2016 Mazda BT-50: Review

Mazda BT-50 is another product from Japanese manufacturer which has been around since year 2006. This model is classified as compact mid-size pickup truck and it currently exists in its second generation since its introduction in 2011 model year. Mazda doesn’t produce this model in Japan and it isn’t even sold in this country as well as in North America markets. Despite this fact, model feature competitive price and has strong engine, good fuel economy and other distinctive values.It isn’t good seller as top-selling Toyota’s Hilux as well as other rivals like Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, etc.

It is hard to identify exact reason of this problem but with latest model of this series Mazda will try to attract more buyers from business sector and also to maintain private shoppers. In order to achieve this Mazda has launched facelifted 2016 Mazda BT-50 model since July 2015. However, it is hard to call new model facelifted because changes are rather of cosmetic nature while engines are unchanged while some equipment enhancements and price changes are evident. However, model still offers good payload and load capability, strong engine, roomy interior and infotainment upgrades.

2016 Mazda BT-50

2016 Mazda BT-50: Performance

On the performance front, Mazda continues to offer 2016 Mazda BT-50 with two turbodiesel options. A smaller turbodisel engine is available on XT Single Cab on chassis models and as all other versions comes with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A 2.2 liter inline four cylinder DOHC engine delivers 147 HP at 3,700 rpm and 375 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. A much stronger 3.2 liter engine is available from Single Cab XT Hi-Rider model and it is five cylinder DOHC inter cooled turbodiesel engine capable to produce 197 HP at 3000 rpm and torque of 470 Nm from 1,750 rpm to 2,500 rpm. It can also be combined with either six speed manual or automatic gearbox and with either rear or all wheel drive. The engine is never short of pulling power and responses well on throttle. An automatic transmission is also smooth and precise performer. In terms of fuel consumption the best scores come from 2.2 liter engine and manual transmission and on combined cycle it is rated at 7.6 liters on 100 km. The larger 3.6 engine is thirstier and it spends between 8.4 and 9.2 liters depending on style and configuration. The carrying and towing capability is one of the most important tasks for every Ute and in case of BT-50 the numbers vary across the lineup. The towing capacity is 3,500 kg on almost all versions except on XT Single Cab chassis with 2.2 liter engine and manual gearbox which is rated at 2,500 kg. As for pay load, depending on configuration it varies between 1080 kg and 1533 kg.

Company has stated that suspension and steering system have been revised and that model now provides more refined driving experience of course in more passenger friendly versions.  Steering is responsive despite it still uses hydraulic system. The model is also stable and handles well in bends. However, it still lacks behind some rival which have already been using electric assisted steering and have better tailored handling.

2016 Mazda BT-50: Styling

Designwise, 2016 Mazda BT-50 has powerful and strong appearance which clearly reflects its capabilities. The model possesses nicely sculpted front fascia and side panels and its design follows Mazda’s Kodo design language. The grille is refreshed and features chrome inserts like on CX-5 and Mazda6 models. The hood also features a pair of bold creases and front bumper has dynamic shape with integrated fog lights. Interior side hasn’t experienced some drastic changes but it still features quality finishes and trims. The cabin is practical and nicely arranged while dash and buttons layout are unchanged. Higher trims now include upgraded 7.8 inch infotainment system. BT-50 also has comfortable cabin and GT trim brings leather upholstery and power seat functionality. The seats are also well built and dual cub models deliver good knee and head room  in the rear.

Body styles, Trims

Mazda BT-50 comes in three cab types Single Cab, Freestyle Cab and Dual Cab while the last two are available in both Cab chassis and in ute formation. Freestyle models use fold-down rear seats and access is trough rear hinged doors. Dual Cab configuration features conventionally hinged doors and seats five passengers. As it is mentioned, there is rear and four wheel drive models and all RWD models except entry model are Hi Rider versions which means high ground clearance like on AWD versions. The model also comes in XT, XTR and GT trims combined with two motor and transmission options and chassis and utility form it counts 23 different formations. It is hard to cover all features that this model is offered with however all models have Bluetooth hand free phone and audio capability, USB and Auxiliary audio input, 12 volt outlet, steering wheel with audio controls, tilt adjustable steering wheel, lumbar and height adjustment for driver’s seat, air conditioning, rear differential lock for AWD models, 16 inch wheels, power windows and much more. Dual Cab XT versions adds alloy wheels, rear view camera for extra money, etc. With XTR models rear view camera is standard as well as 17 inch wheels, dual zone climate control, a 7.8- inch touch screen, satellite navigation, six speakers, etc. Top GT trim also includes leather upholstery, power adjustable driver’s seat, tinted windows, etc. As for safety all models have air bags( four in single cab, and six in all others), anti-lock braking system, hill start assist, dynamic stability control, trailer sway control, cruise control, electronic brake force distribution, hill descant control on all utes, etc. BT-50 doesn’t offer option for advanced systems like lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and other systems found on modern cars while its closely related model Ford’s Ranger includes these features optionally.

2016 Mazda BT-50: Conclusion, Price

Altogether, the 2016 Mazda BT-50 is more refined and good value thanks to predecessor’s tough stance while it is also comfortable in Dual Cab form and new upgrades made it more modern and better choice in class. Depending on country, on-road costs, equipment grade and other factors its price will vary from $25,570 for entry XT Single Cab chassis model  with 2.2 liter engine and manual gearbox to around $53,000 for top Dual cab GT model with 3.2 liter engine, FWD and  automatic transmission.

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