With dual-cab utes more and more pressed into service as household haulers, we put the mid-spec Mazda BT-50 XTR 4×4 by means of its city paces.
- Exterior styling is a winner
- Gutsy turbo-diesel powertrain
- Good record of ordinary tools
- Nonetheless looks like a ute on the highway, regardless of its good-looking exterior promising in any other case
- Computerized transmission will be too keen
- Isuzu infotainment set-up inferior to common Mazda system
It may’t be simple dwelling within the shadow of your extra well-known sibling. However that’s precisely the destiny that befalls the 2022 Mazda BT-50, which shares a lot of its underpinnings with the 2022 Isuzu D-Max dual-cab ute.
And that’s no dangerous factor, the pair collectively successful the coveted 2022 Drive Automotive of the Yr – Finest Twin-Cab Ute award, praised for his or her refinement ranges married to go-anywhere ruggedness.
The Mazda BT-50, although, approaches the world of dual-cabs otherwise to the D-Max. Whereas the D-Max nonetheless appears to be like the rugged utilitarian half with its truck-like fascia and workmanlike traces, Mazda’s reskin has added some softer traces redolent of the model’s broader passenger automotive vary. It’s unmistakably a Mazda.
At the moment’s ute has come a great distance from its workhorse origins and must serve a number of masters. From conventional tradies to adventurous off-roaders, from the towing kings and more and more to households, the ute of in the present day actually is a multi-purpose car.
The Mazda BT-50 vary encapsulates this contemporary dichotomy with its glossy family-friendly design married to its tough-as-guts 3.0-litre turbo diesel powertrain underpinning its on- and off-road credentials.
The Mazda BT-50 vary is an enormous one, with a worth unfold working from $33,950 to $68,290 (plus on-road prices) and protecting the total gamut of patrons’ wants – two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive; single-cab, double-cab, or cab-chassis (convey your individual tray); automated transmission or handbook gearbox; 3.0-litre turbo diesel or, new for 2022, 1.9-litre turbo diesel.
On check right here we’ve the mid-spec 2022 Mazda BT-50 XTR 4×4 dual-cab with an automated transmission and it’s arguably the candy spot within the vary for patrons prioritising household duties. It’s priced at $57,510 plus on-road prices (or round $62,000 drive-away), and whereas not screaming premium motoring, it gives loads sufficient when it comes to tools and creature comforts.
Customary tools highlights embrace 18-inch alloys, LED headlights and daytime working lights, dual-zone local weather management, 9.0-inch touchscreen with satellite tv for pc navigation, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, a rear-view digital camera, keyless entry and push-button begin, an eight-speaker sound system, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, and power-folding mirrors.
Ute-essential additions embrace a lockable tailgate, facet steps for simpler entry and exit, and underbody safety for if you wish to sort out some rougher terrain.
In fact, the ‘way of life’ ute purchaser is spoilt for alternative in a phase that continues to develop. Rivals to the BT-50 XTR embrace the ever-popular Toyota HiLux SR5 Double Cab ($58,680), and the just lately launched and all-new Ford Ranger XLT Twin Cab with its 2.0-litre twin-turbo powertrain priced at $61,190 (plus on-roads).
Evaluating like-for-like when it comes to engine displacement if not cylinder depend, the Ford Ranger XLT with the meatier 3.0-litre V6 asks for $64,190, whereas the BT-50’s fraternal twin, the Isuzu D-Max in LS-U dual-cab trim, is available in at $53,300 plus on-road prices. Each the Mazda and Isuzu function a 3.0-litre diesel beneath the bonnet, however whereas the Ford’s is a grunty V6, the Japanese twins take pleasure in an inline-four configuration.
No scarcity of competitors for the BT-50 then. Let’s see the way it fares in a week-long check of its urban-focussed, family-friendly credentials.
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The primary phrase that springs to thoughts when stepping contained in the BT-50’s cabin (through these useful facet steps) is ‘mature’.
The ute phase has come a great distance since these early days of vinyl all over the place, which was designed to be hosed out after a tough day’s yakka on the worksite or a down-and-dirty weekend tackling muddy terrain.
As a substitute, utes are more and more presenting as family-focussed city dailies, and by no means is that this extra evident than of their cabins, which now mirror these discovered within the broader automotive spectrum. And the BT-50, definitely in XTR trim, does this properly.
Material seats won’t look like the stuff of high-end, however the cloth is visually attention-grabbing because of some textured patterns. Extra importantly, they really feel comfy and supportive, which is right for these lengthy highway journeys.
The multi-function steering wheel is wrapped in leather-based with faux-aluminium garnish and appears prefer it might have come out of nearly any Mazda within the Japanese model’s line-up. This assertion is true of the whole cabin, which presents extra car- (or SUV-) like than workaday utility.
And but, whereas it looks like a Mazda automotive inside, there are some annoying – and minor – quirks that downgrade what needs to be – at round $63K on the highway – a extra premium expertise. There’s no quantity knob, as an illustration, a pattern we’ve lengthy lamented right here at Drive.
Consolation up entrance is nice, whereas aesthetically there are sufficient softer surfaces to justify the BT-50’s worth. Some more durable plastics – corresponding to on the doorways – do infiltrate what’s in any other case a properly resolved inside.
Storage choices up entrance abound together with a pair of cupholders, a decently sized central storage bin, bottle holders within the door pockets, and a useful slide-out storage tray housed within the sprint that’s perfect for hiding valuables away from prying eyes. That’s along with the common glovebox.
The second row is the place the BT-50 claws again some factors, with a cushty bench that provides loads of area for again seat passengers. The seatbacks, helpfully, are properly angled, and never one thing that each dual-cab ute can declare the place rigidly upright seating positions rule the day.
There are separate air vents again there, too, in addition to a single USB level, whereas a fold-down armrest homes a pair of cupholders. The outboard seats are fitted with a pair of ISOFIX baby seat mounts.
Out again it’s all enterprise with a bathtub measuring 1571mm lengthy, 1120mm huge between the wheel arches, and 490mm excessive. Its payload is rated at 1070kg.
Our check car got here fitted with a $700 tub mat that covers the ground of the load space however not the tailgate or sides. A full-fruit tub liner defending all surfaces will be optioned for $952, and one in every of a large number of equipment designed to reinforce your BT-50. Delicate tonneau covers begin at $989, whereas a tough cowl for the cargo space begins at $3207 and tops out at $3995 for an electrical curler tonneau cowl.
|2022 Mazda BT-50 XTR 4×4 Twin-cab|
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 9.0-inch touchscreen nestled into the sprint of the BT-50 has been taken from the Isuzu catalogue moderately than Mazda’s. It’s serviceable sufficient, and options inbuilt sat-nav and DAB+ digital radio, whereas additionally internet hosting wi-fi (or wired) smartphone mirroring through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It additionally runs Isuzu’s operation system, and meaning a barely much less refined expertise than that supplied by Mazda’s personal Join OS. It’s merely not as refined as Mazda’s OS, and we are able to’t assist however really feel that is one space the place Isuzu might have benefited from Mazda’s enter.
Chunky graphics, significantly in mapping, look a bit dated, whereas the rear-view digital camera decision isn’t the sharpest.
Wi-fi Apple CarPlay works properly sufficient however can generally battle to attach shortly. We’re turning into more and more used to automobiles the place CarPlay connects from the second you open the door. This isn’t one in every of them.
Nonetheless, smartphone mirroring hides a lot of the proprietary system’s shortcomings, and we’d wager extra individuals than not would take the Apple/Android path.
A single USB – in addition to a 12V – plug up entrance helps preserve gadgets juiced up, the BT-50 on this spec not geared up with wi-fi telephone charging. A wi-fi charging mat will be ordered from Mazda’s accent catalogue. It’s $361.
The eight-speaker audio system, once more, just like the broader infotainment set-up, is serviceable if not outright sensible.
It’s the same story with driver info, with conventional analogue dials flanking a small however serviceable digital show that gives journey information and the like, in addition to a small digital pace readout.
One space Mazda hasn’t scrimped on is energetic security applied sciences. The complete vary is fitted with a full suite of security tech together with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and bike owner detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a driver consideration monitor, and adaptive cruise management.
ANCAP awarded the Mazda BT-50 vary – bar the top-of-the-range Thunder variant – a five-star security ranking in 2020 based mostly on the structurally an identical Isuzu D-Max.
It scored extremely in grownup occupant safety (83 per cent), even higher in baby occupant safety (89 per cent), though down a bit of in weak highway person safety (67 per cent). Its security methods had been scored at 84 per cent.
A collection of eight airbags, together with a entrance centre airbag designed to mitigate head clashes between entrance seat occupants within the occasion of an accident, covers each rows.
Actually when lined up towards equally specified rivals within the ‘way of life’ column of the phase. It’s a burgeoning phase, one the place patrons are demanding ever extra refinement from their as soon as workmanlike dual-cabs, and one which Mazda has catered to moderately properly with the XTR.
Mazda covers the BT-50 with its commonplace five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee that bundles in 5 years of roadside help ought to any mishap befall your BT-50. Service intervals are each 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first.
Visits to the workshop will set you again $443, $409, $699, $524 and $329 over the primary 5 years or 75,000km, a complete of $2404, or beneath $500 a yr when amortised.
|At a look||2022 Mazda BT-50 XTR 4X4 Twin-cab|
|Guarantee||5 years / limitless km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing prices||$1551 (3 years), $2404 (5 years)|
Mazda reckons the BT-50 XTR 4×4 with automated transmission will use 8.0L/100km of diesel on the mixed cycle.
Our week with the BT-50 couldn’t fairly match that quantity, dipping to a decent low of 8.2 litres earlier than deciding on an indicated 8.6L/100km. The gas tank measures in at 76L.
|Gasoline Useage||Gasoline Stats|
|Gasoline cons. (claimed)||8.0L/100km|
|Gasoline cons. (on check)||8.6L/100km|
|Gasoline tank dimension||76L|
The massive canine beneath the BT-50’s bonnet is similar as discovered within the Isuzu D-Max. It comes from the Isuzu catalogue, and that’s no dangerous factor, the 3.0-litre, inline four-cylinder turbo diesel rightfully lauded for its torquey nature.
Outputs are rated at 140kW at 3600rpm and a meaty 450Nm at a really user-friendly 1600–2600rpm. An Aisin-sourced six-speed standard automated transmission feeds a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a dual-speed 4WD Excessive and 4WD Low switch case.
As that is an urban-focussed check, we didn’t check the BT-50’s off-road mettle, spending our time as an alternative on the streets within the suburbs of Sydney. And meaning we solely ever had the BT-50 in two-wheel-drive mode, the drivetrain mixture sending energy completely to the rear wheels. 4-wheel-drive modes, whether or not excessive or low, are reserved just for free surfaces like gravel, sand, mud and rocks. Don’t change to 4WD on sealed surfaces.
Round city, the BT-50 chugs alongside as you’d count on of a diesel-powered ute. There’s a gruffness from the engine that could be a little at odds with the BT-50’s extra refined inside and trendy exterior.
It feels its dimension, definitely, the BT-50 not a ute to shrink round you as some bigger autos can. Within the tight enclaves of the inside metropolis, the Mazda can overwhelm its environment, however that disappears as soon as out on the broader expanses of the suburbs. A properly weighted but gentle steering tune ensures that is one ute that may navigate tighter environs with relative ease.
With peak torque on faucet as little as 1600rpm, the Mazda has no bother shifting away briskly from standstill, even when the three.0-litre diesel chugs and clatters alongside considerably lazily. Ask extra of the engine for, say, an overtake or merge, and the engine responds, however maybe not as sharply as one would really like.
Out on the freeway, the BT-50 settles into a simple lope, underwritten by that lazy turbo diesel that grumbles together with minimal effort. It is a good factor, the BT-50 at cruising speeds remaining comparatively unstressed at greater speeds.
The six-speed auto is, for essentially the most half, intuitive, though generally is a little too keen within the hunt for fuel-saving excessive gears, significantly round city the place it may go away you in a little bit of a torque gap. A firmer proper foot fixes this, nevertheless it comes on the expense, paradoxically, of gas consumption.
The suspension set-up is respectable, if not nice, unable to cover its ute underpinnings of double wishbones up entrance and leaf springs and a dwell rear axle out again. That makes for a jittery journey when unladen, a compromise ute homeowners all over the place should dwell with in the event that they don’t repeatedly carry a payload out again. That is felt most navigating the type of obstacles city highway planners prefer to more and more throw our manner, corresponding to pace humps.
At greater speeds, nevertheless, corresponding to out on the motorway, and even with the bathtub unladen, the BT-50 is pleased to settle right into a easy, if agency, journey.
Mazda says the BT-50 is tow-rated to 750kg unbraked and 3500kg braked. Its downball ranking is 350kg. Our urban-focussed testing didn’t embrace hitching a trailer, caravan or boat out again.
Total, the BT-50 on the highway proved much less refined than its exterior design suggests. However, a generously torquey drivetrain and largely slick transmission calibration proved appropriate to the calls for and rigours this check positioned on it.
|Key particulars||2022 Mazda BT-50 XTR 4×4 Twin-cab|
|Engine||3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel|
|Energy||140kW @ 3600rpm|
|Torque||450Nm @ 1600–2600rpm|
|Drive sort||Half-time four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Six-speed torque converter automated|
|Energy to weight ratio||69kW/t|
|Tow ranking||3500kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
This middle-of-the-rung-specification Mazda BT-50 XTR is a well timed reminder that dual-cabs-as-urban-dailies are right here, and right here to remain. Actually, its styling is a winner, the BT-50 presenting a extra mature and chic design outdoors, whereas its good inside appears to be like extra car-like than a dual-cab ever has.
However, it nonetheless stays at first a utility car, one whose drivetrain is succesful and with a suspension set-up designed for 1000kg within the tub. That’s felt most keenly on the college run, the BT-50 fidgeting its manner by means of suburban streets in a compromise of tough-as-nails means over consolation.
It’s a compromise, nevertheless, patrons are more and more pleased to dwell with, choosing the rugged enchantment of a dual-cab and more and more the inside consolation of a household SUV. For these patrons, the 2022 Mazda BT-50 XTR 4×4 dual-cab is worthy of consideration.
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