Four things to know about the Mazda BT-50
The BT50 has been known as a formidable workhorse vehicle over the years, as there are many Mazda B series pickups from the 90’s still on our streets. I got a chance to push a BT50 to the limit two years ago, when I took it to Hagley Gap, in the Blue Mountain region. It tackled the terrain convincingly, as it went over every obstacle with ease.
Still in its second generation, there have been some minor changes to optimise the BT50’s look and performance.
Four things that standout about the BT50
Style – I like its robust look, which comes across as a bit bulky and muscular. This is contrasting to the more common slender streamline design that is trending among pickups. At the front, the headlamps have been redesigned to match the chiseled front grille, that has deep mouldings to give an aura of strength.
On the side, there is a curved signature outline, which is a bit pronounced over the wheel arch and makes the vehicle appear broader than its 1850 mm width.
Helping to give it a ground clearance of 9.3 inches, are the 17” aluminium wheels with machined surfaces and gunmetal paintwork.
The drive – The previous model I drove was a 2.2 litre turbo engine, which was very powerful and nippy, and it was a five-speed manual transmission. This model is a 3.2-litre turbo engine matted to a six-speed automatic transmission. From a torque perspective, it does perform better than the previous model I tested, which means it can carry more cargo. It also has closely-spaced gear ratios with a wide spread of excellent torque from low-engine speed.
However, the fun factor definitely lies with the stick shift, as the vehicle’s performance was enhanced by the controlled gear selection.
The great thing about both engines, is that they are diesel, which means that the 80-litre tank does go a far way.
Interior – this is not the most posh interior where pickups are concerned, but it is practical. The version I drove, which is the BT50 Pro, is more upscale than the entry level model, with leather seats and electronic adjustments. However, if you are going to use it on a construction site or a farm, a lower trim level is a better option. The centerconsole is layed out very simplistic with no touchscreen, which is appropriate for persons working in dirt or mud. Instead, there is a 3.5-inch monochrome display screen in the dashboard, and even though it is small, it does show all the relevant information.
For this reason, the condensed layout with the designated buttons makes it more durable. There are also dial keys which makes calling someone easy.
Mazda technology – for some reason, Mazda does not get the credit it deserves for its technology, it’s one of the few Japanese brands that patent it’s engineering off its European counterparts. There is a wide array of safety measures, like the superior braking performance. There’s also a full range of vehicle control technologies to assist in maintaining safe control under almost any road conditions. These include hill launch assist, traction control system and dynamic stability control.
Suspension is a double-wishbone layout with coil springs at the front and rigid axle with leaf springs at the rear. This provides a stable handling and a good ride comfort, especially when it is going over bumps.
•Ground Clearance for the models is 237mm(9.33in)
•Year model: 2020
•Engine size: 3200cc
•Torque: 276.5 ft. lb
•Transmission: 6 speed automatic
•Type of suspension: independent double wishbone
•Towing capacity: 3500 kg
•Weight: 2040 kg
•4WD (4hi and 4lo) with shift on the fly capabilities
•17” alloy rims with full size spare
•Common rail turbo diesel
•USB connectivity with aux jack
6 Speed Automatic: $5,600,000.00
Test drive provided courtesy Executive Motors, 929-5274, email@example.com