The Mazda BT-50 blends elegance and utility in a beautiful yet rugged pickup truck form. Now in its third generation, the BT-50 features a whole new look, a new engine, and advanced technology and safety features. Whereas previous generations of the BT-50 used a Ford-derived platform, the new model was developed in partnership with Isuzu. The BT-50 shares its chassis and several other components with the D-MAX.
Under the hood, the BT-50 now packs a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine for all variants. The capable power plant makes 187 hp and 450 Nm of torque. Available gearbox options include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, Mazda fitted the BT-50 with creature comforts including a spacious horizontally-designed cabin, soft seats with ample support, and a 7-inch or 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The BT-50 seats five people with ease, and the brown leather upholstery on the top-spec variant provides a premium feel. New features on the 4x4 model include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, and more.
Mazda first launched the BT-50 in the Philippines in 2012. The latest, third-generation model debuted in Australia in 2020 was launched locally in November 2021. Three models are available, with two 4x2 variants and one range-topping 4x4 model. All three variants come standard with an Isuzu-derived 4JJ3-TCX 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine. The new Mazda BT-50 was introduced with a starting price of P1,390,000 for the 4x2 MT model.
Platform, Chassis and Powertrain
The Mazda BT-50 rides on the Ford T6 platform and is available as a front-engine rear-wheel-drive or as a front-engine four-wheel-drive configuration. Powering the Japanese pickup truck is either a 2.2-liter or a 3.2-liter turbo diesel engine. The 2.2-liter powerplant produces 148hp and 375 Nm of torque while the 3.2-liter motor produces 197hp and 470 Nm of torque with transmission options coming in the form of a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. In terms of suspension, the BT-50 rides on an independent double-wishbone rigid set up at the front and leaf springs at the rear. Stopping power comes in the form of hydraulic with vacuum servo assistance ventilated disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.
Mazda has upped the BT-50’s game in more ways than one. On the technology side, the pickup truck now gets features to better compete with its storied rivals. The BT-50 is available with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the 4x2 variants and a 9-inch display on the top-spec 4x4 model. In either option, wireless Apple CarPlay comes standard. Android Auto and Bluetooth are also available.
For the first time, the Mazda BT-50 gets cruise control as standard. The 4x4 model ups the ante with adaptive cruise control, made possible by a pair of windshield-mounted cameras. The BT-50’s standard tech features include remote keyless entry, a reverse parking camera, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The 4x4 model also adds automatic dual-zone climate control, a remote engine start feature, and front parking sensors.
The Mazda BT-50 features the latest evolution of the Japanese brand’s Kodo design philosophy. Its reworked front fascia looks more dynamic with its massive 4-slat grille that pairs perfectly with the sculpted LED headlights. Below are a pair of sleek vertical lighting units that house the LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and fog lamps.
Over to the side, the BT-50’s silhouette gives a refined appearance. The step board and roof rails add touches of ruggedness, while the chrome-trim door handles and power-folding side mirrors catch your attention. The top-spec variant gets 18-inch alloy wheels, with the lower variants getting 17-inch rims. At the rear, things are simpler but not any less elegant. There are vertical LED tail lights that extend way over to the truck’s side. The BT-50 also comes standard with a truck bed liner for worry-free cargo loading.
The Mazda BT-50 was designed with supreme driveability and comfort in mind. Mazda boasts of the human-centered design and craftsmanship used to produce its new pickup truck. The interior greets the driver with an elegant cabin made of various materials, including textured fabric, stitched leather, and touches of chrome.
The signature Mazda steering wheel, which comes wrapped in leather for the 4x4 variant, has a tilt-and-telescopic feature, adding both comfort and sportiness to the vehicle. Behind it, a pair of circular gauges flank a multi-information instrument display panel. Depending on the variant, there’s also a 6-way manual or 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat for added ergonomic control. The top-of-the-line 4x4 model benefits from sleek brown leather seats and seven SRS airbags to complete the BT-50’s premium look and feel.
The new Mazda BT-50 gets a wide variety of safety features. The standard fare includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control, traction control, hill descent control, and hill start assist. Going up to the 4x4 model gets you features like lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic high beam control, smart city braking, and an engine immobilizer with theft alarm. You get dual SRS airbags on the 4x2 models and seven SRS airbags on the 4x4 model.
The Mazda BT-50 can handle anything, but can it handle Caco? Will our host's antics may be a little too much for it to handle? Caco has his hands on a 2022 Mazda BT-50 4x2 AT and he's taking it around town for a little special review.