What you might not know, however, is that the BT-50 range is actually based on a platform borrowed from the Isuzu D-MAX, and is powered by the same range of engines.
With more than a few similarities between the two, an important question to answer is whether or not it’s worth opting for the BT-50, or simply sticking with the D-MAX that has already established a solid reputation in the world of utes.
Let’s take a look at the Mazda BT-50 range and see how it stacks up in terms of value, equipment, driving comfort and its ability as a workhorse on the job site and while towing large loads for holiday escapes.
Starting Price: $38,490
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Mazda BT-50 - XT (4x4)Specifications
|Transmission||6 SP AUTOMATIC|
|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.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The 4x2 Mazda BT-50 range kicks off from $38,490 for the entry-level BT-50 XS single-cab chassis with the 1.9-litre engine, while the BT-50 XT single cab with a 3.0-litre engine is priced at $40,490. Stepping up to the XS dual-cab 1.9-litre comes with a $43,490 price tag, while the XT dual-cab 3.0-litre is priced at $45,990, and the range-topping XTR dual-cab is priced at $48,990.
For the 4x4 range, the BT-50 XT single cab manual kicks off from $45,490, while the automatic variant is priced at $47,990, and the XT dual-cab is priced at 50,990 for the manual, and $53,490 for the automatic XT dual-cab pickup.
The BT-50 GT dual-cab with a manual gearbox is priced at $56,990, while the GT dual-cab automatic receives a $59,990 price tag.
The BT-50 XTR dual-cab manual is priced at $53,990, while the XTR dual-cab automatic is priced at $56,490, and the XTR dual-cab chassis is priced at $57,990. The SP range is priced at $62,990 and $65,990 for the manual and automatic respectively, while the range-topping Thunder dual-cab pickup is priced at $65,990 for the manual and $68,990 for the automatic variant.
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What Features Does the Mazda BT-50 Have?
Mazda’s entry-level BT-50 XT and XS variants come riding on a set of 17-inch wheels, while receiving LED headlights, adaptive cruise control for automatic variants, a reversing camera, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as some active safety technologies.
Moving to the BT-50 XTR adds a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights with LED fog lights and daytime running lamps, side steps, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and an upgraded 9.0-inch infotainment system that gains satellite navigation.
Opting for the BT-50 GT adds a brown leather interior finish, heated front seats, front parking sensors, power-adjustable driver’s seat and a set of chrome side mirrors. The BT-50 SP grade adds a number of exterior finishes, including black door handles, mirrors, roof rails and a black front grille, as well as a black roller tonneau over the tray, tub liner, sports bar and wheel flares.
Finally, Mazda’s range-topping BT-50 Thunder receives an LED light bar, side steps, black sports bar, flares for the wheel arches, and a steel bull bar up front.
17-inch wheels; XT receives alloy wheels
7.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Blind spot monitoring
Rear cross-traffic alerts
18-inch alloys (XTR)
Automatic LED headlights, fog lights & daytime running lamps (XTR)
Side steps (XTR)
Leather steering wheel and gear lever (XTR)
Leather upholstery (GT)
Heated seats (GT)
Front parking sensors (GT)
Black roller tonneau (SP)
Tub liner (SP)
Gloss black sport bar (SP)
LED light bar (Thunder)
Bull bar (Thunder)
Side steps (Thunder)
Black sport bar (Thunder)
Mazda BT-50 Colours
The Mazda BT-5 is available in a range of colours, including Ice White, True Black Mica, Concrete Grey Mica, Gun Blue Mica, Rock Grey Mica, Red Volcano Mica and Ingot Silver Metallic.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Mazda BT-50 range is offered with a choice of two engines. The first, a 1.9-litre turbo-diesel unit producing 110kW/350Nm is packaged with the XS, while the rest of the range receives a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel producing 140kW/450Nm, paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Buyers will be pleased to know that the power on offer in even the base model is more than enough for the majority of your commuting needs, although if you’re planning on putting your BT-50 to the test on the worksite or towing, opting for the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel is the way to go.
In terms of daily driving, the electronic steering rack remains light at low speeds while you’re parking, offering more feedback as you pick up momentum, making the BT-50 surprisingly civilised around town.
One thing we did notice, however, is that the ride quality in both variants is quite stiff when there’s no load in the tray to weigh down the leaf spring suspension. It’s nothing too uncomfortable, but an unladen BT-50 does transmit more of the bumps from the road into the cabin than you might expect, while becoming significantly more comfortable while loaded up.
Overall, though, the BT-50 range offers a capable and confident platform perfectly suited for everything from daily school runs to holiday adventures and some off-road driving.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The BT-50’s front cabin gives the driver and front passenger a great view out of the windshield, positioning them in a comfortable set of seats that gain leather upholstery in higher-spec variants. The driving position and steering wheel offers a huge amount of adjustment so you can get perfectly comfortable on long journeys.
Interior designs and the quality of Mazda’s execution in the cabin are outstanding, offering one of the leading interiors of any dual-cab ute on the market. The cabin takes a stylish approach to its utilitarian design brief, and even in entry-level form takes a top spot for the segment in terms of interior packaging and styling.
In terms of practicality, there’s a two-tiered glovebox, large cup holders, a decent amount of storage inside the folding armrest, a storage tray for smartphones behind the gear lever, a sunglasses holder and a set of large door bins either side.
Opting for a dual-cab configuration means you can squeeze an extra set of legs into the rear cabin, which is comfortable even for adults. There’s a heap of headroom, though, and for the majority of passengers - especially children - you won’t hear any complaints. Space in the second row of a dual-cab ute is rarely too impressive, but at least the BT-50 offers two storage bins underneath the seats, as well as ISOFIX anchors and pair of top tether mounts for those with young children.
Is it a Workhorse?
Like its competitors, the Mazda BT-50 has been designed specifically to help out on worksites and get busy off-roading and towing large, heavy loads like caravans and boats.
All 4x4 models receive ground clearance upwards of 240mm, with a 4WD system offering high and low range functions, hill descent control and a rear locking differential to help navigate tough terrain, which the BT-50 does with confidence in the base model, excelling with the more powerful engine option.
In terms of pulling abilities, BT-50’s powered by Mazda’s 3.0-litre engine are rated up to 3,500kg of braked towing capacity, while 1.9-litre engine variants are capped at 3,000kg and unbraked towing capacity stands at 750kg.
Payload capacity stands at 750kg for most of the 4x4 range, increasing to 892kg for the SP with a 1.9-litre engine, and up again to a peak of 1,380kg in the XS single cab, while gross combination mass ranges from 5,500kg to 5,950kg, depending on your variant.
Is it Safe?
Safety is one particular area that the BT-50 absolutely excels.
On top of its five-star ANCAP safety rating, all BT-50 variants come packaged with active safety technologies like autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, lane departure warnings, turn assistance and curtain airbags around the cabin.
While a number of its rivals charge customers extra for things like blind spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts, Mazda is happy to throw them in free of charge on even entry-level BT-50s, which is a very welcomed touch.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
The introduction of the new 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine has seen the BT-50’s fuel economy scores improve dramatically, offering some of the leading fuel economy we’ve seen in a ute here in Australia.
The 1.9-litre turbo is rated at 7.0L per 100km on a combined cycle, while the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel unit is rated at 7.7L per 100km in the 4x2 range, and up to 8.0L per 100km in the 4x4x dual cab range.
Our Verdict: Is the Mazda BT-50 Worth it?
While it might be overshadowed by the segment’s biggest-sellers, the Mazda BT-50 remains an excellent option for those looking for a capable ute platform that has no problem getting dirty on the worksite, or driving around town on an errand run.
Featuring one of the most attractive interior designs on the market, and coming fitted with a full safety suite as standard across the range, the BT-50 has become a surprisingly good value for money proposition within Australia’s ute segment.
With its underpinnings shared with the Isuzu D-MAX, it’s hard to go wrong with the BT-50, which is why we encourage you to add it to your dual-purpose ute shortlist. 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
- Five-year, unlimited KM warranty
- Five star ANCAP safety rating
- 1.9-litre and 3.0-litre turbo diesel engines available
- Fuel economy ranges from 7.0 - 8.0L/100km
- 12-month/15,000km service intervals
- Interior space and aesthetics
- Economical 1.9-litre turbo diesel option
- Comprehensive safety equipment list as standard
- Genuine off-road abilities
- Firm unladen ride quality
- Lacks warranty coverage of twin D-MAX
- Some variants less competitive than key rivals
OnlineAuto Rating: 8.5/10
Mazda BT-50 Competition