B4000 has lots going for it PRIMARILY the 4L 208HP, largest in class - greatest horsepower per dollar spent (w/ Ranger). Nissan “supercharged” engine is slightly larger, 210HP, but less responsive/slower & supercharged engine lacks towing/off road power. Challengers: Ranger, S10, Tacoma, Dakota & Frontier. Tacoma/Frontier only come in 4 full or 2 door models; no have ½ doors. Drives the cost up such that one may be better off looking at bigger trucks. Fun truck, lots of functionality & power, nice high ride, good visibility, shift on fly 4wld, large/cool tires w/ strong, elevated suspension, 4 doors & features (bed-liner, cover, bed extender).
This is a good truck for all around use. The fuel economy is average for around town, but is good on the long trips. I have not had a single mechanical problem. The truck is strong enough to pull my boat to the lake and tough enough to handle me taking it out in the Mojave Desert to have some fun exploring. I have only made a couple of changes to the truck to accommodate my uses. I installed slotted and drilled rotors for heat reduction while towing, and an air- fuel programmer to dial in the exact power or fuel economy I need. I put on some 31 x 10.5 R15 mud tires to keep it moving in the sand, mud and snow.
Mazda/Ford's truck design is OBSOLETE. I bought this 2002 because I'd had 2 Mazdas previously and they were pretty decent. THIS one had a clutch master cyl. go bad as soon as I got it. Access to the rear cab space is poor. The engine is so detuned as to be ball- less. However, the worst problem is the severe undercarriage corrosion which has destroyed the brakes/brake lines and has caused me to need to buy a new truck. New England winters and road chemicals are tough but I think the degree of damage is still pretty serious. No more Mazdas for me. I bought a Nissan.
I purchased this truck new, trading in a 2000 GMC Sierra. I got a lot of truck for the money. The truck has been reliable except for odometer failure (warranty) and EGR flow sensor. The 4.0L engine and 5-speed auto transmission are a fine drivetrain. The main problem is that this truck just has no personality to distinguish it from the crowd. The tin-can sound of the doors closing doesn't help. I recently installed a Magnaflow catback exhaust which has given the truck a distinctive sound.
I bought this used with little mileage on it. Got a great deal. So far, so good. It runs smooth and the mpg is acceptable. AC is great. I live where it gets very hot, so that is important. For the price, it's great.