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2006 Mazda B-3000

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2006 Mazda B-3000 Review

Small body dimensions allow for good maneuverability.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Mazda has a long history of making pickup trucks. For a while, they were responsible for helping Ford produce its trucks, including the Ford Courier, which matched the Mazda B-platform pickup part for part. The B-platform continued even though it was lagging behind the competition. In a sad turn of events, the Mazda B-series now requires Ford mechanics to stay viable in the market. The Ford Ranger and the B-series pickup are almost identical under the sheet metal.

There are three different B-series pickup models offered by Mazda: the B2300, B3000, and B4000. The B2300 is only offered as a regular cab vehicle with an inline-four engine. Its next trim level counterpart, the B3000, is available in a regular cab model and an extended cab version. The Mazda B3000 receives the upgrade of a V-6 engine that gives a bit more pulling power.

However, even with the better engine, the B3000 feels aged. The B-series platform remained practically unchanged since the late 1990s. The competition has a lot more to offer both in mechanics and standard features and options. Unless you’re a diehard fan of Mazda, or want to buy a no-frills vehicle, it is best to pass over the B-series.

The Range

Body Styles: Pickup truck
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual transmission
Models: Mazda B3000

What's New

The entire B-series pickup line remains unchanged since the 1998 model year.

Exterior

The 2006 Mazda B3000 vehicle comes in either a two-door regular cab or a four-door extended cab. The regular B3000 comes with the Dual Sport package that adds a higher suspension, giving the vehicle a four-wheel drive without the added expense. The vehicle is fitted with 15-inch steel wheels, painted finish bumpers, cargo tie down, trailer wiring, and the aforementioned special suspension.

The 2006 Mazda B3000 Cab Plus 4 is the extended cab. It has four doors with four extra passenger seats in the back. It has a six foot bed and is available in two- or four-wheel drive. The 2006 Mazda B3000 Cab Plus 4 Dual Sport is also available but only in two-wheel drive.

Interior

The 2006 Mazda B3000 has very little to offer inside. Although it is the base trim on the Ford Ranger design, optional leather and special materials are not available. In fact, there are very few standard features available on the B3000. Power steering, floor mats, cup holders, and an AM/FM radio with two speakers is all you get for standard equipment. Only on the Dual Sport does the driver get the luxury of cruise control.

Legroom is somewhat cramped inside the 2006 Mazda B3000. The seats in the back aren’t exactly spacious on the Cab Plus 4 version; it's only meant for kids or extra cargo space.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Mazda B3000 has a slight advantage over the B2300 by swapping out the weak inline-four cylinder for a three-liter, V-6 engine. The V-6 produces 148 horsepower with 180 lb-ft of torque. Even with the V-6, the 2006 Mazda B3000 somewhat lags behind the competition.

Off-road, 2006 Mazda B3000 standard cab feels quite comfortable. Unfortunately, Mazda does not offer off-road equipment. Buyers will have to buy off-road equipment installed by a third party.

The 2006 Mazda B3000 regular cab handles great in the city due to its compact size. The Cab Plus 4 adds a bit of length, making it a bit difficult to parallel park.

Handling on the 2006 Mazda B3000 is acceptable, but the underpinnings lag behind other pickup trucks on the market.

Safety

The 2006 Mazda B3000 is fitted with the minimum equipment that buyers would expect from most vehicles these days. Standard features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, ventilated front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, two front headrests, passenger airbag deactivation switch, front seatbelt pre-tensioner, and electronic brake force distribution.

Crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for all of the B-series vehicles show different views regarding the vehicle’s safety. The NHTSA gave all versions of the 2006 Mazda B3000, including the Cab Plus 4, four out of five stars for the driver and passenger, and five stars for front-side impact. The IIHS gives the 2006 Mazda B3000 a ""poor"" rating, which is its worst, for front offset impact as well as rear crash and head protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

B3000 Dual Sport: 16/21 mpg city/highway
B3000 Cab Plus 4: 16/21 mpg city/highway
B3000 Cab Plus 4 Dual Sport: 16/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Tough working truck
  • Inexpensive

You Won't Like

  • Lack of standard features
  • Lack of optional features
  • Dated platform and mechanics
  • Choppy ride
  • Poor safety ratings
  • Backs seats on Cab Plus 4 are pretty much worthless

Sum Up

Small body dimensions allow for good maneuverability.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Ranger
  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • Dodge Ram 1500
  • Honda Ridgeline
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