Mazda simplified the lineup of its compact pickup for 2005 by dropping several models and adding a new one, for a total of six. All Cab Plus models had four doors and fold-down rear jump seats, and more standard features were added.
The 2005 lineup included a B2300 regular cab; B3000 Cab Plus 4-door, Cab Plus 4-door Dual Sport and regular-cab Dual Sport; and B4000 Cab Plus 4-door 4x4 in base and SE trim levels. Fewer packaging combinations are available for 2006, but the most popular 4x2, 4x4 and Dual Sport models remain in the B-Series lineup. The B3000 Cab Plus in base trim level is also offered.
A 2.3-liter four-cylinder powers the B2300 series, while B3000 and B4000 versions are equipped with 3.0- and 4.0-liter V-6s, respectively. All three Mazda models are closely related to equivalent Ford Rangers. Four-wheel-drive pickups feature front hubs that can lock automatically.
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Mazda's B2300 pickup comes in only one form: a regular-cab pickup with rear-wheel drive. An SE-5 Package that includes alloy wheels, a CD player, air conditioning and carpeted floormats is available for the B2300. A cargo-bed extender is optional.
Ford Motor Co., which holds a controlling interest in Mazda, builds the B-Series compact pickups. For years, the two companies have shared other products and components.
Mazda's B2300 pickup has a regular cab and a 6-foot cargo bed. The B2300's front suspension consists of double wishbones with coil springs and a stabilizer bar, while semielliptic leaf springs are installed in the rear.
Styling differences between these B-Series trucks and Ford's Ranger center on the grille. The Mazda grille has horizontal bars instead of Ford's eggcrate design. Regular-cab models ride a 111.6-inch wheelbase, measure 187.5 inches long overall and have 15-inch wheels. Options include tubular side steps and a soft tonneau cover.
Mazda's B2300 model has a roomy cab with a standard three-place front bench seat. Occupants get a fold-down armrest, and storage pockets are installed on the seatbacks. Air conditioning is optional in the B2300.
Under the Hood
The engines in all three versions of the B-Series are the same as those used in Ford Rangers. A 143-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder in the B2300 teams with either a standard five-speed-manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.
A 148-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 in the B3000 teams with either a five-speed-manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The B3000 comes in three forms: regular-cab Dual Sport, Cab Plus 4-door and Dual Sport Cab Plus 4-door. Cab Plus models have rear-hinged back doors.
Dual Sport models impart the look of a four-wheel-drive truck and feature a monochrome exterior, fender flares and a raised suspension like the B-Series 4x4s. They contain equipment from Mazda's Convenience and Power packages, including cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and a bedliner. Back to top
A 207-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 in the B4000 teams with either a five-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. The B4000 comes only in Cab Plus 4-door configuration, in both base and better-equipped SE trim levels. The SE edition is offered only with the automatic transmission. Both B4000 models have four-wheel drive that includes low-range gearing. Raised suspensions use torsion-bar front springs.
Each Cab Plus 4-door edition features rear-hinged back doors that can be opened only after the front doors are open. Cab Plus 4-door models are 202.9 inches long overall and have a 125.9-inch wheelbase. The base model rides on 15-inch wheels, and the SE gets 16-inch wheels. Back to top
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