While the 2021 BT-50 is technically an Isuzu underneath, it’s the closest thing to a modern Mazda pickup truck. Sadly, it’s one that’s not available in the US. However, once upon a time, Mazda-branded trucks were available here. And one of them is this week’s Cars and Bids bargain buy: a 2000 Mazda B3000 SX.
The 1994-2009 Mazda B3000 was a Ford Ranger in all but name
The B3000 is part of Mazda’s B-Series, a family of pickup trucks that has strong ties to the Ford Ranger. During the ‘70s gas crisis, compact trucks like the original Toyota Hilux and Datsun 520 were more popular than the larger, less-efficient American models. To try and compete, Ford partnered with Mazda and used the B-Series to create the Courier, Roadshow explains.
In 1983, Ford replaced the Courier with the first-gen Ranger, which was separate from the contemporary B-Series. However, that changed in 1994 with the launch of the second-gen Ranger. Now, in a reversal of the 1970s, the B-Series was built on the Ranger’s platform, Roadshow reports, to avoid the ‘chicken tax.’ This arrangement lasted until Mazda discontinued the B-Series in North America after 2009.
For 2000, Mazda offered the B-Series in three different trim levels, with a variety of powerplants and cab configurations, Autoblog reports. The Mazda B3000 in particular has a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 150 hp and 185 lb-ft on gas. The V6 can also run on flex-fuel, which drops the output to 143 hp and 180 lb-ft, MotorTrend reports. But if you want the maximum towing and payload capacities—4120 pounds and 1260 pounds, respectively—you’ll have to burn gasoline, Cars.com reports.
In standard form, the 2000 Mazda B3000 has rear-wheel drive and a five-speed manual, Auto123 reports. Four-wheel drive was an optional extra, though, Edmunds reports, as was a four-speed automatic. And depending on the trim level, buyers could get luxuries like keyless entry, cruise control, power windows and locks, and even leather seats.
The 2000 Mazda B3000 SX on Cars and Bids
The 2000 Mazda B3000 currently listed on Cars and Bids isn’t one of those ‘luxury’ trucks, though. It’s an SX model, which is the base trim. As such, it’s a bit bare-bones compared to the modern Ranger. It doesn’t even have a tachometer, even though it has a manual.
That being said, this Mazda B3000 SX has all the work-related essentials. It has a quick-release tailgate, a radio, and a 60/40-folding bench seat. Plus, it has factory-installed A/C, ABS, and a passenger airbag. And while the SX didn’t come standard in-period with a bed liner, this particular truck has an aftermarket drop-in one. Also, bed-mounted tie-down anchors.
Admittedly, this 2000 Mazda B3000 SX isn’t cosmetically perfect. The headlights are faded, and there are some scratches, stains, and rub marks scattered around the exterior. Plus, the hood, grille, and front bumper were repainted after their paint faded. Cars and Bids also reports that the hood and right fender are replacement parts, though the truck’s history shows no accidents.
That being said, this 2000 Mazda B3000 SX is in remarkably good shape. It’s been registered in California since new, so it has little-to-no rust. And despite its age, this B3000 only has 19,500 miles on the clock—which isn’t a typo.
It’s an old-school work-truck bargain
As of this writing, this 2000 Mazda B3000 SX is listed on Cars and Bids at $5600 with four days left in the auction. Considering its condition and mileage, that’s a below-average price. The only cheaper B-Series trucks from this vintage on Autotrader have well over 100,000 miles.
As Cars and Bids notes, trucks like this were used as work vehicles, racking up miles and suffering wear-and-tear. This B3000 isn’t as luxurious as a modern pickup, true. But it’s precisely this kind of honest, basic work truck that many buyers are searching for, Automobile reports. And finding one this clean is extremely difficult.
In short, it’s a dependable workhorse with plenty of life in it. That’s a bargain in our book.
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