The Mazda CX
-5 is a compact crossover SUV that will replace the Tribute as the Mazda’s smallest sport utility vehicle for 2008. Mazda will be announcing this "officially" in January 2008 but the official debut of the new Mazda Tribute
is at the New York auto show in April.
Mazda announced that it would not build 2007 model-year Tributes, so will be a full out replacement. It will remain a rebadged Ford Escape, and will be assembled in Claycomo,MIsourri along with the Escape and Mercury Mariner. Competitors are the Honda Element, Toyota Rav4 and Hyundai Tucson, along with other small SUVs.
The cx-5 will probably distance itself a bit from the design cues of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner this time around, although the drivetrain will most likely be the same.
The interior is also similar, and will be upgraded with higher materials and better features. Mazda CX-5 will ride under the same chassis as the 2008 Escape, but with some upgrades, will have better driving performance. Mazda will take some cues from the Cx-7, on CX-5 body.
The Japanese automobile maker should really have a full lineup in the next couple of years, giving Mazda the strongest niche lineup in the continental US.