on which the CX-7 is closely based and the class leading Mazda passenger car range.

Last year saw the facelifted Mazda2, updated Mazda6 and the top-selling Mazda3 sedan and hatch post record sales, placing Mazda in the record books as the first full-line importer to finish fourth in the Australian market.

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