Mazda’s new BT-50 bakkie will target active people living adventurous lifestyles. This is according to the folks at Mazda, who believe their all-new BT-50 will appeal to a dynamic demographic thanks to its revolutionary style, increased cabin space, lively suspension and several key comfort and convenience features commonly found in the passenger car segment. The BT-50 is available in three body types: single-cab, Freestyle Cab and double-cab. Within this collection there are three engine types on offer: a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, 2.5-litre petrol and 3.2-litre turbo-diesel. However, 4×4 models are limited to either the 2.5 petrol, or the 3.2 diesel. The very economical 2.2 MZ-CD engine is currently not available to 4×4 owners.
The double-cab 4×4 has one engine option, the 3.2-litre diesel (147 kW,470 Nm), coupled to 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. This is the same 5-cylinder motor found in the new Ford Ranger. The 4×4 Freestyle Cab is also limited to this engine offering and can only be purchased with the 6-speed manual gearbox.
Single-cab 4×4 buyers can opt for the 3.2-litre diesel or the 2.5-litre petrol engine, capable of 122 kW and 225 Nm. The latter is coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the former sports the same 6-speed manual gearbox found in the double-cab range.
The BT-50 boasts great off-road performance, this is due to the vehicle’s praiseworthy ground clearance measurement (237 mm) and hugely impressive wading depth (800 mm). With the exception of the 2.5-litre petrol single-cab, all 4×4 models sport a locking rear differential. The aforementioned single-cab has a limited-slip diff instead. Like most bakkies, the BT-50 is a part-time 4×4, but a shift-on-the-fly switch – located beside the gearlever – quickly distributes torque in a 50 / 50 split.
When compared to the previous BT-50 model, all three body types are longer, wider and higher than their predecessors. As a result, cabin access is greatly improved thanks to increased door sizes and opening angles. Head and shoulder room is also vastly better, and so too are the number of storage compartments found within the cabin. All Freestyle and double-cab derivatives sport a radio / CD player with AUX socket, 3.5” multi-function display and 6” door-mounted speakers.
Further comfort features include a newly-adopted dual-zone climate control system, this allows users to adjust individual temperature settings for the driver and front-seated passenger. On the safety front, the flagship double-cab model boasts a wealth of features, including a comprehensive stability control program which monitors / corrects tyre slippage, trailer sway and possible roll-over incidents. While on the subject of towing, the BT-50 3.2 DC has a commendable towing capacity of 3 350 kg – or in legal terms – the ability to tow its Tare weight of 2 118 kg.
Each BT-50 model comes with a 4-year / 120 000 km warranty, 5-year / 90 000 km service plan, and a 3-year roadside assistance plan. Service intervals are timed at 15 000 km regardless of engine type.