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1996 Mazda B-2300

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1996 Mazda B-2300 Review

A compact truck for all.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Mazda B2300 lacks the power that is usually a major selling point of pickup trucks, but places greater emphasis on fuel economy, handling, and price. The final result is a pickup truck that probably does not appeal to conventional pickup owners, but it provides an option for drivers who normally would not have considered getting it initially.

The 1996 Mazda B2300 is best suited for people who want to haul a large, but relatively light load. The engine does not have enough power to handle heavy duty loads, but the truck bed allows the option to carry larger cargos than an enclosed vehicle can handle. Truck beds are also much easier to clean than vehicle interiors.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 2.3-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mazda B2300, Mazda B2300 SE

What's New

The 1996 Mazda B2300 SE receives a passenger airbag and chrome bumpers as standard equipment.


The 1996 Mazda B2300 is an attractive looking truck that is a little smaller than other models on the market. The regular cab measures 184.5 inches long, while the extended cab measures 202.7 inches long. The size difference ensures the truck bed is about the same size regardless of cab selection. The exterior styling, such as the flared truck bed, is a little more elaborate than the usually bare-bones exteriors of most trucks, but it still has a very rugged, utilitarian appearance despite that.


The 1996 Mazda B2300 is stripped down compared to what most passenger vehicle drivers would expect, but not that unusual compared to most low-end trucks. An AM/FM radio is the only standard feature on the base model. The SE also receives a cassette player. Available options include air-conditioning, keyless entry, lighted entry, power mirrors, power windows, power locks, cruise control, anti-theft system, jump seats, and premium audio.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Mazda B2300 is a mixed bag in terms of performance. The four-cylinder engine does not provide much power, so the acceleration is fairly weak. While this is not unusual for a pickup truck, the amount of cargo that can be carried before seeing a performance hit is lower than average. However, the handling is surprisingly good and about on par with many minivans, large sedans, and crossover SUVs. It does not handle as well as the average car, but it does outclass most pickup trucks in its price range. Power steering is optional, which might make the vehicle feel odd to handle for drivers used to that feature.


The 1996 Mazda B2300 is slightly above average for a vehicle in its price range. Dual front airbags and rear-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard on both models. While not quite as effective as a four-wheel anti-lock brake system, it still helps significantly in an emergency situation.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda B2300, four-speed automatic: 18/23 mpg city/highway
Mazda B2300, five-speed manual: 19/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Low price tag
  • Decent handling
  • Decent fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Not enough power to handle the pickup buyers
  • Only useful for hauling light cargo that can be exposed

Sum Up

A compact truck for all.

If You Like This Vehicle

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