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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Mazda B-Series in order to give you an expert opinion here in this Bottom Line. Then TheCarConnection.com researched available road tests relevant to the 2009 Mazda B-Series to produce this conclusive review and to gather the most complete collection of shopping information.
The 2009 Mazda B-Series is an inexpensive, fuel-saving alternative to big pickups, but it feels every bit of its advanced age. A clone of the Ford Ranger, the Mazda B-Series shares its dated styling and chassis design.
The B2300 model has a 143-horsepower, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The four-cylinder is grouchy, but frugal enough to indulge its slow acceleration. It can get 21 mpg city, 26 highway—great figures for a basic pickup. The B4000 comes with a 4.0-liter V-6 that generates 207 horses. The 207-hp V-6 is reasonably smooth and powerful, though fuel economy drops to 14/17 mpg with the automatic. A five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission is available in either model.
The Mazda B-Series hasn't seen a complete makeover in a long time, and it shows, though the materials used in its cabin are put together well. The 2009 Mazda B-Series comes in two- and four-door models, with rear- or four-wheel drive. The Cab Plus version has two small access doors that make it easier to reach into the cargo area behind the seats, but there's no real four-door option.
There's no cargo-storage system inside, but a fold-down armrest and a decent-sized glove box are found within the cabin. The Mazda B-Series' front bench seats are comfortable for a few hours but sit low. The Cab Plus versions have two fold-down seats that should be used in emergencies only.
The six-foot bed of the 2009 Mazda B-Series is useful for some weekend and professional tasks, but the ubiquitous 4x8 sheet of plywood won't fit. Towing is rated at 5,600 pounds. Handling is trucklike, and steering is vague even on rear-drive vehicles. Braking performance is acceptable.
The 2009 Mazda B-Series is rated "acceptable" by the IIHS for front impacts; it scores five and four stars for front and side impacts from NHTSA, but its rollover rating of three stars points out the limits of its taller, older design. Anti-lock brakes and dual airbags are standard on all versions. No curtain or side airbags are offered, nor are stability and traction control.
An iPod jack is on the standard-equipment list; options include the off-road package, a 510-watt audio system, and Sirius Satellite Radio.
- Fuel efficiency
- Manageable size
- Towing capacity
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- Unusable backseat
- Lacks many features or options
- Numb handling
- Looks dated