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Mazda BT-50 Series II Dual Cab XTR 4WD

by John Ewing,reviewed May 2016

When it comes to BT-50 sales, Australia has been a happy hunting ground for Mazda with around 50,000 of the current generation finding homes since release in 2011.

Late last year, Mazda gave the BT a mid-life refresh, as did Ford with the Ranger, a model that shares its basics with the BT-50. But despite the shared DNA, the series II upgrades to both makes bring increased differentiation.

Cosmetic changes to the bodywork, especially around the grille and front end, mean the latest BT-50’s looks are less polarising, a point acknowledged by Mazda.

Equipment levels have also been upgraded and inevitably modest price rises ($40 to $810, model-dependent) have resulted.

Series II standard extras for the mid-spec XTR, now $810 dearer, include tubular side-steps, auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, auto on/off headlights, and a 7.8” high-definition infotainment display with navigation.

A small reverse camera integrated into the interior mirror is now standard on the XTR and GT, or can be had as an $820 stand-alone option on other specifications. Only the top-spec Ranger Wildtrak comes with a standard camera, and for XLT models it is part of the $1100 Tech Pack option.

However, Mazda doesn’t offer other driver assistance technologies also found in Ford’s well-priced Tech Pack, namely forward collision alert, driver impairment monitor, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, and lane keep assist. Despite this, BT-50 buyers still will have a five-star ANCAP crash-rated ute.

The BT offers solid virtues that have made it popular with Aussie buyers. The gutsy, five-cylinder turbo-diesel delivers excellent low- and mid-range torque, right where you need it in a vehicle designed to tackle tougher off-road conditions


Equipped with a rear diff-lock, hill-descent control and low range, the BT-50 is no shrinking violet when the going gets rough. Mazda offers XTR and top-spec GT buyers HEMA off-road mapping for the navigation system as a $295 option.

Despite plenty of recent new arrivals in the segment, the BT remains one of the class benchmarks. Unladen ride can feel a bit harsh and jiggly at times but, that aside, its dynamics are more sophisticated than expected in a light truck.

Mazda has stuck with hydraulic power steering, which remains well-weighted and consistent.


Upgrades, including reverse camera, gutsy engine, off-road ability.


Ride quality, safety assistance technologies not available, no steering reach adjustment.



Car Details

Vehicle make Mazda
Vehicle model BT-50
Year 2016
Price when new 51,700
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

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Warranty 3yr/unlimited km
Engine 3.2-litre, direct-injection turbo-diesel 5-cyl.
Driving wheels 4WD
Fuel type Diesel
CO2 Emissions 246g/km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.