Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 28 Oct 2017
The double cab market has grown dramatically over the past five years. With major developments being shifted towards adding further levels of luxury, and the double cab ultimately becoming more of a lifestyle choice vehicle than being seen as a workman’s friend with extra seating options.
With a shape first introduced back in 2012, this shape of Mazda’s BT-50 has now been further enhanced and sharpened. While it follows similar lines to that of its introduction, you immediately notice its sharper more pronounced grille, improved front and rear light clusters and its bold 17-inch alloy wheels. While subtle, the changes to the exterior of the 2017 BT-50 result in its further enhancement towards the luxury lifestyle market.
Apart from sharpening the exterior lines and design. The BT-50 retains a similar cabin layout to that seen on the model introduced back in 2012. The big changes come, however, in terms of driver assistance features. The vehicle now features some mod-cons which ultimately make it a better fit for the luxury lifestyle market.
The vehicle now features the likes of an 8-way electronically adjustable driver’s seat, backing-up convenience camera, cruise control, dual-zone climate controlled air-conditioning and other mod-cons which ultimately make it a far nicer place to complete a journey. Other useful features include hill-start assist, downhill assist, trailer-sway mitigation and hill-descent control. From a safety perspective, the BT-50 also features 6-airbags throughout the cabin.
The same 3.2-litre, 5-cylinder turbodiesel as in the Ford Ranger features within the BT-50. Providing serious oomph within the bakkie segment, this engine has a peak output of 147 kW at 3 000 rpm and maximum torque of 470 Nm from a low 1 750 to 2 500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, making this a very relaxing vehicle to drive, especially in traffic situations.
While the transmission feels a bit coarse at times in stop-start conditions, the overall drive of the BT-50 is very smooth and comfortable. Engine noise within the cabin has also been further softened on this latest model. Mazda claims a combined cycle figure of 9.7 L/100 km.
For The Adventure
With its automatic transmission, torque-filled motor and diff-lock, the Mazda will easily handle and rough surface that you throw at it. A simple rotary dial allows you to enable either 2H, 4H or 4L for when the going gets bumpy.
With a towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes, trailer-sway mitigation technology and the ability to load 1.1-tonnes within the tray, there are very few obstacles which will stand in the way of the mighty BT-50.
SA Pricing & Warranty
This range-topping model currently sells for, R555,700, which includes a recently upgraded 5-years/unlimited km warranty and 3-years/unlimited km service plan. With Service intervals scheduled for every 15 000 km and the mighty impressive warranty, the BT-50 certainly offers impressive piece-of-mind motoring.