As with its styling, there's not much to excite the reviewers at TheCarConnection.com or elsewhere about the 2008 Mazda B-Series’ performance.
There are two different engines available for the 2008 Mazda B-Series truck, and the number tells you which has what: the 2300 is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and the 4000 a 4.0-liter V-6, reports Edmunds, who also says that "for 2008, the Mazda B-Series family lost the B3000," which was the 3.0 liter V-6. At "143 horsepower, 154 pound-feet of torque" for B2300 and "207 hp, 238 lb-ft" for the B4000, this source also reports that compared to its current rivals, the Mazda 2008 B-Series is "outclassed." Car and Driver agrees, saying it is "underpowered versus most of the competing mid-size pickups." However, ConsumerGuide reports that the 4.0-liter models they tested "have fine power at all speeds and mesh nicely with the automatic transmission."
All B-Series 2008 Mazda trucks are equipped "with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic," reports Cars.com. According to Kelley Blue Book, when equipped with "the five-speed manual, the 2.3 performs adequately, although you have to get it past 4000 rpm to feel any inspired acceleration."
Although underpowered, the Mazda 2008 truck does offer a distinct advantage at the gas station. According to ConsumerGuide, EPA estimates for the truck range from 14/17 mpg for the B4000 with automatic transmission to 21/26 mpg for the B2300 with a manual.
Despite the fact that it rides fairly high up above the ground, ConsumerGuide reports the Mazda B-Series corners “with a stable feel, moderate body lean, and nicely weighted steering," but adds that suspension components "jiggle some on rough roads but absorb big bumps fairly well." It's comfortable, perhaps, but not compelling. Also, the "flexy chassis and tepid powerplants reduce fun-to-drive index to almost zero," says Car and Driver.
Despite the engine's lackluster performance, when equipped with optional four-wheel drive (available only on the 4000), this 2008 Mazda makes a "great off-road warrior," according to Kelley Blue Book. This source, along with ConsumerGuide, emphasizes that the four-wheel drive system is for off-road or bad weather driving only, and should not be engaged on dry, paved roads.