Traditionally the Mazda B-Series has been a reliable workhorse for those who need a good load lugger and that market is catered for with the: 4x2 Single Cab Diesel (£9,495 ex-vat/£11,124 inc VAT), 4x4 Single Cab Turbo-Diesel (£11,995/£14,062) and the 4x4 Double Cab Turbo-Diesel (£13,495/£15,824).
Meanwhile, the 4x4 RAP Cab 4-Action Turbo-Diesel (£14,995/£17,587), 4x4 Double Cab 4-Action Turbo-Diesel (£15,495/£18,174) and the 4x4 Double Cab 4-Style Turbo-Diesel (£17,495/£20,524) are aimed at company car drivers who live active lifestyles and have a need for a vehicle that offers passenger car comfort and driving characteristics but has the ability to carry dirty and wet loads without compromising the comfort of the passenger cab.
Adding to the lifestyle image of the RAP Cab 4-Action is the fact that it is fitted with Mazda’s freestyle door system as seen on the RX-8 sports coupe. The front doors open conventionally, but the rear doors open towards the rear and the B-pillar is integrated allowing a large opening for easy access to the rear seats.
Previously, while VAT-registered businesses could reclaim the VAT, employees choosing a double cab instead of a company car would have paid benefit-in-kind tax as though the vehicle was a car. As a car, a double-cab would be taxed on a percentage of its price, determined by its carbon dioxide emissions. However, as some do not have type-approved CO2 emissions, they would be taxed according to engine size leaving employees with a tax bill often running to more than £200 a month.
However, following the Inland Revenue’s new benefit-in-kind tax ruling a basic rate taxpayer will currently pay 22% of £500 a year (£9.16 a month or £110 a year) and a 40% taxpayer will pay £16.66 a month or £200 a year.
Generous cabin space means the B-Series can accommodate five adults and specification on the lifestyle models includes two-tone metallic paint, ABS, air conditioning, alloy wheels and dual front airbags.
Mazda fleet and remarketing director Jeremy Thomson said: ‘These vehicles will appeal to a huge range of customers; from the business user attracted by the image, to the recreational customer who needs four-wheel drive performance with load/passenger carrying flexibility and towing capabilities, to the customer who needs to combine work and pleasure with one all purpose vehicle.
‘The tax advantages to both businesses and employees means that we expect the new B-Series to capitalise on the increasing popularity of pick-ups in the UK.’
Under a separate agreement a hardtop for the payload area is deemed to weigh 45 kg. Therefore, the addition of a hardtop to a competitor's double cab with a payload of 1010 kg will convert the vehicle into a car (payload reduced to 965 kg). All Mazda B-Series vehicles, even with the addition of a hardtop, have a payload over one tonne.
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