Mazda doesn't do mediocre, so we expect the BT-50 to be something exceptional!
The global debut for the third generation Mazda BT-50 is set for tomorrow. The reason why you should be interested in Mazda's upcoming ute over any other utilitarian vehicle is the same reason why many other motorists prefer to buy Mazda - and that reason is the fact that Mazda doesn't do mediocre and that its design language at the moment is one of the slickest around.
If you don't know it by now, Mazda has completely redeveloped the BT-50 and has shed the Ford Ranger underpinnings and replaced it with a new one from Isuzu. While the foundations will be carried over from Isuzu D-Max, the BT-50's styling will be all Mazda, and we're mightily pleased about that.
When interviewed in the past, Mazda's chief designer Ikuo Maeda did mention that he will try his best to make the BT-50 look more stout than ever and stick to the Kodo design language as much as he can. He also said that the Kodo design is a bit softer, but he will try his best to create a tough-looking truck following Kodo's design language.
With that in mind, the new BT-50 will have the best of both worlds, especially when you consider that the new BT-50 will be pretty like all other Mazdas and unbreakable like all other Isuzus. It is also expected that the new BT-50 will come with a tweaked and more powerful version of the tried and tested four-cylinder 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine from Isuzu.
Although it is less potent than the unit borrowed from the Ranger, it still kicks out a respectable 188 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque, sent to the road via a six-speed manual or 6-speed auto. There could be a lesser capacity engine like the 1.9-litre diesel currently in the Malaysian D-Max, but for now, the introductory engine is expected to be the 3.0-litre diesel.
If the underpinning of the BT-50 is like for like from the new D-Max, we can also expect a lockable rear differential, wading depth of 800mm, as well as hill descent control and hill start assist.
The expected interior of the new BT-50 is less clear, but usually, when companies share platforms they tend to share the interior as well. We hope that Mazda proves us wrong here as Mazda's interior is also one of the nicest, with its simple, classy yet functional layout. However, the interior in the new D-Max is not all that bad, with its 9.0-inch tablet-style central touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and 4.2-inch digital dash display taking centre stage.
Could the new Mazda BT-50 be a game-changer and give us another option on top of the Ranger or Hilux? We certainly hope so, variety is after all the spice of life!