2004 Mazda B-Series Truck 2dr Cab Plus B3000 Dual Sport Rwd SB (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
This truck ran great the first year and a half I had it. Then it started idling very rough. Then the engine light came on. It took a while for the mechanic to figure out what the problem was because of how few miles were on it. I ended up having to replace the entire top end, (heads, valves, ect...) at 78000 miles. I did not overheat it or abuse it. Also, I found out that is is just a re-badged Ranger. Many parts that I have replaced are not for a Mazda B3000 but for a Ford Ranger. I reliably get 18 mpg out of it. The doors rattle and the rear end tends to hop alittle unloaded on rough dirt roads.
2004 Mazda B-Series Truck 4dr Cab Plus 4 B4000 Dual Sport Rwd SB (4.0L 6cyl 5M)
I bought the 4.0 litre V6 with auto transmission because it could tow 6500 lbs, 3000 lbs more than the 5 speed manual. I tow a 3500 lb RV, sometimes with a 15 ft boat in tandem. This puts me at maximum combined payload & towing capacity but the truck is up to the task, if I take it easy: about 60 mph on the flats, up to 75 mph downhill. Towing in a headwind, the tranny constantly downshifts but turning the overdrive off helps keep it in 5th gear. A manual tranny would have been better, or more power. Mileage is not the best: about 19 mpg highway, much less in the city. I drive like an old guy, easy on the gas, coasting not braking, and at the speed limit. The truck is great otherwise.
Opening rear doors, torquey 4.0 litre. Smaller size for parking that full size pickup.
Full 6ft box, not 5 ft 8 inches, to allow full sheets of drywall to be loaded with the tailgate closed. Better fuel economy. A stronger manual transmission. Cruise control available in 2 wd model, without having to buy the full 4 wheel drive to get cruise.
2004 Mazda B-Series Truck 2dr Cab Plus B2300 SE Rwd SB (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
This is a great little truck. I bought it used with 60K miles and it still feels very tight with no squeaks or rattles. The 5 speed and clutch are smooth with good spacing between the gears. ABS brakes are excellent. The 4 cylinder is more than adequate for normal driving and gets decent mileage. While far from plush, the interior is very livable. Seating is firm with good support and is comfortable on long trips. Controls, A/C and ventilation are excellent and there's plenty of leg room for six footers. A practical truck that's also lots of fun to drive.
Excellent brakes, build quality, very comfortable (even after a 15 hour drive) seats, exterior styling.
Access to rear of cab is tough, especially for bulky items.
I really can't complain, it always starts in the coldest weather. It gets over 30 mpg on the highway. It gets a lot of looks. I think it is better looking than the Ford Ranger that it is based on. It has an awesome A/C system. It does sit up almost as high as some other marques 4x4s.
I like the carbon fiber center dash surround and the 4 wheel ABS.
Make a four cylinder turbo diesel with a six speed manual transmission and 4 wheel drive. I would pay the premium for the diesel engine and six speed running gear.