NEW FOR 2009:

– 3.0-litre B3000 model discontinued
– Entry-level B4000 Dual Sport (DS) model

For 2009, the Mazda B-Series pickup truck slims down to two engine choices, with the discontinuation of the 3.0-litre V6 model. The B4000 DS, in two-wheel drive only, is a lower-cost entry-level trim line.

A Mazda-trimmed version of the Ford Ranger, the B-Series comes as the B2300, with 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, Regular Cab configuration, and two-wheel drive, in a single SX trim line. The B4000 uses a 4.0-litre V6, in Cab Plus extended-cab configuration. The DS is a 4×2, while the SE is 4×4. All models use a five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic.

Features on the B2300 SX include 15-inch steel wheels, black grille, black bumpers and door handles, manual mirrors, sliding rear window, privacy glass, intermittent wipers, four-pin trailer tow wiring harness, cargo tie-downs, removable tailgate, CD stereo with auxiliary input, 60/40 cloth split bench with armrest, and tire pressure monitoring system.

The B4000 DS adds 15-inch alloy wheels, limited-slip axle, body-colour bumpers, door handles and grille surround, wheel lip mouldings with integrated mud flaps, fog lamps, Class III hitch receiver, side-facing rear jump seats, and door map pockets.

The B4000 SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, skid plates, chrome bumpers and grille, and front tow hooks.

The B2300 can be optioned with air conditioning. The DS can be optioned with a Power Package of power locks, mirrors and windows, keyless entry, cruise control, tilt wheel and Sirius satellite radio; while the SE can be optioned with an SE Plus Package of power locks, mirrors and windows, keyless entry, sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped tilt wheel, cruise control and Sirius satellite radio.

The B-Series is a small truck compared to much of its competition, but that’s a bonus, as not everyone wants or needs a big truck. The new DS trim line offers the price advantage previously provided by the B3000, but with a more powerful engine.

The B-Series is an older design and lacks some of the refinement in other pickups, but its low price will appeal to those who want a basic truck. Shorter drivers may find that the seating position favours taller drivers, with a long reach to the clutch. The rear jump seats in the B4000 models are uncomfortable for adults, and must not be used with infant or child seats, but they fold out of the way to provide extra cargo space.

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