2021 Mazda BT-50 evaluation | CarAdvice

2021 Mazda BT-50 review | CarAdvice

The all-new Mazda BT-50 is lastly accessible in Australia, and it has been a very long time coming. Beneath, it is the identical because the Isuzu D-Max, however with undoubted Mazda styling.

Sizzling on the heels of its close to similar sibling, the 2021 Mazda BT-50 has launched in Australia, with the model hoping to capitalise on what’s undoubtedly a high-quality platform.

Not so way back – round a decade, in actual fact – Mazda (and the motoring media) thought it was onto a winner with its Ford Ranger twin, the then new BT-50. We all know now that Ford went on to repeatedly fettle and enhance the Ranger over the course of that decade, sustaining a compelling proposition in an enhancing phase; one that also sits close to the very prime of the dual-cab ladder.

And whereas Ford regularly improved its providing, we all know that Mazda, properly, didn’t.

To be fairly frank, the end result was a dual-cab that felt each little bit of its age, and regardless of being rugged and well-built, merely couldn’t maintain tempo with the competitors. That’s all modified now, although, because of the underpinnings of the superb Isuzu D-Max.

There’s a saying in our business that if motoring journalists ran automotive corporations, we’d all be using bicycles, such is the enterprise acumen or lack thereof relying on how you set it. Nevertheless, even when that sentiment is true, one factor I’d advise Mazda to do is bear in mind the expertise of the earlier technology, and bear in mind it properly. Particularly in a phase that’s as globally important as dual-cabs.

We all know from our current testing that the brand new D-Max is a superb dual-cab, however we additionally know that resting on that’s harmful. Particularly long-term. There’s a brand new Ranger coming – all new, in actual fact – adopted by the platform-sharing Amarok, only for starters. And we all know what each these marques are able to.

For now, although, the BT-50 is entitled to get pleasure from its second within the solar, and we’ve been trying ahead to testing it at launch as a lot as we did the D-Max. Let’s get into it, then.

First up, you possibly can learn our pricing and specification information for all the precise pricing breakdown particulars, and likewise check out Josh’s complete evaluation of the variations in spec and worth between the twins. For those who’re out there and may’t make your thoughts up, it’s a must-read.

To recap, the BT-50 dual-cab vary begins from $44,090 for the XT 4×2 computerized (there is not any 4×2 guide at launch) and rounds out at $59,990 for the GT dual-cab 4×4 computerized – extra variants are anticipated to comply with at a later date.

We’ll give attention to the top-of-the-range GT right here, provided that’s the grade that will get spoken about probably the most on this phase. It should compete with the Ranger XLT and Wildtrak, HiLux SR5 and D-Max X-Terrain.

2021 Mazda BT-50 GT
Engine (capability, cylinders, kind) 3.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder
Energy and torque (with RPMs) 140kW @ 3600rpm, 450Nm @ 1600-2600rpm
Transmission six-speed computerized
Drive kind (FWD, and so on) half time four-wheel drive
Kerb weight 2025kg
Gas declare mixed (ADR) 8.0L/100km
gas use on take a look at 9.7L/100km
Boot quantity (rear seats up / down) N/A
Turning circle 12.5 metres
ANCAP security ranking (12 months examined) Not examined but.
Guarantee (years / km) 5 years / limitless km
Primary rivals Isuzu D-Max, Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger
Value as examined (ex on-road prices) $59,990 (plus ORC)

Key specification variations between the Mazda and Isuzu on the prime finish are few – the BT has an identical alloy spare wheel moderately than metal, heated leather-based seats, and heated facet mirrors, and engaging brown leather-based as a substitute of black, however apart from that it’s all the identical componentry wrapped in a distinct pores and skin.

Mazda’s guarantee is barely totally different, too – it covers the BT-50 for 5 years and limitless kilometres towards six years and 150,000km for the D-Max. Each get 12-month/15,000km service intervals.

The obvious distinction is the styling, although, and parked facet by facet, there’s no doubting the Mazda DNA within the design language (I hate that time period). Automotive corporations prefer to rabbit on about no matter their chosen theme is on the time, however placing that apart, it’s apparent the BT-50 is a Mazda-designed dual-cab. It’s smooth and trendy, arguably extra muscular than the D-Max, and undoubtedly engaging.

Mazda resisted the urge to easily toss an SUV entrance finish on the BT and name it completed, crucially. The way in which the styling comes collectively entrance to rear, or facet on, works significantly properly on what might be a slab-sided physique fashion. As such, if you happen to’re style-driven as many consumers are, the brand new BT-50 will enchantment.

Contained in the cabin, there’s little question the contrasting brown leather-based trim brings a contact of sophistication to the providing, and whereas it received’t be to everybody’s tastes, it’s a stable level of distinction with a cohesion missing from the outdated BT-50 GT’s gray plastics and black leather-based. The seats are snug – heated up entrance, after all – and supply greater than sufficient adjustment. There’s as a lot, if no more, room within the second row as another dual-cab we all know aside from the D-Max, so it’s excellent news for household consumers there additionally.

Surprisingly, the infotainment system, which is obvious and crisp by way of the show, supplies for wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however you continue to must plug your telephone in to cost anyway with no wi-fi cost pad. Not such a problem, however the wi-fi connection wasn’t totally glitch-free for us on take a look at, leaving us to marvel why we wouldn’t simply plug it in to get the pairing anyway.

Nonetheless, glitches apart, the response of the display and the contact instructions labored simply sufficient. Particularly, although, the connection typically took some time to hyperlink, would often mute the radio when it did join, and didn’t at all times default again to no matter app you have been final utilizing – mapping, for instance.

The native satellite tv for pc navigation is correct and fast to reply to inputs, and the audio system works properly, too, however the infotainment is one space the place a generational replace may make real inroads. It’s good, however not nice in different phrases, although nonetheless forward of the earlier Alpine system it replaces.

One other space that Mazda may knock Isuzu out of the park – to not point out the competitors – could be to undertake the intelligent and simple to make use of Mazda Join system. The massive display makes a giant distinction to the drive expertise, although, there’s little question about that.

A few of the driver aids are annoyingly intrusive and should be disabled every time you begin the BT up if you happen to don’t like them. The pace warnings have been too enthusiastic for us on take a look at, and the lane-keep help is on the aggressive facet, too, however we will stay with security inclusions being extra vigilant than much less.

2021 Mazda BT-50 GT
Size / width / peak (mm) 5280 / 1870 / 1790
Floor clearance 240mm
tow ranking braked / unbraked – payload min / max (kg) 3500 / 750 – 900 / 1050
strategy / departure angles / ramp over (levels) 30.4 / 24.2 / 23.8
wading depth 800mm
tub/tray dimensions size / width 1571 / 1530

Throughout the BT-50 vary, consumers will get a 3.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine making a simple 140kW and 450Nm with a six-speed computerized as examined right here (or an accessible six-speed guide on 4×4 fashions).

The mixed gas declare is 8.0L/100km for the dual-cab-chassis 4WD we’re testing, and in the true world, in metropolis visitors with some freeway working, we’ve seen a mean of 9.7L/100km. That’s spectacular for a diesel that’s barely run-in, and can virtually actually achieve some effectivity as it’s run-in.

Regardless of not having peak energy or torque figures that match the phase leaders, the BT-50 feels principally easy even proper as much as redline. Peak torque is the important thing, with all 450Nm accessible between 1600rpm and 2600rpm, proper the place you want it for that feeling of punchiness and urge.

Usually talking, the engine hardly ever feels such as you ever must work it onerous to do something. You need to use mild throttle for nearly all of your every day driving duties.

It’s all fairly refined, too, even underneath load the engine barely disrupts the cabin, and the smooth-shifting computerized does job of utilizing the accessible energy and torque on supply additionally.

I’ve famous in testing earlier than, and it rings true once more right here, that six ratios appears excellent to me for every day driving duties. There isn’t a occasion the place you’re left pondering the transmission wants extra ratios than it has, it’s competent always.

Electrical power-assisted steering is new for the brand new BT-50 and it’s all the higher for it, particularly round city. It feels mild and easy, which provides to the quiet composure within the cabin, and doesn’t really feel wafty at freeway pace both, so a stable stability has been struck.

When you get onto the open street and discover some windy nation sections, the march ahead by way of how these dual-cabs carry out and may be pushed has continued apace.

The stability is great, the turn-in higher than you anticipate, and the composure virtually at all times unaffected by the street floor except it’s significantly unhealthy. Had you will have pushed a dual-cab with any stage of enthusiasm even a technology in the past, you’d be selecting your method out of the timber on the facet of the street.

The trip is undoubtedly extra achieved than the earlier technology, and higher by some margin, with out being excellent. Unladen, it’s agency with out being fierce, and whereas the rear finish will skip over poor surfaces, it strikes a stable stability between trip consolation and work potential.

The payload is greater than 900kg (1065kg for this particular variant), and the tow ranking 3500kg, so the BT must work and play. Add weight to the tray, as we’ll in future testing, and the trip will cool down much more. Nonetheless, it’s totally acceptable unladen day-to-day round city, and that’s a key level for the approach to life purchaser.

Mazda makes use of the identical key engineering {hardware} because the D-Max right here, after all. An impartial wishbone entrance suspension, and stay rear axle with leaf springs on the rear, with ventilated entrance disc brakes and drums on the rear.

After per week behind the wheel, the one apparent damaging I can give you is the truth that Mazda may have injected extra ‘Mazda’ into the brand new BT-50. It’s safer, higher to drive, smarter, extra environment friendly and extra future-proof than the outdated mannequin, so it’s unquestionably a greater car – neck-and-neck with the D-Max on the prime of the phase.

Nevertheless, it might be even higher with extra Mazda DNA contained in the cabin particularly. Whereas it’s a small level, it’s one price making. That might be a chance for Mazda to actually change the dual-cab recreation, in a method that not even Mercedes-Benz did with the X-Class. Midlife replace maybe?

In any case, the brand new BT-50 is a superb dual-cab in a phase that exhibits no indicators of slowing down or changing into much less aggressive. We’ve scored it solely simply behind the D-Max at launch, which we expect units the usual on the time of testing. That’s solely as a result of Mazda has chosen to not put extra effort into differentiating it from its twin.

Because it did a decade in the past, Mazda as soon as once more has an undeniably stable platform beneath the engaging styling.

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