By Alexi Falson, 10 Aug, 2021
Review - 2021 Mazda BT-50
AF By Alexi Falson August 10, 2021
Competition in Australia’s ute market is fierce, with the likes of the Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-MAX and Ford Ranger constantly fighting for overall line honours not only for the segment, but overall sales in Australia, such is our appetite for utes.
Mazda’s BT-50 is often left in the wake of cars like the HiLux and Ford Ranger in terms of sales, but is there any real reason for this other than brand recognition for its established rivals?
Today we’re going to take a close look at the Mazda BT-50 and get an idea of how well equipped it is, how suitable it is for the worksite, and what it’s like to live with on a day-to-day basis when it comes to fuel economy, practicality and safety for your family. With that in mind, is the Mazda BT-50 deserving of more sales in the Australian ute market? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $36,550
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Mazda BT-50 - XT (4x4) Specifications
|Transmission||6 SP MANUAL|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||3600 / 1600|
|Fuel tank size||76.0|
|Fuel usage specs||8.0 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Mazda BT-50 car page.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Mazda BT-50 range kicks off with the XT variant, which costs $36,550 for the single-cab chassis, $40,050 for the Freestyle cab chassis, $41,550 for the single-cab chassis 4x4 and $44,050 for the single cab 4x4 with an automatic transmission. From here, the range moves to the XT dual-cab chassis which is priced from $44,090, XT Freestyle cab chassis 4x4 from $47,550, dual-cab 4x4 manual from $49,470, dual cab 4x4 manual from $50,760, dual-cab 4x4 auto from $51,860 and the dual-cab pickup 4x4 automatic from $53,260.
The range then moves to the XTR variants, which are priced from $54,710 for the dual-cab pickup 4x4 and $57,210 for the dual-cab pickup with an automatic transmission. Finally, the range tops out in the form of the GT dual-cab 4x4 pickup, which comes in at $56,990 for the manual and $59,990 for the automatic version. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the BT-50 Have?
The cheapest BT-50 in Mazda’s lineup, the XT variant comes packing a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, air conditioning and powered windows, cloth interior upholstery, standard cruise control for manual variants and adaptive cruise control - with stop and go functions - for automatic models, reversing camera system and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB+ digital radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, as well as a host of safety equipment that we’ll cover later in the review.
Moving up to the Mazda BT-50 XTR adds a set of larger 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, side steps, air vents in the rear of the cabin, leather-appointed steering wheel and gear lever, 9.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, auto-levelling LED headlights, LED fog lights and a set of daytime running lamps, keyless entry, folding mirrors and an armrest in the rear of the cabin.
Finally, Mazda’s top-of-the-line BT-50 GT variant receives a number of creature comforts, like heated, eight-way adjustable front seats, leather interior upholstery, heated side mirrors, front-mounted parking sensors and a remote engine start system.
- 7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- LED headlights
- Cruise control
- Reversing Camera with rear parking sensors
- Cloth upholstery
- 18-inch alloys (XTR & above)
- 9.0-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation (XTR & above)
- LED fog lights with daytime running lamps (XTR & above)
- Side steps (XTR & above)
- Leather upholstery (GT)
- Heated seats (GT)
- Front parking sensors (GT)
Mazda BT-50 Colours?
|Ice White||Gun Blue Mica|
|True Black Mica||Rock Grey Mica|
|Ingot Silver Metallic||Red Volcano Mica|
|Concrete Grey Mica|
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
Typically, utes offer a fairly soft and spongy ride quality when there’s no big loads in the rear of the tray. The Mazda BT-50, however, has been designed to be more rigid on the street, and as a result, the ride quality is actually firmer than you might expect from a ute. That’s not to say the BT-50 is uncomfortable, but it tends to transmit more of the bumps into the cabin than some of its main competitors like the HiLux and Ranger, for example.
This is all forgiven, though, when you stamp down the throttle pedal and kick that turbo-diesel engine into gear, which offers a huge amount of power and torque to get you up to speed without a fuss. The BT-50 receives an engine from Isuzu, which powers the latest generation D-MAX, which The engine is significantly smoother than what’s on offer in other utes, so in that regard, the BT-50 makes up for its stiff suspension with one of the best ute engines on the market. The torque-filled engine, combined with an electric steering system means that piloting the BT-50 around town is no issue, and feels akin to driving a standard passenger car, which is a big compliment for a work-ready ute.
Surprisingly, the BT-50 feels best when it is put to the test with a heavy load of cargo in the tray, which makes the suspension feel slightly more cushioned than an unladen load of cargo. Overall, the BT-50 very much matches its main competitors in terms of driving dynamics, although the firm suspension with an empty tray might be worth taking note of when test driving the BT-50, to get an idea of how it will behave on your standard trip to the shops, or a school run.
Is it a Workhorse?
The Mazda BT-50 has been designed with being a tried-and-tested workhorse, and we’re glad to report that Mazda has done a great job in creating a work-ready ute that can handle everything you throw at it. In terms of towing capacity, there’s 3,500kg of braked towing and 750kg of unbraked towing capacity on offer, with payload figures topping out anywhere between 1,055kg and 1186kg, depending on the variant you’re looking at.
Mazda’s four-wheel drive system comes packaged with adjustable drive modes, combined with a locking differential over the rear axle, meaning the BT-50 is able to get in and out of some tough situations without much of a problem, and performs extremely well while off-roading.
As an overall package for those looking to use the BT-50 for work, it’s unphased by huge loads and extremely capable at moving them off the job site without breaking a sweat.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Mazda is well-known for the quality of its interior finishes, even in its more affordable offerings, and the BT-50 very much upholds this reputation. The entry-level models come packed with a fairly basic interior design which takes a utilitarian approach that means it’s ready to get dirty on the job site, while still looking more refined than you’d probably expect from a ute. The cabin is filled with practical touches that will be welcomed by those on the job, and while taking a long distance trip. Moving to more expensive variants adds some leather upholstery to the mix, as well as a larger infotainment system that dominates the centre of the dash.
In terms of work practicality, the BT-50 single cab comes with a 2,500mm-long tray, while Dual-Cab comes with an 1,800mm-long tray, both of which are 1880mm wide, meaning the BT-50 can swallow up a huge amount of cargo in the tray.
Is it Safe?
The Mazda BT-50 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 83 out of 100 for adult occupant protection and 89 out of 100 for child occupant protection. To make things even better, Mazda includes a heap of safety equipment as standard on even entry-level BT-50 models. This equipment list includes autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention alerts, turn assist, lane-departure warnings and adaptive cruise control on automatic variants.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
The Mazda BT-50 is actually surprisingly economical for a ute, returning combined cycle economy figures ranging between 7.7L per 100km for the 4x2 dual cab ute, and around 8.0L per 100km for the 4x2 dual cab chassis, 4x4 cab ute and single cab chassis variants. Overall, these are impressive economy numbers for a ute, but they’re not class-leading for the segment.
Our Verdict: Is the Mazda BT-50 Worth it?
The Mazda BT-50 is an extremely competent ute, and manages to tick all the important boxes with confidence. When it comes to features, safety and ability on the job site, the BT-50 doesn’t lead the pack, but it manages to match its rivals in terms of overall performance, while slightly lacking when it comes to comfort on the road. With so many options on offer within Mazda’s BT-50 lineup, it might be difficult to know which is the perfect option for you, so we’d encourage you to get in touch with our team of car specialists to find out which BT-50 is best for you.
On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
- Adjustable drivetrain with locking rear differential
- Payload capacity ranges from 1,055kg to 1,186kg
- 3,500kg braked towing capacity
- 750kg unbraked towing capacity
- Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
- Surprisingly economical for a ute
- Extremely capable workhorse
- Solid engine performance with smooth automatic transmissions
- No upgraded engines on more expensive variants
- Firm suspension on the road
- Some variants are more expensive than comparable models from competitors
Mazda BT-50 Competition