New Mazda – BT-50

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New Mazda BT-50.
New Mazda BT-50.

Mazda has updated its locally built BT-50 with a new front-end that was designed by Mazda Australia and will be rolled out exclusively for the local market.

The Japanese car-maker’s design team opted for a more squared-off front bumper, eschewing the more rounded, upswept look of the outgoing model that was updated back in September 2015.

Mazda’s design update project began in mid-2016, and has resulted in a boxier look, and redesigned frontal aspect.

A new grille has been introduced across the range, with horizontal stripes finished in chrome on XTR and GT and black on the XT.

Dual-cab variants are tipped to make up nearly 60 percent of sales, with the 4×4 driveline to be the more popular option with nearly two-thirds of sales.

Unlike some of its competitors, which are selling more top-spec variants than base grades, Mazda is expecting the entry-level XT grade to make up 60 percent of sales, with only eight percent coming from the range-topping GT.

The carry-over engines include the 110 kW/375 Nm 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel with consumption between 8.0 and 8.6 liters per 100 km and the 147 kW/470 Nm 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbo-diesel that uses 8.9-10 L/100 km.

The BT-50 is the first Mazda model in Australia to be offered with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is standard across the range following Mazda’s decision to fit a 7.0-inch Alpine touchscreen system on the base XT grade.

Standard equipment on the XT includes halogen headlights, power windows and mirrors, black cloth upholstery, 16-inch wheels (alloy on some variants), air-conditioning, cruise control, six-speaker sound system, steering wheel-mounted controls, six airbags and a locking rear differential on 4×4 versions.

Moving up to the XTR adds a chrome grille, grey bumper insert, 17-inch alloys, chrome door handles, rear step bumper and power mirrors, front foglights, automatic headlights, tubular side steps, locking tailgate, auto-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, carpet floor covering, auto-dimming rearview mirror, sat-nav, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter and 8.0-inch Alpine multimedia system.

Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, ABS brakes, dynamic stability control, emergency stop signal, hill launch assist, roll stability control, traction control and trailer sway control.