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Mazda BT-50


1 Dec 2006

MAZDA re-skinned and re-engineered its Thai-built light truck inside and out to make the BT-50 seem as new as the Toyota HiLux, Nissan D40 Navara and Mitsubishi Triton competition.

The reality, however, was that much of what lay underneath were tried-and-tested bits from the 1999 Mk4 B-series Bravo – itself a redevelopment of the 1985 Mk3 model.

Nevertheless, Mazda offset this with highly competitive pricing, luring trade and rural buyers appreciating the value-for-money equation offered by the BT-50, along with its proven reliability.

Like before, three body types were available: a two-door Single Cab with two or three seats a 'Freestyle' Cab (offering back-hinged, B-pillar-less rear doors) offering four (2+2) seats and a conventional four-door, five-seater Dual Cab style.

As a re-skin of the Bravo, no model variant offered any significant increase in interior space although the cargo box walls did sit higher.

At the heart of the Mazda pickup were a pair of common-rail twin-cam 16-valve turbo-diesel, Euro IV emissions compliant four-cylinder engines with a variable geometry turbocharger and a large intercooler for increased engine efficiency.

In the base Single Cab Chassis 4x2, a 2.5-litre 2499cc unit produced 105kW of power at 3500rpm and 330Nm of torque at 1800rpm.

In all other BT-50s, a 3.0-litre 2953cc version delivered 115kW at 3200rpm and 380Nm at 1800rpm.

In September 2008 Mazda tweaked the BT-50 with a redesigned grille, headlights and tail-lights plus new wheel designs while the interior got new cloth trim, audio and ventilation controls.

Air-condition and an auxillary audio jack were also fitted as standard across the range. Seven more specification and cab/tray/chassis/drivetrain combinations were added.

The range was revised again in October 2009 featuring significant upgrades to standard equipment and the addition of a tradesman-oriented Boss pack that included an aluminium tray, ladder rack, toolbox and water tank with 4x4 Boss variants also scoring a bullbar.

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