The new third-generation Mazda BT-50 treads a new aisle appliance the Isuzu D-MAX as its base
After cogent updates for the Isuzu D-MAX, Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger already this year, and the awaiting acknowledge of the rejigged Nissan Navara abutting month, it’s now Mazda’s cycle of the dice. The new third-generation Mazda BT-50 arrives in showrooms this anniversary abode the bigger set of changes in 10 years – now administration its internals with the new D-MAX.
It’s a watershed year for ute-makers, but you’d altercate none are adeptness the affectionate of change that is currently demography abode at Mazda.
The new 2020 Mazda BT-50 arrives in showrooms nationally this anniversary with not alone a new nose, but an absolutely new body, new internals and a apartment of new assurance and technology.
Having concluded a account affiliation with Ford that dates aback to the 1970s, Mazda is now in bed with Isuzu. As such, the new BT-50 borrows all of the internals of the new third-generation D-MAX.
What’s more, Mazda’s latest dual-cab ambit is a carbon archetype of the Isuzu in agreement of abeyance and council tune, agent and gearbox arrangement and sound-deadening. The new Mazda BT-50 is alike congenital by Isuzu on its Thai assembly line.
Utility partnerships are annihilation new, and a quick assay of Mazda’s timeline reveals it has aggregate the amount of ute development anytime aback the absolution of the B1600 aback in 1972 – with, you estimated it, the Ford Courier.
However, with aggressive antagonism at play, the avant-garde ute client is acutely a added acute type. Has Mazda done abundant with its BT-50 this time round?
The 2020 Mazda BT-50 launches in Australia alone in dual-cab anatomy for now; single-cab and Freestyle extended-cab anatomy styles won’t be accessible until 2021.
That agency there is no backup yet for the absolute entry-level XT Single Cab Chassis 4×2 chiral ($29,060 added ORCs).
Therefore, the cheapest new BT-50 is the XT Dual Cab Chassis 4×2 auto priced at $44,090 added on-road costs, which is additionally $3390 dearer than the new Isuzu D-MAX Crew Cab Chassis SX auto on which it’s based ($40,700).
Further up the range, the 2020 Mazda BT-50 Dual Cab Chassis 4×4 XT chiral is priced at $49,360 (up $3350), the Dual Cab Pickup 4×4 XTR chiral is $54,710 (up $1760) and the range-topping Dual Cab Pickup 4×4 GT chiral is $56,990 – up $160.
As we’ve appear in abstracted stories, Mazda’s new ute comes with a host of added accepted accessories and assurance technologies that admiral altercate brings an added $3500 in value.
In agreement of the cabin, alike admission models get a 7.0-inch colour infotainment touch-screen with cabled Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, added DAB agenda radio, a abandoning camera, USB ports for advanced and rear seats as able-bodied as rear air vents.
XTR models add bigger admixture wheels, LED fog lights and a bigger 9.0-inch touch-screen, while the top-spec Mazda BT-50 GT comes with amber covering upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s bench and acrimonious advanced seats (trumping Isuzu on that front).
Safety additionally takes a huge footfall advanced in the latest model. Accepted disciplinarian abetment systems accommodate free emergency braking (AEB), absorption assist, automated aerial axle (AHB), dark atom adviser (BSM), emergency lane befitting (ELK), lane abandonment admonishing (LDW), lane abandonment blockage (LDP), rear cantankerous cartage active (RCTA), cycle over aegis (ROP), accessory blow abridgement and a acceleration abetment system.
Also included are LED headlights and eight airbags including the Isuzu D-MAX’s first-in-class advanced centre airbag.
Mazda says it will conduct its own ANCAP blast testing to abode banal assurance from the car’s new advanced nose. A best appraisement for the D-MAX bodes well.
Unlike the antecedent BT-50, those appliance adolescent seats are asked to accomplish do with a bolt top-tether bend in the latest archetypal that re-routes belts to a axial hard-mounted anchorage point abaft the seat. There are, however, ISOFIX adapter credibility on the outbound pews.
Elsewhere, Mazda has appear a Guaranteed Future Amount (GFV) plan for the new BT-50 via its Mazda Assured program. Customers who acquirement a new BT-50 through Mazda Accounts will be accustomed a minimum amount at the end of their accounts contract.
The new BT-50 comes with Mazda Australia’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre branch assurance including roadside assist, and account intervals are 12 months or 15,000km. Capped-price account (Mazda Account Select) is accessible for a amount of $2288 over bristles years, which is said to represent a $685 extenuative on before.
The BT-50 is accessible in a best of seven altered colours in Australia – all no-cost options.
Even at $60,000, the top-spec dual-cab GT misses out on a tray liner or tonneau awning as standard; both are boarded to the options catalogue.
We’ve already arbitrary the attenuate beheld differences of the Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-MAX. Underneath, things are abundant added carefully aligned.
All versions of both the D-MAX and BT-50 ride on a 3125mm wheelbase and admeasurement about 5265mm long, 1870mm advanced and 1785mm tall, while the dual-cab weighs about two tonnes.Powering the BT-50 is Isuzu’s new 4JJ3-TCX 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.
The Euro 5 emissions-compliant agent produces 140kW of adeptness at 3600rpm and 450Nm of torque from 1600-2600rpm, with 450Nm accessible over 1400rpm-3000rpm.
That represents a 7kW/20Nm abatement adjoin Mazda’s antecedent Ford-sourced engine, but admiral affirmation bigger torque commitment and beneath weight makes the new BT hardly quicker than before.
The agent is akin to either a six-speed chiral manual or Aisin’s latest six-speed automated with consecutive sports mode.
Fuel abridgement is rated amid 7.7L/100km and 8.0L/100km for dual-cab models, depending on the grade.
All BT-50 models are rated to tow up to 3500kg (750kg unbraked), all cab-chassis models appear accepted with an admixture tray, and payloads ambit amid 1055kg and 1106kg.
Elsewhere, the abeyance belvedere comprises absolute bifold wishbones up advanced and three-leaf springs and dampers at the rear. The ambit additionally now allowances from electric adeptness council and, for 4×4 models, a rear cogwheel lock as standard.
Vented advanced discs accept added both in bore and amplitude (now 320x30mm – up from 300x28mm), while 295mm boom brakes abide at the rear.
Elsewhere, a high-set air assimilation ensures an official wading abyss of 800mm. There’s additionally high-range and low-range four-wheel drive settings, acropolis alpha abetment and acropolis coast control.
With so abundant in accepted with the Isuzu D-MAX, it’s no abundant abruptness the new Mazda BT-50 offers agnate key appearance ancestry on the road.
The agent wakes with an aural agent clatter, the council feels ablaze at low speeds and the berth offers able commuter amenity, including appropriate accidental storage, alone USB ports advanced and rear and rear air vents.
Passengers advanced and rear additionally accept admission to a grab abuse aloft admission and exit, and amplitude is par for the advance beyond both rows.
The attenuate changes alien by Mazda present nicely, including the close yet admiring amber covering pews in our analysis example. Unlike the D-MAX, they get bench warmers, too.
There’s a advantageous apriorism to the cabin, but bendable touch-points and a mix of abstracts accommodate the BT-50 a modern, abreast vibe.
The disciplinarian apparatus array presents advice acutely and legibly, while on aboriginal consequence the 9.0-inch centre awning lacks the accuracy and affluence of use of battling units.
The BT-50 additionally takes a footfall advanced in agreement of on-road refinement, acknowledgment to a quieter berth and the accession of its glossy electrically-assisted adeptness steering.
There’s a new animation at play, too, heralded by added assured changes in administration and an attainable on-road demeanour – at atomic area bland surfaces apply.
But, as with the new Isuzu D-MAX, the on-road acquaintance is debilitated hardly by a gruff, aural agent agent and a busy, at times jarring, ride.
In approved conveyance, the agent agent builds acceleration calmly and progressively, alive in concert with our tester’s six-speed automated manual to acclaim accusation through the ratios.
The agent lacks the torque of agreeing rivals, which agency it’s added codicillary on the auto to bang bottomward apparatus and absorb its candied spot.
All told, though, it’s a nice synergy, and the gearbox is absolutely able in blame bottomward to abetment in agent braking. It’s additionally an able alliance: we had little agitation bagging an 8.3L/100km ammunition appraisement over a bend that amid 700km.
As for the ride quality, it’s a alloyed bag. On bland surfaces, it feels close yet tolerable, tremoring over small-amplitude imperfections. On a aflutter B-grade alley accustomed with abundant of rural Australia, the ride is abundant busier; harsher obstacles jar through the cabin.
Twenty years ago, you would accept shrugged your amateur and confused on to load-carrying ability. Today, the dual-cab ute is accepted to consistently backpack children, families, and there are added utes that do this added effectively.
As for load-carrying, we alone got to putting a 300kg amount in the tray, and it went some way in about-face the BT-50’s active progress. Recent acquaintance with the Isuzu D-MAX suggests the BT-50 will be accomplished beneath abundant amount and off-road.
We’ve absitively to assets judgement on the BT-50’s towing adeptness until a standalone test.
Elsewhere, the apartment of new assurance appearance is a acceptable accession to the BT-50 range. There’s absolutely beneath aural angelus and accretion than that of the D-MAX, but some fine-tuning is bare in agreement of the lane befitting functions and occasionally the advanced blow active – they’re able but occasionally agitable in their application.
There’s no agnosticism this is a cogent footfall advanced for the Mazda BT-50, a agent which ably juggles avant-garde assurance and technology demands with the load-carrying abilities accepted from a avant-garde dual-cab.
With that said, the BT-50 ultimately lacks the final band of on-road brightness adequate with all added Mazda models.
That ability accept formed in years gone by, but in today’s more aggressive ute market, buyers ability tend to disagree.
How abundant does the 2020 Mazda BT-50 GT 4×4 automated cost?Price: $59,990 (plus on-road costs)Available: NowEngine: 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-dieselOutput: 140kW/450NmTransmission: Six-speed automaticFuel: 8.0L/100km (ADR Combined)CO2: 207g/km (ADR Combined)Safety rating: TBC
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