Compact pickup truck; Built in USA
  • ext. cab
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,200 – $3,700*


1995 Mazda B-Series regular cab


1994 Mazda B-Series Cab Plus 4 extended cab


1996 Mazda B-Series Cab Plus 4 extended cab


1994 Mazda B-Series interior


1994 Mazda B-Series Cab Plus 4 extended cab

Pros:
  • Acceleration (4.0-liter V6)
  • Antilock brakes
  • Build quality
  • Payload capacity
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Fuel economy
  • Passenger room (reg. cab)

Choosing between a Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series is mainly a matter of styling details and price. Both the B-Series and its Ranger counterpart rank among the best in their class, but look also at the Chevrolet S10 or GMC Sonoma.

Overview

Ford restyled its compact Ranger pickup truck for 1993. A year later, Mazda began to sell a variant of the Ranger as the B-Series. Matching the Ranger in basic dimensions, the B-Series had its own hood, grille, front fenders, rear quarter panels, and taillamps. B-Series trucks came in two cab styles and three wheelbases: regular-cab short bed, regular-cab long bed, and extended-cab. Three engines were available: a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder for the B2300 series, a 3.0-liter V6 for the B3000, and 4.0-liter V6 for the B4000. Rear antilock brakes and five-speed manual were standard; 4-speed automatic optional. All models could have either 2- or part-time 4-wheel drive.

Yearly Updates

1995 B-Series Pickup
Both the B-Series and the Ranger gained a new dashboard for 1995, along with a driver-side airbag. Four-wheel antilock brakes became available (standard with 4-wheel drive and with the 4.0-liter engine).
1996 B-Series Pickup
An optional passenger airbag came for ’96, complete with a disabling switch.
1997 B-Series Pickup
A 5-speed automatic transmission became available with the 4.0-liter engine. The 3.0-liter V6 was dropped, as was the regular-cab model with a 7-foot cargo bed. B-Series and companion Ranger would get restyled for ’98 with an optional 4-door extended cab model.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Mazda B-Series and Ford Ranger compact pickups each came with a choice of three engines: 2.3-liter 4-cylinder, 3.0-liter V6 (until 1997), or 4.0-liter V6. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 4-speed automatic optional. A 5-speed automatic transmission became available for 1997.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 140-147
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 160-162
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
19/25
18/24
ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/245
Engine HP 160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 220-225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
18/23
17/23
16/22
17.8
16.5
ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/140
Engine HP 98-112
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 130-135
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
22/27
20/25

Road Test

The 4.0-liter engine is indeed the best choice, though most buyers will be satisfied with 3.0-liter V6, especially when equipped with manual shift. Using only a little more fuel than the 3.0-liter engine, the 4.0-liter V6 delivers good low-speed punch, though it can get coarse and noisy. A 4-cylinder engine provides acceptable power with the 5-speed manual gearbox, but is sluggish when driving an automatic transmission. It’s an unwise choice for towing or hauling heavy payloads.

All models ride rather nicely, and road manners are good. You won’t be assaulted by undue tire, engine, or wind noise, either. Off-road setups make for a stiff ride on 4x4s, but suspensions on other models absorb most big bumps without jarring the occupants.

Interiors are well-designed, though the rear jump seats are usable only by small children. Ranger and B-Series were the only compact pickups to offer a passenger-side airbag, added for 1996 as an option.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Mazda B4000

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 3
30%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 40

Specifications

ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
125.2 202.7 69.4 64.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1550 20.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 35.6 42.4 41.2
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.9 197.5 69.4 64.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1650 17.0n1 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 NA 42.4 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.9 184.5 69.4 64.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1650 17.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 NA 42.4 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 B-Series reg. cab short bed

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 71
Injury 89
Theft 48

Trouble Spots

Engine misfire
Description: Rough idle or stalling after a cold start when using reformulated gasoline is corrected with a revised engine control computer. (1994)
Engine stalling
Description: Carbon builds up on the EGR valve seat causing stalling. (1994-96)
Hard starting
Description: Due to a sticking idle-air control valve, the engine may not want to start or cranks for a long time then stalls. (1995-96)
Suspension noise
Description: A chattering noise coming from the rear during tight turns and after highway driving is due to a lack of friction modifier or overshimming of the clutch packs in the limited-slip differential. (1994-96)
Check-engine light
Description: Lack of heat and/or check-engine light may be traced to sand, or other debris stuck in the thermostat. (1994-97)

Recall History

1994 in Southern California
Description: Studs that attach master cylinder to power brake booster can develop stress cracking after extended period.
1994 w/manual shift
Description: Parking brake might not hold.
1994 V6
Description: Flexible hose in front fuel line is susceptible to cracking.
1995-97 Vehicles equipped with Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch (SCDS) and/or anti-lock brake system (abs)
Description: On vehicles manufactured on or before December 5, 2002, a component of the cruise control deactivation switch may deteriorate over time and develop a leak. This occurrence could cause the switch to overheat, smoke or burn which could result in an under-hood fire. A vehicle fire could occur with or without the engine running. Mazda will notify owners that dealers will install a universal fused jumper harness on the cruise control deactivation switch free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.