By KBB.com Editors
Although the 2009 Mazda B-Series pickup bears the Mazda nameplate, it is actually a thinly disguised Ford Ranger. As Mazda does not build trucks for the U.S. market and Ford is its parent company, the economic advantage of this arrangement should be obvious to all. Available in Regular Cab and Extended Cab Plus configurations, the compact B-Series trucks compete well with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, but are no match for the larger and more powerful trucks from Nissan, Dodge and Toyota.You'll Like This Car If...
If you need a compact pickup that is inexpensive to own and operate, but want something a bit more stylish than the Ford Ranger, the 2009 Mazda B-Series is your best bet.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need a pickup to haul heavy loads or transport four people on a regular basis, you may want to look at one of the larger mid-size or full-size V8-powered choices.What's New for 2009
For 2009, the B4000 Cab Plus SE has been discontinued.Driving It Driving Impressions
The B-Series with four-wheel drive makes a great off-road warrior, as its high ground clearance and compliant double-wishbone front suspension allow it to move over almost any barrier. The four-wheel-drive system is easily engaged by merely pressing a button on the dash. Once engaged, the two-speed transfer case allows choosing between four-wheel high or four-wheel low. The B-Series' four-wheel-drive system is intended only for off-road use or very slippery surfaces and cannot be permanently engaged during normal driving.Favorite Features
Sporty Interior Trim
The B-Series' sporty interior trim is in keeping with the Mazda image.
Standard on the Cab Plus, the proven 4.0-liter V6 delivers a good balance of power and economy.
The B-Series puts the Mazda sport treatment onto the base Ranger interior. Seats have a richer pattern and the instrument panel features white-faced gauges and a revised center stack. Cab Plus models provide space behind the seats for luggage or groceries. The flip-down jump seats are best used for short trips only.Exterior
To set the B-Series apart from the Ford Ranger, Mazda performs a front-end freshening, with more brightwork around the grille and headlamps and a raised "power dome" hood. The Regular Cab and Extended Cab Plus models feature six-foot beds with an optional fold-out bed extender.Notable Standard Equipment
The base 2009 Mazda B-Series truck includes a 143-horsepower 2.3-liter engine, a five-speed manual transmission, anti-lock brakes (ABS), two front cup holders, dual side mirrors, AM/FM stereo, cloth split-bench seat, power steering, tachometer and steel wheels. The B4000 adds an extended cab, four-wheel drive, a 4.0-liter V6 engine and seven spoke painted wheels.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the B2300 include the SE5 package that adds air conditioning, chrome front and rear bumpers, speed control, AM/FM stereo with CD and auxiliary audio input jack, tilt wheel and all-terrain tires. Stand alone options for both trucks include an automatic transmission, a bed liner, bed extender and a soft cargo cover.Under the Hood
The standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is geared toward the economy-minded – those who use their trucks for light-duty hauling and around-town driving. With the five-speed manual, the 2.3 performs adequately, although you have to get it past 4000 rpm to feel any inspired acceleration. While we prefer the 4.0-liter V6 for its power and smoothness, it is available only with the four-wheel-drive extended Cab Plus models.
2.3-liter in-line 4
143 horsepower @ 5250 rpm
154 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/26 (manual), 19/24 (automatic)
207 horsepower @ 5250 rpm
238 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (manual), 14/18 (automatic)
The two-wheel-drive 2009 Mazda B-Series Regular Cab's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $17,000, while the four-wheel-drive Extended Cab Plus starts closer to $23,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price will show you what others in your area are paying for the B-Series, so be sure to check it out before you set out to purchase. The Mazda B-Series is not a particularly high-selling vehicle, so its resale is somewhat on the low side.