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MAZDA B-SERIES: FINDING THE MIDDLEGROUND BETWEEN STYLE AND FUNCTION
The 2008 B-Series remains Mazda's rough and rugged compact pickup truck. The B-Series is designed to give savvy consumers exactly what they want - comfort, durability and practicality all in one stylish package.
Featuring ample power and strong towing capacity, the B-Series is built to haul up to 5,600 pounds, and with available four-wheel drive, it can handle the toughest off-highway terrain. Yet, this rugged truck boasts a comfortable and refined cabin and looks just as good strutting its stuff on the city's paved paths.
Available as a two-door Regular Cab or four-door, four-seat Cab Plus and with a choice of 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 4.0-liter V6 engine and two- or four-wheel-drive systems, the B-Series is sure to leave an impression on any surface. The Regular cab is only offered with the 2.3L engine and the 4x4 is only offered as a Cab Plus and offered with the 4.0L engine. Dual Sport models have been discontinued for 2008.
The Mazda B-Series truck continues its value story in 2008 with a variety of standard features and an extensive options list, giving customers an opportunity to customize the truck to suit personal tastes. Two standard equipment additions mark the most significant changes to the B-Series: Upgraded shock absorbers on B2300 and standard front suspension skid plate for the B4000 SE.
AMPLE POWER FOR A MID-SIZE TRUCK
The available automatic transmission in the 2008 Mazda B-Series is a sophisticated and smooth-shifting five-speed. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, which like all
Mazdas, is designed for quick shifting to get the very best performance from the engine.
The entry model B2300's 2.3-liter double overhead cam (DOHC) 16-valve, four-cylinder engine produces a spirited 143 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 154 lb-ft of torque at 3,750 rpm. With the manual, the B2300 returns 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway ( 19/24 with 5-speed A/T).
Topping the line-up is the B4000. Its 4.0-liter V6 packs a mighty 207 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 238 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. It achieves city/highway fuel economy of 15/19 mpg ( 14/17with 5-speed A/T). A limited-slip rear differential is standard only on SE 4x4, as is a Class III trailer hitch only on SE 4X4. With this equipment, this powerhouse has a towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, which is more than enough to handle a ski boat, camper or racecar.
The powerful 4.0-liter engine this engine is only offered on 4x4 models to a sophisticated 4x4 drivetrain, with shift-on-the-fly activation for go-anywhere ability. In vehicles with automatic transmissions, the driver simply presses a button on the dash to electronically engage 4x4 High. In trucks with manual transmission a simple lever does the job. 4x4 High can be activated at speeds up 25 mph.
All 4x4 B-Series trucks feature low-range gearing and automatic-locking front hubs for tackling steep hills and low traction situations like deep mud or snow, or slippery boat loading ramps. In concert with the limited-slip rear differential only on 4x4 SE, the B4000 is ready for nearly every type of terrain.
With usability at the forefront of most truck designers' minds, driveability hardly gets a thought. But at Mazda things are different. Mazda's sports car heritage ensures that each Mazda is fun to drive - and that includes the B-Series.
Mazda B-Series trucks are fitted with an independent double-wishbone front suspension,
which allows a great amount of wheel-travel for tough off-highway operation without
sacrificing on-road feel or performance. A leaf-spring set-up for the rear is tuned to provide a comfortable ride and great road handling without compromising the truck's core ability as a load carrier.
Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, gas-filled shock absorbers and a front stabilizer bar are fitted on all models for sure on-road drivability and response as well as great off-highway durability.
In addition, all B-Series trucks feature power-assisted front ventilated disc brakes with rear drums. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are fitted as standard across the range to prevent wheel lockup and reduce stopping distances in certain conditions. These features, more commonly found in road cars than trucks, combine to ensure that the B-Series is a great drive.
STYLE TO MATCH PERFORMANCE
The rugged good looks of the B-Series emphasize this truck's superb usability and all-round performance. The wide stance gives reassuring stability as well as a real sense of power, and the rounded corners and sculpted fenders add a sporty feel.
The top-of-the-line B4000 4x4 SE rides on unique 16-inch alloy wheels and boasts a chrome grille to further distinguish it.
All B-Series models are superbly practical, offering standard cargo-bed tie-down hooks,
and a wide range of options such as a cargo-bed extender, retractable tie-down hooks, tie-down loops, a soft tonneau cover and a folding storage box.
Inside, a spacious 60/40 split-bench front seat is standard on all B-Series trucks, and stylish sports bucket seats are optional on B4000 SE models. Base models have manual windows, door locks and an AM/FM two-speaker audio system. SE versions boast electric windows, power door locks with two-stage unlocking, and an AM/FM/CD four-speaker audio system.
Interior storage space is abundant and clever. Bins within the center console, center armrest and front doors are spacious, and a pair of cupholders are also positioned to be driver-friendly.
Cab Plus four-door models add extra storage in the rear doors and a pair of cupholders for rear passengers. In keeping with convenience, remote keyless entry system is standard and on 4x4 SE models.
Mazda vehicles are designed with safety at the top of the agenda and the B-Series is certainly no exception. All B-Series models provide side-impact door beams in the front and dual front airbags. The passenger airbag has a deactivation switch which is ideal for use when carrying a child or when using a rear-facing child seat. Mazda was the first import-nameplate manufacturer to offer this switch. Front safety-belt pre-tensioners with force limiters, three-point safety belts for outboard seating positions and height-adjustable front shoulder-belt anchors are also standard.
All 2008 Mazdas come with a roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, owners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. Also, all 2008 models receive a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States,
Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on Mazda vehicles, visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.