Used 2002 Mazda Truck Cab Plus Review

Edmunds expert review

Cloning Ford's Ranger pickup to create the B-Series was a good idea. Giving it distinctive styling was a better one.




What's new for 2002

The B-Series name gets dropped this year for the far more creative moniker "Truck." To celebrate, Mazda trims the lineup to just six models, all of which include a standard sliding rear window and none of which include SE or SX stickers on the beds because those trims have been killed. New packages include the SE-5 package for B2300s and an Off Road Package for B4000 four-bys. The Convenience package includes a bed liner this year. Color changes round out the updates for 2002.

Vehicle overview

For people who need the functionality of a pickup but think a full-size truck is too big, Mazda offers a compact pickup known, from this point forward, simply as the Truck. Along with its mechanical twin, the Ford Ranger, the Mazda Truck offers a range of configurations, four-cylinder and V6 engines, and good reliability.

The different Truck designations -- B2300, B3000 and B4000 -- refer to the three different engine choices available. The B2300 is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 140 horsepower. The B3000 has a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 150 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The top-level B4000 features a strong 4.0-liter SOHC V6 with 207 horsepower and 238 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The B2300 is fine for cargo-hauling or light towing duties, but you'll want to step up to the B4000 to tow heavier toys (maximum trailer rating for the B4000 is 5,900 pounds). Different Truck configurations include a regular cab, a two-door extended cab, and a four-door extended cab. B2300 models come only as a two-wheel-drive regular cab, while B3000s and B4000s are limited to extended cab styles in Dual Sport or four-wheel-drive guise. The advantage of the Dual Sport is that you get the look of a 4WD truck (the Dual Sport has a raised suspension) without the extra weight and monetary premiums associated with 4WD.

The four-door extended cab (called the Cab Plus 4, it only comes as a B4000 model) is our favorite, as it considerably increases the functionality of the interior. The side-facing rear seats on this model are by no means comfortable for adults, but they can be used by big people in a pinch. The rest of the interior is clean and well laid-out.

On the road, the Truck provides a stable ride. It's not quite Lexus RX 300 quality, of course, but the overall ride is comfortable for a compact pickup. Four-wheel drive is an option on B3000s and B4000s. This shift-on-the-fly system features pulse vacuum hub-lock technology, allowing the driver to engage four-wheel drive at speeds up to 70 mph. No stopping or backing up is required when shifting into or out of 4-Lo.

With a rugged design, solid good looks and an excellent warranty, Mazda's Truck is a fun and practical compact pickup.






Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.