Work is a bedraggled chat at Mazda, it seems, at atomic as far as the new entry-level BT-50 is concerned.
Now that the 2021 Mazda BT-50 has accustomed in Australia, it’s apparent to see that Mazda has done aggregate it can to get out of work.
By now you’ll already apperceive that the all-new BT-50 shares its automated $.25 and electrical architectonics with the Isuzu D-Max, with Mazda creating its own attending axial and out. What you may not apperceive is that Mazda doesn’t assume to appetite to get its easily dirty. This new BT-50 XT 4×4, the entry-level model, neither looks nor feels like a crammer ute.
That’s activity to be abundant account for families who appetite abundance and assurance afterwards breaking the bank, but may not be the absolute bout for tradies or fleets attractive for article that’ll angle up to a bit of biffo on the inside.
At its actual cheapest, the BT-50 XT starts from $44,090 afore on-road costs as a cab-chassis 4×2 automated (for now two-wheel-drive models are auto only), but move up to the 4×4 with a ute tub on the aback and a six-speed chiral like you see actuality and the amount rises to $50,760 added ORCs or $53,260 with a six-speed auto.
As with any ute range, there’s a array of formats and agreement options, and the abounding ambit can be apparent here. For now, the BT-50 comes abandoned as a dual-cab, admitting that’s accepted to change as 2021 rolls annular with single- and extra-cab models on the way.
Traditionally, base-model utes haven’t been too acceptable in agreement of accepted equipment, but in the BT-50’s case the basal blueprint isn’t actual basal at all.
For one thing, there’s no multi-engine ambit any more, all BT-50 models appear with the aforementioned Isuzu-developed 3.0-litre turbo agent four-cylinder bearing 140kW at 3600rpm and 450Nm from 1600 to 2600rpm.
Owners dispatch out of the antecedent 3.2-litre five-cylinder archetypal may absence the added 7kW and 20Nm from the earlier engine, but if you appear to be advance from the old 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre archetypal the account is acceptable – admitting you’d abandoned acquisition it in the 4×2 single-cab, so it’s hardly the abandoned advancement you’d get.
From the outside, the XT hardly looks basal at all, with corrective bumpers advanced and rear, body-coloured aperture handles and mirrors, 17-inch admixture auto and a chrome-framed grille. Higher-grade models add ancillary steps, chrome aperture handles and grille inserts, and 18-inch wheels.
Standard accessories includes chiral air-conditioning, carpeting attic and bolt seats, a urethane council caster rim, LED headlights with auto-on and auto aerial beam, cruise ascendancy (or adaptive cruise for the automatic), alien axial locking with key-in ignition, a about-face camera and rear esplanade sensors, admitting of the aftermost two, the camera is a little low-res and low adverse for low ablaze or ablaze sunshine, and the acute three-beep acceptance anniversary time you baddest about-face wears attenuate quickly.
The tub is a bit of a bare canvas. There’s no tonneau or tub liner as standard, so what you add is up to you. Similarly, there’s no towbar accouterment included, so either Mazda’s 18-carat accessories or the aftermarket will accept to footfall in to help.
It’s apparently no absolute abruptness that the new BT-50’s autogenous is a footfall advanced compared to the old, which had actual little done to it aback it was aboriginal alien in 2011.
The architecture is added modern, the administration added cohesive, and while Mazda has approved to brand its own architecture DNA, there are still some Isuzu accommodation in the switchgear and infotainment. Annihilation that’s a deal-breaker, aloof not a absolute bout if you appear to accept a CX-9 as your ancestors car.
Mazda’s fabricated some ambiguous choices. There are abandoned two cupholders up advanced admitting the accompanying D-Max gets four. There’s a row of bendable vinyl above the bend of the dash, which feels costly and squishy, but doesn’t instil aplomb in its constancy already band measures, adduce books, or boots get leant, abject and aching above it (feet off the birr at smoko then).
Most of the autogenous feels solid, with no apart $.25 or rattles breadth they shouldn’t be. The air-con controls let the aggregation bottomward a little, though, activity bulky and not as able as aggregate else.
Mazda has acclimated Isuzu’s infotainment arrangement actuality instead of its own, so it retains touchscreen functionality and not the punch controls of its newest commuter models.
While the awning can admeasurement up to 9.0 inches in top-shelf versions, the XT runs a 7.0-inch blow display, with blubbery atramentous bezels – apparently the best accessible admonition that you didn’t attending added upmarket.
While leaps and bound advanced of the Alpine arch assemblage in the antecedent model, the new arrangement still frustrates, not consistently responding to blow inputs and sometimes apathetic to load. There’s a row of adamantine keys at the basal for volume, affability and alteration modes, which is accessible at least.
Wireless CarPlay is still a disappointment. Stuttering and bottomward in and out constantly, but you can use it as a active connection, which seems to advance the experience.
The advanced seats don’t action lumbar adjustment, but the banal appearance acquainted decidedly admiring afterwards a few hours abaft the wheel. I’m not a alpine disciplinarian at about 169cm, though, so admitting the close bolstering and shoulder-height seatbacks formed for me, taller occupants ability acquisition the advanced seats beneath ideal.
Rear bank amplitude is impressive, there’s acceptable arch allowance and abundant knee space, akin abaft a alpine advanced passenger, but toe allowance beneath the advanced seats could be a blow better. That’s the abandoned ambit that’s lacking, though.
The rear bank isn’t as bendable or balanced as the advanced seats, so added a anticipation for anyone in the aback on an continued run. A distinct USB allegation port, face-level air vents and a take-away angle on the aback of the commuter bank add some added versatility.
There are two ISOFIX adolescent bank mounts for the outboard seats, or accouterment for up to two top-tether seats. The seat’s abject has some flip-up accumulator beneath (with a 60:40 split), but the backrest abandoned folds as a distinct allotment with abbreviate accumulator behind, added admission to those top tethers.
If you’re carriage anyone beneath the angular boyhood date of life, the XT’s abridgement of ancillary accomplish will charge to be remedied. It’s a fair jump in and out of the autogenous otherwise.
While the ute bazaar still splits itself amid chiral and auto transmissions adequately evenly, I’d acerb advance blockage out both. The chiral in the BT-50 aloof didn’t absolutely hit the appropriate notes.
While the clamp is bland and able-bodied weighted, and the gearshift aboideau was about as categorical as you’ll acquisition in a 4×4 ute, the gearing didn’t consistently feel like a absolute match.
Without a amount on board, aboriginal accessory can feel too abbreviate about boondocks and makes ample through cartage added hasty than it needs to be. Added gear, on the added hand, is a little too alpine to calmly barrage in, admitting it works a amusement anywhere you can cycle advanced afore appropriation the clutch.
In best cases, if you appetite a manual, you appetite a manual, but this time about the auto feels like it ability be easier to alive with. Especially if there’s affluence of low-speed assignment on your schedule, with the chiral bruised some of the 3.0-litre engine’s achievement abeyant from a standstill.
The 3.0-litre agent doesn’t absolutely bout the antecedent 3.2 for coercion off the line, but with aiguille torque from 1600 to 2600rpm, it packs affluence of mid-range flexibility. There were no absolute objections from the agent above 3000rpm either, nor any accurate advantages to blame it to redline.
Refinement is a mix-and-match package. There’s some brand agent ballyhoo on allotment burke – a blow added than the old BT-50, but not abundant to be intrusive.
Once the agent settles into a cruise, it’s as calm as you’ll find, and the wind and tyre babble were impressively low. Vibration at abandoned or about boondocks is a bit of a arrow in the BT-50’s side, and the abandoned absolute breadth area the new archetypal accomplish backwards compared to the old.
Now that the BT-50 runs an electric power-steering system, it’s able to backpack added safety-assist tech (more on that in a sec) and feels impressively acclimatized at freeway speeds. It’s a little added through the caster than some utes for low-speed work, but balances out able-bodied with no agitation from the advanced end.
Unladen ride is addition able clothing at freeway speeds. Akin over inclement alley surfaces, the rear end acquainted settled. In boondocks it was beneath fluent, bucking and twitching a little over archetypal burghal obstacles. A ablaze amount in the rear helped here, but we’ll burrow added into towing (with no towbar adapted to this vehicle) and burdened achievement bottomward the track.
Key abstracts for this archetypal are a 2005kg kerb weight, a 1095kg burden (and a consistent 3100kg gross agent mass), a 3500kg max braked towing accommodation and a 350kg tow brawl load. Kerb weight is at the ablaze end of the 4×4 ute class, and the 5950kg gross aggregate accumulation agency at max burden there’s up to 2850kg of towing accommodation in store, or with the abounding 3500kg behind, up to 445kg of payload, based on Mazda’s quoted figures.
The added burden to accede is appointed maintenance, which avalanche every 12 months or 15,000km. The assurance is for bristles years with no kilometre limit. Mazda’s capped-price affairs is all across-the-board at anniversary breach (unlike the pick-and-mix appraisement of commuter cars) and runs to $419, $390, $673, $496 and $313 appropriately for the aboriginal bristles visits.
On the invaluable ancillary of things, assurance accreditation accommodate a best ANCAP assurance account beneath the newest 2020 appraisal criteria, acknowledgment in allotment to eight airbags (including a clash-protection bag amid advanced bank occupants), lane-departure admonishing and blockage with emergency lane-keep assist, blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic alert, cartage assurance recognition, free emergency braking with circle about-face assist, and driver-attention monitoring.
The systems formed able-bodied on analysis for the best part, but the forward-collision admonishing (a stereo camera-based system) flagged a few added apocryphal positives than ideal, be it chock-full cartage advanced as I slowed to a standstill, or aloof beeping at an abandoned alley ahead. Mazda says the arrangement can action with whip antennas in its acreage of view, but accustomed the assorted apocryphal alarms, I accept my doubts.
The new BT-50 additionally appears to accept an abhorrence to ammunition use. While abandoned agilely loaded for abundant of our time with it, the affliction burning amount apparent about boondocks was 8.2L/100km with an boilerplate of 7.7 afterwards a week. Officially, Mazda claims a analogous 7.7L/100km accumulated and 9.7L/100km on the burghal test.
Without a doubt, the new BT-50 is assuredly all-new. Obviously, switching from a Ford-supplied agent to one from Isuzu has a ample allotment to play.
Mazda has acutely been a bit added articulate about its demands, and those of its customers, in carrying a agent that feels mostly at home in a Mazda showroom. In this case, the BT-50 XT is positioned as a far-from-basic abject model.
There are a few touches that beggarly you ability appetite to advancement to the plusher XTR or GT models, but annihilation capital is missing. It additionally agency that Mazda doesn’t absolutely accept a boxy as nails, hose-out, advantageous agile blueprint for assignment crews.
It additionally agency that, at a starting amount of over $50K, Mazda isn’t allure arrangement shoppers with its new BT-50, admitting the addition is abandoned about $3K over the antecedent agnate model, and the assurance upgrades abandoned go a continued way to breach the difference.
It additionally endless up as appropriate amount adjoin 4×4 ute rivals from Isuzu and Toyota that angle workhorse-spec cartage into the aforementioned appraisement window (a beneath able 2.4-litre turbo agent in Toyota’s case).
Though it may not accept what it takes to topple 4×4 frontrunners like the HiLux and Ford Ranger, Mazda has positioned the new BT-50 appropriate breadth it needs to be in an attack to allurement added buyers.
The Isuzu accouterments beneath the beanie will no agnosticism comedy a big allotment in that success, but it’s the Mazda-isms axial and out that could allowance the accord for families and tradies akin attractive to alloy some added abundance with their crammer rig.
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