A closer look at the all-new Mazda BT-50

By Brandstories Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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The new Mazda BT-50 is the third model in a new generation of Mazda vehicles and is fully redesigned from the ground up. The BT-50 launched internationally in June 2020 and units that will be sold in South Africa will be produced in Thailand. The model line-up has been aligned with that of Mazda’s passenger car range and consists of three derivatives: Active, Dynamic and Individual.

The Active model features a new 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine with automatic or manual gearbox options while the Dynamic and Individual models offer the company’s new 3.0-litre engine with a six-speed automatic. The Individual model is available with a 4x4 drivetrain and all other models are sold with a 4x2 drivetrain.

Exterior design

The exterior design of the new BT-50 is said to be the true expression of Mazda’s Kodo design language, evident right from the front of the vehicle with the prominent grille, and the 3 dimensional signature wing that extends out towards the side, making it instantly recognisable as a Mazda product. The design of the headlights is distinct and sharp, taking in cues from Mazda’s SUV range.

The load-bay has ample room and can handle payloads well over one ton. At the back, the tailgate is the key design point, shaped to flow towards the Mazda badge.

You get either 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels depending on the model you go for and stand out exterior features on the bakkie include LED Headlamps, Daytime Running Lamps, Rear Combination Lamps and rain-sensing wipers.

Interior design

The new Mazda BT-50’s interior has been carefully crafted to express Mazda’s commitment to human centric design. Everything from the dashboard, steering wheel, seats and centre console has been redesigned to ensure that drivers feel connected to their vehicle and as comfortable as they can be. The horizontal layout of the instrument panel, for example, extends out to the door trim on each side, creating a comfortable and spacious cabin feel. Fine stitching is applied to the dashboard, instrument panel hood and knee-pads, adding an extra touch of quality to the interior.

An expansive and stylish centre console is further evidence of the exceptional quality and premium materials. Rear passengers are taken care of too, with a USB charging port, rear aircon ducts and grip assist handles, making the new BT-50 a worthwhile package. The line-up offers a black fabric interior. This fabric interior features light accents on the ceiling, pillars and passenger grip assists complemented by black elements on the seats and door trims.

The bakkie features an instrument cluster with two round analogue gauges flanking a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the centre. The panel surface is finished in Mazda’s deep, pure black colour, creating a striking contrast against the light font and silver rims of the analogue gauges.

Cabin comfort

The cabin aims for a level of comfort on par with Mazda’s passenger vehicles. The company’s engineers have designed a spacious and wide cab to optimise passenger comfort, with 1463mm of shoulder room in the front seats and 770mm between the driver and front passenger seats. The new BT-50 secures generous width for the rear seats too, with a seat-back shape that provides the comfort of a natural seated position. This combines with a structure for the lower section of the front seats that enables rear seat occupants stretch their legs out to provide a greater feeling of space.

The rear doors are designed with wide openings and ample space for the feet and knees to pass through. This makes it easier for passengers to get in and out of the rear of the cab. Assist grips at the top also help support the body when front and rear passengers enter or exit the doors.

Worthwhile features also include the rear centre armrest with cup holders, 1.5 litre bottle holders in the doors as well as clearly marked ISOFIX points, storage compartments and the aforementioned USB port. Behind the front seats there is a nifty hook, allowing passengers to hang a coat, handbag or anything up to 4kg.

Media technology

The new BT-50’s infotainment system comes with a 7- or 9-inch display screen with intuitive smartphone connectivity such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to keep you connected to a world of functionality and entertainment. Connectivity information is also delivered to the instrument panel, helping you to keep your attention on the road. While the six-speaker surround sound system on the Active model and eight-speakers on the Dynamic and Individual models delivers powerful, crystal clear audio for you to enjoy. The 9-inch high definition touch screen allows for split screen configuration on the home screen. There are multiple options to display exactly what you prefer on the home screen. Namely, date and time (analogue/digital) or music or compass or driving information or navigation.

The new 8-speaker sound system delivers an impressive sound experience befitting a bakkie. In addition to the new roof speakers, the woofer delivers powerful bass and the use of two-way dome tweeters achieves clear mid to high range sound. The instrument panel and rear door tweeters are known as “balanced dome tweeters”.

A balanced dome tweeter is a mixed system that uses a voice coil at the boundaries between the cone-shaped and dome-shaped part of the diaphragm, which enables a combination of the excellent features of cone-type and dome-type tweeters. It is designed so that the mass of the outer circumference part and the inner circumference part are the same around the voice coil. Balanced dome tweeters can provide a superior sound to all listening positions thanks to high sensitivity and good directivity of high frequency. Making the sound quality inside the new BT-50 almost cinematic quality.

Safety technology

Mazda says it’s committed to providing a safe and stress-free driving experience for all occupants in the new BT-50. The bakkie offers a high level of safety across the range with standard safety features like Auto door lock, Reverse Camera, Smart Advanced Keyless Entry, ISOFIX and Driver, Passenger, Knee (driver), Curtain and Side airbags.

Safe and stable braking is ensured across various driving conditions and rapidly changing road surface conditions through Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which includes the following functions: Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Roll Over Mitigation (ROM) as well as Trailer Sway Mitigation (TSM), also standard from the entry level BT-50.

The BT-50 received a 5 Star ANCAP Safety rating in 2020, issued by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. The BT-50 performed strong in the following categories: Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection and Safety Assist.

Engine choices

The new BT-50 features two engine options – 1.9-litre Diesel Engine and the 3.0-litre Diesel Engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is available with the 1.9-litre variant. The manual transmission features an integrated gear shift mechanism for improved feel. The flywheel used with the manual transmission is a Dual Mass design. This allows it to absorb more of the engine's harmonic vibrations, preventing them from being transmitted through the drive-line and vehicle.

The automatic transmission uses a compact gear-train structure, the latest efficiency technologies and a high response hydraulic control system. The electronic control module is programmed to match the torque delivery characteristics of the engine by always selecting the best ratio. Whilst, control modes such as ‘Skip Gear Shift', 'Slip lock-up' and 'Slope Control’ ensure that the automatic transmission responds appropriately and intuitively to the current driving conditions.

The all-new Mazda BT-50 comes standard with a three-year/unlimited kilometre Mazda Service Plan, three-year/unlimited kilometre Mazda Warranty and a three-year/unlimited kilometre Roadside Assistance Plan.

Model line-up

Mazda BT-50 1.9-litre Active 6MT and 6AT 4x2

Max Power: 110kW at 3600 rpm

Max Torque: 350Nm at 1800rpm

Mazda BT-50 3.0-litre Dynamic 6AT 4x2

Max Power: 140kW at 3600rpm

Max Torque: 450Nm at 1600rpm

Ground clearance: Up to 240mm (model dependent)

In addition to the features in the Dynamic model, the 3.-litre Individual model includes:

4-Wheel Drive

Front Axle Disconnect

Contact your nearest Mazda dealer for up-to-date pricing and availability, or visit www.mazda.co.za.

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