2023 Mazda BT-50 Review

AF
By Alexi Falson on 24 Aug 2023
image for 2023 Mazda BT-50 Review
Overall Rating
8
out of 10
Pros
  • Heroic turbo-diesel engine
  • Versatile platform for daily driving, off-road and touring
  • Comprehensive safety tech, even for base model
  • Stylish and practical interior layout with spacious second row
Cons
  • Underwhelming infotainment resolution & responsiveness
  • Range is getting pricey
  • Firm unladen ride quality
Specs
    • 76L
    • 207
    • 3600 / 1600
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
The Mazda BT-50 is one of Australia’s best-selling utes, holding its own against key rivals like the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and its twin under the skin, the Isuzu D-Max.

Australia’s ute market is one of the most fierce in the entire industry, with buyers inundated with choices between manufacturers, body styles, engines and features when it comes to 4x4 utes.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the 2023 Mazda BT-50 range to help you out in your search for the perfect work and family-ready ute.

Let’s take a closer look at the Mazda BT-50 to find out.

Mazda BT-50 Competition






Mazda BT-50





VS
Isuzu D-Max
Ford Ranger
Toyota HiLux
Mitsubishi Triton
Nissan Navara
GWM Ute
LDV T60

Starting Price: $43,370

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda BT-50 range kicks off from $43,370 for the BT-50 XT Single Cab 3.0 manual, while an automatic brings the price up to $45,870, with the XT Dual-Cab Chassis and XT Pickup priced at $51,180 and $52,580, respectively.

Stepping up to the BT-50 XTR Dual Cab Chassis 3.0 automatic brings the price to $57,730, while the XTR Dual-Cab Pickup automatic is priced at $59,130.

The BT-50 GT Dual-Cab Pickup Automatic is priced at $62,510, with prices rising to $64,295 for the BT-50 LE Dual-Cab Pickup, again up to 68,510 for the BT-50 SP Dual-Cab and finally up to $73,410 for the flagship BT-50 Thunder Dual Cab.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by letting one of our car specialists help you find the best value model for you.

Mazda BT-50 - XTR (4x4) LE Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make MAZDA
Model BT-50
Series B30E
Variant XTR (4x4) LE
Body DUAL CAB P/UP
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive 4x4
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 2999
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3600 / 1600
Cylinders DT4
Torque 450
KW 140
Fuel tank size 76.0
Fuel usage specs 8.0 / 0
CO2 207
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Mazda BT-50 car page.

What Features Does the Mazda BT-50 Have?

Mazda’s entry-level BT-50 XS and XT grades come fitted with 17-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, a rear-view camera, cruise control - adaptive cruise for automatic variants, air conditioning, cloth upholstery with carpeted floors, a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ radio.

Stepping up to the BT-50 XTR adds a set of 18-inch alloys, auto-levelling LED headlights with LED fog lights and daytime running lamps, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a pair of power-folding mirrors and an upgraded 9.0-inch infotainment display with sat-nav.

The BT-50 LE picks up a polished alloy bull bar, heavy-duty tub liner and a sports bar with built-in brake lights, while the GT receives brown leather upholstery with powered and heated seats, remote engine start, chrome highlights and a set of front parking sensors

Opting for the BT-50 SP adds a set of black 18-inch alloys, a grey finish for the side steps, a black grille and roof rails, leather and faux suede upholstery, a tub liner, black sports bar, black wheel arches and a black tonneau roller cover.

Finally, the range-topping BT-50 Thunder comes packing an LED light bar, side steps, black sports bar, a powered tonneau roller cover, a steel bull bar and a set of aggressive wheel arch flares.

2023 mazda bt-50 le sports bar

Range Features:

  • 17-inch wheels 

  • Automatic LED headlights 

  • Rear-view camera 

  • Cruise control (adaptive cruise for automatic variants) 

  • Cloth upholstery 

  • 7.0-inch infotainment system 

  • 18-inch alloys (XTR) 

  • 9.0-inch infotainment display (XTR) 

  • Leather steering wheel & gear lever (XTR) 

  • Heavy-duty tub liner (LE) 

  • Sports bar with integrated brake lights (LE) 

  • Brown leather upholstery with power-adjustable, heated seats (GT) 

  • Black grille, wheel arches and tonneau roller cover (SP) 

  • LED light bar (Thunder) 

  • Powered tonneau roller cover (Thunder) 

  • Black sports bar (Thunder) 

Is the Mazda BT-50 Comfortable to Drive?

In the interest of keeping things simple, we’re focussing on 4x4 variants of the BT-50, though keep in mind that there are a number of more affordable 4x2 variants within the range, and another cost-effective 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine option.

Having said that, making the move to Mazda’s flagship 3.0-litre turbo-diesel is well worth the upgrade, with significant power and torque advantages over the smaller unit.

The Mazda BT-50’s engine pumps out 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque to either the rear or all four wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

2023 mazda bt-50 le bull bar

On the road, the BT-50 feels reassuringly solid, though not too bulky to keep things user-friendly for drivers new to the segment.

Acceleration off the line is smooth and linear thanks to the generous amount of torque from the engine, which offers a decent amount of pick-up from a standstill and effortless acceleration up to speed while you’re on the move.

To keep things simple for drivers, Mazda has stuck with a lightweight steering rack for the BT-50 that makes it supremely easy to pilot around town for such a substantial package.

Out of the factory, the BT-50 rides on the firmer side, though this is due to the heavy-duty suspension package sitting underneath that makes it up for the task for lugging around extremely heavy loads, and actually becomes more comfortable the more you load it up.

All up, the BT-50 feels great on the road thanks to its torque-filled engine, user-friendly nature and packs a suspension system that makes it a work- and off-road-ready platform.

Is the Mazda BT-50 4x4 Good for Work Duties and Driving Off-Road?

On that note, it goes without saying that thanks to its shared platform with the D-Max, 4x4 system and a locking rear differential, the Mazda BT-50 is an absolute beast when presented with an off-road trail or a heavy load to lug around.

The BT-50’s off-road specs can be found below.

  • Ground Clearance: 240mm
  • Wading Depth: 800mm
  • Approach Angle: 27 degrees
  • Departure Angle: 24.2 degrees
  • Payload figures for the BT-50 lineup range from anywhere between 887kg to 1220kg, depending on the variant.
  • Towing figures in the base 1.9-litre engine stand at 3000kg, with buyers needing to step up to the larger 3.0-litre 4x4 package to get 3500kg of braked towing power.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Thanks to a turbo-diesel engine, the Mazda BT-50 is reasonably fuel efficient for a vehicle of its size and power.

Officially, the BT-50 4x2 and 4x4 dual cab ute range is rated at 7.7L/100km on a combined cycle, with other variants rated at 8.0L/100km on a combined cycle.

Opting for Mazda’s smaller 1.9-litre turbo-diesel unit drops fuel economy figures down to 7.0L/100km on a combined cycle.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Mazda’s interior design for the BT-50 isn’t quite as impressive as other members of the Mazda family, though the cabin is comfortable, practical and spacious for the family in daul cab variants.

Up front, the cabin layout is very reminiscent of the D-Max, which positions the infotainment display atop the dash, sitting atop the media and climate inputs, the adjustable 4x4 rotary dial and a storage tray at the base of the dash.

There’s absolutely no issues in the front of the BT-50’s cabin when it comes to width and headroom, making for a great seating position for tall drivers and passengers.

Added storage spots include two gloveboxes in front of the front passenger, a pair of cup holders, a compact storage area beneath the folding armrest and a pair of door bins.

In many ways, the BT-50’s interior makes it feels as though you’re driving one of the company’s passenger cars, rather than a more work-focussed ute package, which is a nod to its overall refinement.

This very much extends to the amount of space you’ll find in the rear of the dual cab, with some of the best rear occupant legroom on offer in the entire segment, and a great deal of headroom, too.

The rear seats fold flat and house some added storage spots behind the bench, while rear passengers pick up a set of air vents, a folding armrest with cup holders and a USB charging port.

2023 mazda bt-50 le rear

Is it Safe?

The Mazda BT-50 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating after ANCAP tested its twin, the Isuzu D-Max.

The BT-50’s ANCAP scores stand at 86% for adult protection, 89% for child protection, 67% for pedestrian protection and 84% for Standard equipment lists include autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure alerts, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, turn assist, driver attention monitoring and traffic sign recognition, while automatic variants pick up adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assistance.

This makes even the entry-level BT-50 a heavy hitter when it comes to active safety equipment as standard.

Our Verdict: Is The Mazda BT-50 Worth it?

While prices are creeping north, the Mazda BT-50 range holds its own against fierce rivals and offers impressive levels of power, versatility and car-like refinement that make it particularly approachable for family buyers.

The engine is bullet-proof, the interior cabin is spacious and well-appointed and Mazda’s generous safety equipment lists make it a very solid contender for anyone looking to upgrade to a work- and family-friendly package.

If you’re lost in a sea of options within Australia’s 4x4 ute segment, don’t forget to reach out to one of our automotive specialists who can help find you the best possible price on your dream car.

Five Mazda BT-50 Specs You Need to Know

  1. Two engines on offer (1.9-litre turbo diesel & 3.0-litre turbo-diesel)

  2. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty

  3. 4x4 system with locking rear differential

  4. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  5. 7.7-8.0L/100km fuel economy figures

AF

Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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