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2004 Mazda B-4000

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2004 Mazda B-4000 Review

Stone-Age pickup that is way past its prime.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Based on the Ford Ranger but with a shorter bed and less power or features, the 2004 Mazda B-4000 compact pickup truck is a fledging competitor in the pickup truck class. It is unable to keep up with the competition in terms if design innovation, power, features, or utility. As such, it is hard to recommend the B-4000 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: 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Mazda B-4000 cab plus, Mazda B-4000 SE cab plus, Mazda B-4000 SE cab plus four, Mazda B-4000 Dual Sport cab plus four

What's New

For 2004, the B-4000 sees some interior upgrades, including 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-4000 comes in two body styles: 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. The cab plus offers two trims: B-4000 and B-4000 SE. The cab plus four offers two trims: a two-wheel-drive B-4000 Dual Sport and B-4000 SE. All trims but the Dual Sport is four-wheel drive. 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 a trailer hitch and fog lights. The SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels and skid plates. Stand-alone options include power door mirrors, remote keyless entry, and outside temperature display. The Off-road Package will add 31-inch tires on 15-inch teardrop alloy wheels and side step tubes.

Interior

Inside, the B-4000 starts off with cloth seats, air-conditioning, beverage holders, and an AM/FM radio-based audio system. The Dual Sport trim adds a CD player to the audio system. The SE trim adds the option of including the off-road package that includes bucket seats with a full-length console and MP3 capability for the audio system. Stand-alone options include cruise control, power front windows, and a tilt steering wheel.

The interior of the B-4000 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-4000 uses a four-liter, V-6 engine that produces 207 horsepower and 238 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be mated to either the standard five-speed manual transmission or the optional five-speed automatic gearbox. In the Dual Sport trim, the B-4000 is two-wheel drive only while all other trims are four-wheel drive. Two-wheel-drive models are rear drive. With V-6 power, the B-4000 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-4000 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-4000 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-4000 isn’t a class leader, but it does a solid job with performance, handling, truck duties, and offers a decent ride.

Safety

For standard safety equipment, there are dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes. A key-operated switch can deactivate the passenger-side airbag. In NHTSA tests, the B-4000 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-4000: 14/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Versatile size
  • Some toughness to build
  • V-6 engine

You Won't Like

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

Sum Up

Stone-Age pickup that is way past its prime.

If You Like This Vehicle

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