Mazda recently introduced the BT-50 GT auto 4x4 dual-cab as the top-spec variant to the updated BT-50 range. In addition to a new engine and offroading technology, the new Mazda ute has a new look—a bold move further away from the polarising exterior of BT-50s from before.
The new BT-50 is 5280mm long (with a 3125mm wheelbase), with a width of 1870mm, 1790mm height and a listed kerb weight of 2035kg-a standard sizing for this domain of dual-cab utes.
For you off-road enthusiasts looking for a Mazda BT-50 2021 for sale, or the 2022 model, let us delve further into how it handles and performs.
What is the BT-50 like for touring and off-roading?
The BT-50 has an independent double-wishbone suspension at the front and three-leaf springs and dampers, each side at the rear. This makes it right at home on steep, slippery and washed-out hill climbs and slopes.
In terms of off-road measurements and angles, the BT-50 240mm of ground clearance, a wading depth of 800mm and approach, departure and ramp-over angles of 30.4 degrees, 24.2 degrees and 23.8 degrees, respectively. When this ute was Ranger-based it was a great off-roader and hasn’t lost a step with the transition to the D-Max platform either, despite the reduction in power and torque.
In low-range 4WD and with the rear diff locked, the Mazda ute makes rather light work of the tough hill even with wet and chopped up tracks.
The four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine remains unstressed for uphill runs, with ample useable torque on tap at low revs. You rarely have to apply a heavier right boot to help it scramble out of the deeper, more severe wheel ruts.
The off-road traction control system – recalibrated and lifted from the D-Max – is non-intrusive and non-ineffectual and works in a sensible and even-handed way. Downhill speeds can be kept to a safe at a steady 3-4km/h, controlled pace with hill descent control providing a driver with plenty of time to evaluate the route ahead and make informed driving judgements.
For harsher terrain, you might want to swap out the existing road-friendly showroom tyres—Bridgestone Dueler H/T (265/60 R18) – with a set of more-aggressive all-terrains. Otherwise, the BT-50 stands pretty impressive. Its tractable engine, good low-range gearing and effective off-road traction control demonstrate that the Mazda can deal with tough terrain rather comfortably.
For haulage on those off-road trips, the tray is 1571mm long at floor height, 1530mm wide (but 1120mm between the wheel arches), and 490mm deep. Plenty of space for your short off-road and camping trips and decent fuel consumption of 8.0L/100km on a combined cycle with a 76-litre fuel tank.
As part of the industry-leading ute, the Mazda BT-50 has the strengths and highlights that you would anticipate like a sturdy tray and room for a tow bar capable of hauling a massive 3,500kg.
Safely you can tow 2500kg with the Mazda BT-50 XTR, and with a driver and passenger who both weigh 75kg, you still have a total of 420kg of payload left.
Be that it may, you need to double-check all figures once you’ve decided exactly what tow-car and trailer you will use, and determine precisely your extra load.
Platform, chassis and powertrain
Available as a rear-wheel-drive or as a four-wheel-drive configuration, the Mazda BT-50 rides on the Ford T6 platform. To power, this Japanese pickup truck has an option of either a 2.2-litre or a 3.2-litre turbo diesel engine.
The 2.2-litre powerplant produces 148hp and 375 Nm of torque while the 3.2-litre motor produces 197hp and 470 Nm of torque. The transmission options are a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. The 4x4 variant has a selectable four-wheel-drive system (with high- and low-range 4WD), and a lockable rear differential.
As far as suspension, the BT-50 rides on an independent double-wishbone rigid set up at the front and leaf springs at the rear. It has a hydraulic with vacuum servo assistance ventilated disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear to handle its stopping power.
Technology and innovation highlights
When looking for Mazda BT-50 deals, it is important to look into how powerful and innovative it is. Luckily, with regards to technology, the pickup truck now incorporates features to better compete with its celebrated rivals. The BT-50 is available with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the 4x2 variants with the 4x4 model, a standard GT gets a 9.0-inch multimedia screen with sat-nav and eight-speaker stereo sound system. Both options come with standard wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth are also available.
And for those wild offroad tracks, it boasts chrome exterior mirrors, brown leather seat trim (plus a leather-topped steering wheel and shifter knob), heated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 18-inch wheels, and LED daytime running lights and fog lights.
It comes with cruise control as standard for the first time, with remote engine start, which a user can initiate via a Mazda app on their smartphone. It has a list of lengthy driver-assist / safety tech including; AEB, front parking sensors, reverse camera, blind-spot monitor, attention assist, lane keep assist, emergency lane keeping, lane departure prevention and warning, rear cross-traffic alert and the list goes on.
The exterior elements feature the most recent evolution of the Japanese brand's Kodo design philosophy. Its improved front facia is more unique with its enormous 4-slat grille setting impeccably with the sculpted pair of sleek vertical lighting units housing the LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and fog lamps.
The external of the BT-50 has been given a silhouette with a refined appearance. The step board and roof rails make it more rugged, with eye-catching chrome-trim door handles and power-folding side mirrors. The top-spec variant comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, with the lower variants getting 17-inch rims.
At the back, things are simpler but not any less elegant with vertical LED taillights extending way over to the side. For effortless and worry-free cargo loading, the BT-50 also comes standard with a truck bed liner.
Mazda always has a human-centred design that was used to produce its new pickup truck. The Mazda utes 2022 BT-50 was designed with supreme driveability and comfort in mind. The interior greets the driver with an elegant cabin composed of various materials, including textured fabric, stitched leather, and touches of chrome.
Mazda steering wheel comes wrapped in leather for the 4x4 variant, with a tilt-and-telescopic feature, which adds both comfort and sportiness to the vehicle. The dashboard has a multi-information instrument display panel flanked by circular gauges.
Based on the variant, it comes with a 6-way manual or 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat for added ergonomic control. To complete the BT-50’s premium look and feel, the top-of-the-line 4x4 model enjoys sleek brown leather seats and seven SRS airbags.
How practical is the space inside?
As the Mazda BT-50 is a top-spec variant, you’ll definitely enjoy the real prestige and premium feel about it, thanks to the ute market’s biggest multimedia screen that is easy enough to use—which also comes with Apple CarPlay (USB and wireless) and Android Auto (USB only).
All in-cabin controls are easy to locate and operate. With a nice touch of heated front seats – and comfortable rear seats with room enough for three adults. The back row can also handle two child seats, as it has one ISOFIX anchor point on each outer seat and a central top-tether point with a shallow concealed under-seat storage.
Just like the D-Max the Mazda BT-50 was awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP crash test rating. It is suited with eight airbags (dual front, driver’s knee, front centre, front side, full-length curtain), AEB, front parking sensors, reverse camera, blind-spot monitor, attention assist, lane keep assist, emergency lane keeping, lane departure prevention and warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. It also has traction control, hill descent control and hill launch assist.
The new Mazda BT-50 gets a wide assortment of safety features with the standard fare incorporating an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control, traction control, hill descent control, and hill start assist.
The higher 4x4 model provides you features like lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic high beam control, smart city braking, and an engine immobilizer with a theft alarm. You get dual SRS airbags on the 4x2 models and seven SRS airbags on the 4x4 model.
What's it like as a daily driver?
The BT-50 was a nice ute to drive when it was based on the Ford Ranger platform – quiet, smooth and refined and enjoyable to drive around on the bitumen around town, on the highways – and best of all off the road on the beaten tracks. The good news is it remains so, for this ute, the steering is well-weighted and accurate and feels just right - Mazda has taken all the best elements of the old BT-50 and amended the pain points.
Despite a reduction in engine size compared to the old five-cylinder engine, the output remains just as punchy, if not more so. It is important to keep in mind the trend of engine down-sizing which is tailored to improve efficiency, and with improved efficiency, we often see a continual increase in power output with each new model. Acceleration is smoothly dispensed with plenty of power and torque.
Albeit a bit firm, the suspension is all-around well-engineered, offering an extremely comfortable ride. The only indication you ever really get that this is a ute is when its back-end skips a bit over the particularly coarse or uneven surface, but nothing a load in the rear wouldn’t fix.
The engine and auto, as mentioned, are a pretty good match-up—the engine never feels stressed and the auto is clever most of the time, yielding a pretty even-handed and composed driving experience when required.
The 2021/22 BT-50 Wrap-Up
The BT-50 is a refined and powerful ute that is well-equipped for harsh off-roading trails and camping trips. It is definitely worth checking out the Mazda BT 50 2021 for sale at your local dealer. Check out Brighton for some of the best deals on Mazda utes 2022. See you!