Mazda has updated BT-50
Mazda has released its updated BT-50 series in Australia, ushering in a new look, extra equipment and a raft of new accessories in an effort to keep the Japanese brand’s one-tonne ute fresh in the face of intensifying competition in the segment.
A restyled front end, which, unusually, was designed and developed by Mazda in Australia, aims to give the BT a wider and tougher stance with squared off outer edges at the bumper, a revised grille, new foglight surrounds and a large trapezoidal lower air intake with skid plate.
Entry-level XT variants have a black gained a bumper insert with satin-black grille fins, while higher-series XTR and GT grades have chrome grille fins matched to a dark-grey bumper insert.
Inside, the BT has become the first Mazda model in Australia to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which is fitted standard across the range now that the XT moves with the times in offering a 7.0-inch Alpine touchscreen infotainment system and reversing camera.
This is important considering the XT accounts for about 60 per cent of all BT-50 sales and has a strong following among the trades.
That said, as ute buyers increasingly look to more highly specified models, Mazda has also thrown its weight behind the flagship GT model line, adding a variety of new equipment including 17-inch polished alloy wheels and, at the back end, a chrome sports bar (with integrated high-mounted LED brake light), heavy-duty tub liner, remote tailgate locking, 12-volt auxiliary socket and a light.
New accessories now available for the BT-50 include a couple of nudge bars (black or polished), black retractable tonneau cover, 12V ‘smart’ socket and trailer ‘break-away’ harness.
There are no mechanical changes but, significantly, Mazda has adjusted service intervals for the BT, pushing up from 10,000km to 15,000km (or every 12 months). The company says this will bring down maintenance costs, with the first five scheduled services costing $2683 – $854 lower than before.
The new-vehicle warranty remains at 2 years/unlimited kilometres – or 3 years/100,000km if you remain under 100,000km in the first two years.
The BT-50 is based on the Ford Ranger but, as we have reported, will switch to a new platform shared with Isuzu Ute’s D-Max.
There are 23 variants across the range, split between the XT, XTR and GT grades, single, king (Freestyle) and dual cabs, style side (tubbed) and cab chassis rear ends, 4×2 and 4×4 drivelines and two diesel powertrains – a 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder or 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder, both with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.