Compare Mazda BT-50 Reviews

Mazda BT-50
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finder score: 78.00%

Avg. critics score: 78.00%
3 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Cars Guide, CarsApproved and WhichCar to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
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Critic reviews

Website Rating Notable quotes
Cars Guide 78% "Nice to drive, on and off road, well appointed, and good-looking, the BT-50 surely deserves to be better represented in sales figures in the Australian market than it currently is." Read more
WhichCar 80% "Mazda’s BT-50 is among the best utes to drive and offers one of the stronger engines, a 3.2 litre, five-cylinder turbo-diesel that is quite fuel-efficient." Read more
Cars Approved 76% "The 2017 Mazda BT-50 is a ute that is at its best when put to good use, but it’s not just for the reason you’d expect." Read more

How does the Mazda BT-50 compare with its peers?

Updated December 14th, 2018
Name Product Payload Ancap Rating Price (from) finder Score Read Review
1,020 kg
5 stars
$38,490
85%
1,085 kg
5 stars
$27,690
81.25%
2,143 kg
5 stars
$29,490
80%
1,039 kg
5 stars
$25,570
78.8%
980 kg
5 stars
$22,490
78.6%
930 kg
5 stars
$25,990
75%
924 kg
5 stars
$20,990
73.33%
924 kg
5 stars
$28,500
73.25%

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The complete Mazda Bt-50 Review

Mazda BT-50 Pricing

Prices for Mazda’s BT-50 start at $27,490 for a 2.2-litre diesel engined, RWD, single-cab chassis model. On the opposite end of the scale, sits the fully decked out GT Dual-cab automatic 4x4, costing $49,990.

Prices quoted are recommended delivered prices (RDPs) for postcode 3000. Like Mitsubishi, Mazda doesn’t charge extra for paint colour options. Prices include 12 months registration and compulsory third party insurance (CTP), stamp duty and statutory fees, plus dealer delivery and admin costs.

Mazda also offer optional accessory packs for the BT-50. They are:

  • Boss Adventure
  • Boss Sports
  • Boss Touring
  • Finke Pack

No prices were available for these extras.

XT XTR GT
2.2 Diesel RWD Single-cab Chassis Manual – $27,490 3.2 Diesel 4WD Freestyle cab pickup Manual – $44,490 3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Manual – $47,990
2.2 Diesel RWD Single-cab Chassis Auto – $30,749 3.2 Diesel 4WD Freestyle cab pickup Manual – $46,490 3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Auto – $49,990
3.2 Diesel RWD Single-cab Chassis Manual – $30,749 3.2 Diesel RWD Dual-Cab pickup Manual – $38,490
3.2 Diesel 4WD Single-cab Chassis Manual – $36,490 3.2 Diesel RWD Dual-Cab pickup Auto – $40,490
3.2 Diesel 4WD Single-cab Chassis Auto – $38,490 3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Manual – $45,990
3.2 Diesel RWD Freestyle Cab Chassis Manual – $32,990 3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Auto – $47,990
3.2 Diesel RWD Freestyle Cab Chassis Auto – $34,990
3.2 Diesel 4WD Freestyle Cab Chassis Manual – $40,490
3.2 Diesel 4WD Freestyle Cab Chassis Auto – $42,490
3.2 Diesel RWD Dual-Cab Chassis Manual – $36,400
3.2 Diesel RWD Dual-Cab pickup Manual – $34,490
3.2 Diesel RWD Dual-Cab pickup Auto – $36,490
3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab Chassis Manual – $40,600
3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Manual – $39,990
3.2 Diesel 4WD Dual-Cab pickup Auto – $41,990

Reviews from around the web

Overview...

The BT-50 is a “twin-under-the-skin” with the Ford Ranger. The two utes share the same chassis, engine and other common components. However, externally, the styling is poles apart and the BT-50 doesn’t shift anywhere near the numbers that the Ranger does. Mazda Australia engineers worked on the BT-50, opting for firmer suspension and a slower steering set-up. All-in-all, journalists found the Mazda to be not as well made as its Ranger counterpart.

However, the BT-50 does benefit from a powerful, relatively fuel efficient engine line-up, with similar off-roading abilities to the Ranger. All this comes in a less costly package, so if you’re looking for something a bit different from the Ranger, with almost all the same characteristics, the BT-50 might be for you.

Pros Cons Notable quote
WhichCar
  • One of the better multi-purpose utes
  • Strong 3.2 diesel
  • Stability control as standard
  • Heavy low-speed steering
  • Firm ride
  • No CD player on high-end models
"Mazda’s BT-50 is among the best utes to drive and offers one of the stronger engines, a 3.2 litre, five-cylinder turbo-diesel that is quite fuel-efficient."
Motoring
  • Proficient off-road
  • Cheaper than sibling, the Ford Ranger
  • Large side mirrors good for towing
  • Low hanging mud flaps and side steps
  • 4WD only works off-road
  • Cabin not as good as rivals
"If you can do without the Ranger’s latest gadgets, the BT-50 does just about everything the big Ford can do, at a cheaper price."
CarAdvice
  • Comfortable, well-executed cabin
  • Plenty of power from engine
  • Well insulated
  • No Mazda MZD infotainment system
  • Fuel economy not as good as class leaders
  • Turbo lag at city speeds
"We like the BT-50 at CarAdvice, but it isn’t at its best in XTR specification. It’s still decent value for money, but there are more compelling reasons both up and down the Mazda model grade tree."
CarsGuide
  • Nice styling
  • Gutsy engine
  • Solid, all-rounder
  • Automatic gearbox sub-par for city driving
  • No parking sensors as standard
  • Unsettled ride
"Nice to drive, on and off road, well appointed, and good-looking, the BT-50 surely deserves to be better represented in sales figures in the Australian market than it currently is."

Engine and performance

Mazda offer two engine options for the BT-50. They are a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel and a 3.2-litre, five-cylinder diesel. Though Mazda rebrands these engines as MZ-CD motors, they are in fact Ford developed Duratorq diesels. You’ll find the same engine line-up in Ford Rangers.

Surely then, this duo of power plants will perform as they do in the Ranger?

According to reviewers, there are some key differences, to the detriment of the BT-50.

A number of journalists felt the engines suffered from noticeable turbo lag, which causes hesitancy in stop-start traffic. It may well be just the tune of the engine, though peak torque on both the 2.2 and 3.2 kicks in at pretty low rev ranges. The problem seems to be exasperated by an automatic gearbox that resists changing cogs till the last minute. In the end, some testers said the Mazda is more agricultural than its blue oval sibling.

Out of town on the highway, reviewers said the 3.2-litre oiler has plenty of power. Mazda themselves describe it as “gutsy”. One journo found it all too easy to spin up the rear wheels on wet roads, thanks to the powerful and torquey block. Spinning the wheels causes the dashboard to light up like crazy as the electronic stability control system struggles to keep things planted.

When fully laden, the 3.2 performs well. In testing, writers found it always had plenty of oomph to get rolling, even on hills.

Features & Statistics

Engine Type- 2.2: 16 valve DOHC intercooled turbo diesel
- 3.2: 20 valve DOHC intercooled turbo dieselEngine Size- 2.2: 2,198cc
- 3.2: 3,198ccCylinders- 2.2: Inline 4
- 3.2: Inline 5Max Torque- 2.2: 375Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
- 3.2: 470Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpmMax. Power- 2.2: 110kW @ 3,700rpm
- 3.2: 147kW @ 3,000rpmAcceleration- N/ATop Speed- N/ATransmission- 6-speed manual or
- 6-speed automaticDrive Type- 4x2 or 4x4
Fuel Type- DieselFuel Tank Capacity- 80 litresFuel consumption – combined (best model, 2.2 Single-cab RWD)- Diesel: 8.0L/100kmCombined CO2 emissions- 199g/km 2.2
245g/km 3.2Emissions standard- Euro 5Security- Engine immobiliserTowing capacity (braked/unbraked)- 1,800-3,100kg/750kg

Fuel efficiency

The most frugal models in the range claim 8.0 litres/100km. Those numbers are for a single-cab chassis 2.2 diesel with a manual gearbox and RWD.

As a more powerful and larger engine, the 3.2 naturally uses more fuel. The exact amount depends on body/gearbox/drive configuration, but official figures are as high as 10.0L/100km for an automatic GT 4x4 dual-cab.

Once you’ve factored in real-world driving conditions, the fuel usage is almost always higher than those factory figures. Under test, one media outlet could only achieve 12.8L/100km for an XTR dual-cab, though this was predominantly town driving.

Emissions

Unusually, Mazda’s website and brochure for the BT-50 didn’t list emissions. After a little digging, we found that the 2.2 outputs 199g/km of CO2 and 3.2-litre models generate as much as 245g/km.

Handling

Many reviewers criticized the BT-50’s handling. They discovered the ride was incredibly firm and stiff, which can be a little jarring on rough roads. This seems odd when you consider it shares a platform with the Ford Ranger.

However, Mazda Australia engineers evidently opted for firmer suspension, where Ford’s team strove for a compromise between load-lugging and passenger comfort. The BT-50 bounces and jostles around, whilst the Ranger is more planted.

The steering system is also different in feel to the Ford Ranger’s. On the Ranger, steering assistance varies depending on speed, so when parking, you get more help. The BT-50 doesn’t share this variable input assistance and motoring journalists were quick to pick up on it. Test drivers said it was heavy, requiring a lot of effort to manoeuvre at low speeds.

Couple that with a cumbersome turning circle of 12.4m and you’ll need to be an experienced and confident driver to chart your way through busy supermarket car parks.

Interior and other features

The cabin of the BT-50 is described as simple and unexciting. However, it’s practical and hard-wearing – qualities tradies look for in a ute.

The basic work spec trucks have cruise control, a trip computer, a 4-speaker radio system, bluetooth and audio streaming, as well as USB/auxiliary jacks. BT-50s have steering-wheel mounted controls for the radio. Bog standard utes also have a CD player, height adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat.

Driver assists across the range include electronic traction control, trailer-sway control and hill-launch assist. Four wheel drive models have a manually selectable locking rear diff for off-road terrain, as well as hi/lo range gear ratios.

As you move through the range, commercial steel wheels become 17” alloy rims. Reversing cameras become a standard fitment on XTR and upward dual-cabs. XTR utes also receive an 8-inch touch screen with HDMI, USB and AUX inputs. This system features integrated satellite navigation with 3D off-road terrain maps. An additional two speakers bring the total count to six around the cabin. However, some journalists lamented the lack of CD player on the upgraded infotainment system compared with the work trucks.

XTR models also swap vinyl flooring for carpet, with the addition of dual-zone air conditioning as well as automatic rain sensing wipers, auto headlights, fog lights and side steps.

The most expensive GT model has leather seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated/folding wing mirrors and privacy glass.

XT XTR GT
2.2-litre diesel engine
3.2-litre diesel engine
6-speed manual gearbox
6-speed automatic
Central diff lock
Locking rear differential
Hi/Lo range
Reversing camera Dual-cabs Dual cabs
Remote starting
Side steps OPT
Rear window demister
Underbody protection 4x4 models 4x4 models 4x4 models
16” steel wheels
17” alloy wheels
Standard rear leaf suspension
Front brakes with rear drums RWD models have 270mm drums 4WD models have 295mm drums 4WD models have 295mm drums
AC
Dual zone climate control
Central remote locking
8-way power adjustable driver’s seat
Cloth seats
Leather seats
Power, heated seats
Halogen headlights
4-speaker system
6-speaker system
8-inch touchscreen
Built-in satellite navigation
Vinyl flooring
Carpet flooring

The verdict

The BT-50 is a budget Ford Ranger, in rounded outer packaging. Beneath the body panels, there are few differences, but journalists still favoured the Ford Ranger. The Ranger is better equipped, rides better and some would say is better looking.

But you can’t deny the price difference, as the BT-50 is very competitively priced. In the end, Mazda’s ute is a solid, all-rounder that’s underrated.

Compare some options to finance a Mazda BT-50

Rates last updated December 14th, 2018
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Apply for up to $100,000 and have up to 7 year(s) to repay. You can use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit.
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Pictures: Mazda.com.au

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