by clickplay on Apr 15, 2008 Vehicle: 2006 Mazda B-Series Truck
What I like about my truck. It has always started, gets pretty good mileage for a pick-up truck. I nearly always get 28 mpg combined town and highway. I've acheived 33 mpg on road trips and maintain 24 MPG in the mountains, which is where I reside. Handles good. Transmission is geared properly for various types of driving. Wish it had more power, but then mileage would suffer, so I'll take miles per gallon over horse power. I am very happy with my Mazda B2300 purchase.
Except for the additions of an audio input jack (on trucks equipped with CD players) and a standard tire-pressure monitor for all, the aging Mazda B-Series rolls into 2007 unchanged.
The B-Series has remained basically unchanged for more than a decade. And with virtually all of its competition having undergone complete redesigns within the last few years, the 2007 Mazda B-Series finds itself even more antiquated. This is not to say it's a bad truck -- the B-Series' smaller size is a handy virtue when tackling narrow trails off-road, dicing with city traffic or parking in crowded lots. And although the chassis is old, it's rugged, making this truck ideal for folks who need a no-frills workhorse or for outdoor enthusiasts who want to indulge in their activities without spending a lot on a truck.
But just like the Ford Ranger on which it's based, the B-Series doesn't offer the same wide variety of configurations, available features and safety technology as the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier or Dodge Dakota. For example, while each of those competing models offers a crew cab body style, the B-Series does not. The other trucks also offer much more powerful engines and more safety features (such as stability control and side airbags).
For those compact-truck buyers who don't need a roomy cabin and for whom price is of the utmost importance (discounts should be deep), the 2007 Mazda B-Series may be a good fit. Everybody else, however, will find the aforementioned and far superior rivals much more appealing.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Mazda B-Series compact pickup truck comes in regular cab and four-door extended-cab body styles. No crew cab style is offered. There are three basic trim levels: base B2300, B3000 and B4000; Dual Sport (DS) B3000; and SE B4000. The numbers following the trim indicate engine displacement (e.g., 2300 means 2.3 liters). Base models are available as either a two-wheel-drive regular cab or an extended cab with either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes a sliding rear window, AM/FM stereo, air-conditioning (all but the B2300) and 15-inch steel wheels (16-inch on 4WD models). Dual Sport models can be had in either body style but are 2WD only. A standard raised suspension gives the DS the look of a 4WD truck without the added expense and complexity. DS versions feature color-keyed bumpers and grille, alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry and a CD player with audio input jack. The top-line SE trim level is offered on the B4000 4WD extended cab only and features foglights, skid plates, a limited-slip differential, 16-inch alloy wheels, a sliding rear window, upgraded upholstery, cruise control and a bedliner. Many of these features are available as options on the less expensive models.
Powertrains and Performance
Three engines are available. Two-wheel-drive models can be had with a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine rated for 143 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, or a 3.0-liter V6 with 148 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Four-wheel-drive models come standard with a 4.0-liter V6 with 207 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard on all models except the SE extended cab, which comes with a five-speed automatic. The automatic is optional on all trim levels. Tow ratings are less than 3000 pounds with the four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter V6, but the 4.0-liter V6 has a respectable 5580-pound capacity.
Antilock brakes are standard on all models. Virtually all other modern safety features, such as stability control as well as side- and side curtain airbags, are not available. Still, in NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Mazda B-Series did well, earning five stars (out of five) for the driver and four stars for the front passenger in frontal-impact crashes. In that agency's side-impact tests, the B-Series scored five stars (standard cab) and four stars (extended cab). The IIHS gave this compact pickup truck a rating of "Acceptable" (the second highest of four) after conducting its frontal-offset impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
As expected, the cabin has a dated feel, and unlike its competitors, the Mazda B-Series doesn't offer leather upholstery or a premium sound system. There isn't much legroom and the seats are still low and flat, so don't expect long-range comfort. Extended-cab models have twin jump seats in the rear; the side-facing rear seats on this model are by no means comfortable for adults, but they can be used by extra passengers in a pinch.
Despite its relatively low horsepower rating, the 4.0-liter V6 offers respectable acceleration for this class, and the five-speed automatic does a fine job of making the most of the available power. The B-Series feels underpowered with either the four-cylinder or the 3.0-liter V6. All models are easy to maneuver thanks to the truck's small size, but the basic platform and underpinnings are old-tech, resulting in a rough, harsh ride. The 2007 Mazda B-Series is a good performer off-road, but the lack of an optional off-road package means hard-core trail busters will have to explore the aftermarket to outfit it properly.
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