Yup.....37 fill ups, 11,920 miles, 397.1 gallons of regular, avg mpg=30.0.....
and the winner is 2008 Mazda Tribute Sport i, fwd, 5spd. Helpers: K&N filter, Mobil 5w-20, and SGII. It's an amazing vehicle
It's about 35% city & 65% highway/freeway. It's the 2.3 L 4 used in the Mazda3 and the B2300 pu. I traded an '05 Mazda 3S hatchback --with high mileage--for it. It's the twin of the Ford Escape although mazda nuts claim that the handling has been tweaked by Mazda. The 2.3 L engine has plenty of torque and it feels quite peppy.
I'm very happy with it. It handles well--nice quick steering with good feel. It rides nicely. This is the bare bones model -- no cruise control, no above door handles(!!!!!). It does have nice 16" alloy wheels and rides well. The interior is entertaining --yellow and black. Has a nice 100 watt sound system.
So for $17k, it's hard to beat if you're looking for an economical small SUV that is good looking and can carry lots of stuff.
I agree that the Mazda's have a little different spring set up or something compared to the Ford. Goes for the other Ford build for Mazda stuff too.
I worked the sales and the service side of a Ford dealership. If we didn't have the good running Focus we do now, the Escape would have been an option. Kind of fun to drive, you can get the manual, easy to see out of, and the mileage isn't that far off of the Focus.
There does seem to be a noticeable difference between the '08's and earlier models.....with a consensus feeling among owners of both that the new one rides and handles better..has a nicer interior/dash...and has better aerodynamics which account for improvements in gas mileage.
Just had to take a quick trip--RT 480 miles-- up to Portland from Southern Oregon. The freeway from Grants Pass to just north of Roseburg--around 100 miles-- is a very entertaining combination of twisties and ups and downs over passes that's a hoot to do on a motorcycle as well as a four wheeler. Even though the engine --153 hp--and torque--155 ft lbs-- are modest numbers, the Tribute is lively, gutsy, and corners very well. Failed--and surprised!-- challengers included a new RAV4, a bunch of Chevy Tahoes, a new Explorer, a PT cruiser, and a bunch of big newer pick ups. It's fun to drive quickly as it corners reasonably flat and pulls very well ascending --3rd gear!--where many of the challengers were surprised....and then respectful. So I scrapped some serious hypermilin' (not good....26.9 mpg....some good downhill coasting) for a little fun tonic.
Have driven the Tribute over 13 k miles now and have run into a discrepancy.
The sum of all the trips (or fill ups) is over 500 miles less than the odometer.
If I divide the odometer reading by no of gallons consumed, that should yield an accurate overall mpg (of 30.1). In order to replicate this correct overall mpg, every fillup requires a pro rata adjustment to correct for the error.
Has anyone had this kind of discrepancy between the odometer total and the summation of all the trips (or fillup distances)? I'm in the process of correcting the logs.