1 Nov 2011
An all-new version of Mazda’s workhorse, the BT-50 utility, landed in Australia in November 2011 to do battle in one of the most competitive segments on the market.
The completely re-skinned BT-50 was a joint development between Mazda and Ford Australia as a part of their Ranger project, however Mazda had significant input, from developing the rolling chassis of the vehicle, to placing more than 50 engineers at Ford’s Campbellfield headquarters.
Mazda designed the exterior of the BT-50 in Japan to differentiate it from the Ranger.
A number of variants were available in the BT-50 range across three body styles – single cab, Freestyle Cab (Crew Cab) and Dual Cab. Buyers had the choice of 4x2 or 4x4 with each of the body styles.
The BT-50 was a diesel-only proposition when it launched with the single cab variant available with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine capable of 110kW of power. The four-cylinder BT-50 came with a six-speed manual transmission only and had claimed fuel consumption figures of 7.6L/100km.
Freestyle Cab and Dual Cab variants were available with a 3.2-litre inline five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with an output of 147kW of power and a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel consumption for the five-cylinder is 8.4L/100km fir the manual and 9.2L/100km for the auto.
The BT-50 came with a towing capacity of 3350kg and payload of up to 1271kg.
The Japanese car-maker made safety a major selling point by fitting the BT-50 with standard driver and passenger front and curtain airbags to all models and seat-mounted side airbags standard on all models except the Single Cab.
The BT-50 also came standard with electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, trailer sway control and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
Three trim levels were available for the BT-50, including the XT, XTR and range-topping GT.
All models came with Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice control, iPod-connectivity and a 3.5-inch monochrome centre screen for the entry-level model, while other BT-50s gain an LCD display with satellite-navigation.
Cruise control, air-conditioning and electric windows were also standard across all models.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
When it was new
19th of June 2012
Mazda adds new BT-50 variants
Cab-chassis 4x2 dual-cab, automatic 4x2 single-cab flesh out Mazda’s BT-50 range
19th of October 2011
Mazda adds content and ups BT-50 price
New BT-50 to cost more as Mazda increases safety and comfort levels