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1996 Mazda B-3000 Review
A compact pickup for all.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1996 Mazda B3000 is part of the B-Series, a line of pickup trucks manufactured by the Japanese automaker. The numerical part of each B-Series model refers to the displacement of the engine. For example, the first B-Series pickup in the U.S. was the B1600, which referred to its 1.6-liter engine. Similarly, the 1996 Mazda B3000 has a three-liter engine under its hood.
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mazda B3000, Mazda B3000 SE
The 1996 Mazda B3000 base model remains more or less unchanged from the previous year. However, the SE has a passenger-side airbag with a switch for deactivating the airbag in case a rear-facing child safety seat has been installed in the front passenger seat. This airbag is optional in the base model, whereas the SE also gets new chrome bumpers.
The 1996 Mazda B3000 and all other B-Series trucks look very similar to the Ford Ranger pickups. The reason for this uncanny similarity is that both compacts are assembled in the same factory in New Jersey and have the same design and drivetrain setup as well. While the B3000 is available in regular cab models, it's only available in the extended cab body variant. Despite the similarities with the Ford Ranger, the Mazda’s pickups stand out with its unique front fenders, grille, hood, taillights, and rear quarter panels.
The 1996 Mazda B3000 has a well-designed and rather spacious interior. Legroom and headroom up front is good, but the jump seats at the rear tend to be a little difficult to get into in the two-door models. The four-door models, on the other hand, offer an easier entry and exit.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Mazda B3000 has a three-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 147 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be mated to a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Technically, the B4000 with a four-liter engine is more powerful and a better choice than the B3000 in terms of performance. However, most customers would be happy enough with the three-liter, V-6 engine, especially with the five-speed manual gearbox on offer.
The 1996 Mazda B3000 offers a good enough performance, and it is slightly more refined than the B4000, although it does lack power at low speeds. Overall, it does well when it comes to towing and hauling heavy loads, and the ride quality is quite good with no trace of undue wind, engine, or tire noise. Although the 4X4 suspension is rather stiff, the suspension in the other models is quite effective in absorbing large bumps with ease.
The 1996 Mazda B3000 is the only compact pickup that has a passenger side airbag. It got a decent four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Good performance
- High build quality
- Heavy payload capacity
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
A compact pickup for all.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Ranger
- GMC Sonoma
- Toyota Tacoma