2004 Mazda B-3000

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2004 Mazda B-3000 Review

Past its prime compared to others in its class.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2004 Mazda B-3000 compact pickup truck is an aged design in an increasingly competitive class. Based on the Ford Ranger, but with a shorter bed and less power or features, the B-3000 has not kept up with the competition in terms if design innovation, power, features, or utility. As such it is hard to recommend the B-3000 for anyone except devout Mazda fans, other buyers should check out rivals like the Dakota, S-10, and Ranger.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: B-3000 Dual Sport regular cab, B-3000 Dual Sport cab plus, B-3000 cab plus four

What's New

For 2004, the B-3000 sees a slight interior refresh by means of a new steering wheel and airbag design, new cloth upholstery, and a redesigned center stack. There is also the addition of privacy glass in the sliding rear window.

Exterior

The 2004 Mazda B-3000 comes in three body styles: regular cab, cab plus, meaning it has a back seat and extended cab, and cab plus four, meaning that the backseat and extended cab body has two extra rear-hinged doors to access the backseat and can only be opened when the corresponding front door is already opened. Each body style is offered in two trims: Dual Sport and SE. Regardless of trim level, all B-3000 trucks are two-wheel drive, which means that all B-3000 trucks are rear drive by default. All trims use a six-foot bed unlike its Ford Ranger sibling that has a seven-foot bed. The base model has 15-inch alloy wheels, trailer wiring, rear windows that can be opened, and intermittent wipers. The Dual Sport adds fog lights. The SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels and skid plates. Stand-alone options include power door mirrors, remote keyless entry, trailer hitch receiver, and outside temperature display.

Interior

In the cabin, the B-3000 starts off with cloth seats, air-conditioning, beverage holders, and an audio system with AM/FM radio and CD player. The SE trim adds rear beverage holders and a split/folding rear seat. Stand-alone options include cruise control, leather steering wheel trim, power front windows, and a tilt steering wheel. The interior of the B-3000 is actually rather roomy and comfortable. The seats are somewhat uncomfortable, but the ergonomics are solid. The lack of a leather upholstery option keeps the interior from appearing upscale, but this is a basic-level workhorse type truck so the lack of amenities and appointments can be somewhat forgiven, although rivals offer better interiors with more comfortable seats, features, gadgets, and overall quality in this class.

Performance & Handling

The Mazda B-3000 uses a three-liter, V-6 engine that produces 154 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be mated to either the standard five-speed manual transmission or the optional five-speed automatic gearbox. Regardless of trim level, all B-3000 models are two-wheel drive only. All trim levels are rear drive. With V-6 power, the B-3000 handles itself well in most traffic situations, is sturdy enough to handle work duty and some off-road tasks and will handle some hauling and towing jobs although not as much as a V-8 powered Dodge Dakota that is in this same class.

As far as handling goes, the B-3000 should be rated on its handling as a truck that can do some truck work, meaning that it won’t handle like a sedan and must be judged in the boundaries of the truck realm. In that respect, the B-3000 offers quite a bit of stability, especially when cornering. The steering is nicely weighted, and the body roll is what is to be expected from a pickup of this size. The ride is decent for a truck with some vibrations and jiggling on the rough stuff, but handles big bumps rather well. All things considered, the B-3000 isn’t a class leader, but it does a solid job with performance, handling, truck duties, and offers a decent ride. Mazda is known for its ?zoom zoom? performance philosophy, and that shows up in the oddest of places even, to a certain degree, in its pickup trucks.

Safety

For standard safety equipment, there’s dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes. A key-operated switch can deactivate the passenger-side airbag. In NHTSA tests, the B-3000 earned four out of five stars for passenger and driver safety as well as protection for the front and rear in side-impact crashes. No rollover tests were performed. In IIHS tests, the B-4000 received the second highest rating of ""acceptable"" for frontal offset crashes. No other tests were performed.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda B-3000, B-3000 Dual Sport: 16/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Versatile size
  • Some toughness to build

You Won't Like

  • Dated platform
  • Lack of crew cab model
  • Limited lineup
  • Uncomfortable seats

Sum Up

Past its prime compared to others in its class.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Dodge Dakota
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • GMC Canyon
  • Nissan Frontier
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