Described by Mazda as the second and most comprehensive update to the current generation BT-50 since its launch in 2011, the main change is the addition of a bolder, more squared-off treatment to the front end. “We know Australian customers want a tough looking exterior, so we heeded demand and worked with local engineers to refresh the front-end and toughen up the BT-50,” said Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi. “The utility segment is a huge priority in Australia and for Mazda; we’re always looking to improve and enhance our product offering, to remain competitive and appealing to our customers.”
Front End Fix. The rounded, almost bulbous front end of the BT-50 never really struck a chord with drivers and was certainly an anomaly in the local dual cab ute market, so Mazda have addressed this with a more “conventional” front end defined by a redesign of the grille inserts and front bumper. The grille retains its shield shape and prominent Mazda badge, but has adopted horizontal lines. On BT-50 XTR and GT grades, chrome grille bars feature, paired with a dark grey lower bumper insert, while the XT has satin black grille bars and a black bumper insert.
On the bumper itself, the changes are more comprehensive, with a squared-off lower section that gives what Mazda says is a lower visual centre of gravity, as well as a “more solid bearing on the road”. Larger, boxier fog lamp surrounds also feature, as does a large trapezoidal lower air intake with skid plate, accented with mesh texture and a 3D insert. Headlight size and shape remains as per the previous BT-50, but the chromed outer grille surround and lack of coloured indicator lenses (introduced previously) somewhat masks this. Aft of the front end, the body is the same, with no changes to the bonnet, wheelarches or bodyside sculpting. At the back, the rear bumper and tail lights are also unchanged.
Spec and Service Upgrades. Introduced with this front-end redesign for the BT-50 are a number of specification changes and upgrades, including the adoption of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the entire range. Individual model grade updates include a chromed sports bar with high-mount stop light on the 4x4-only GT. This top-of-the-range model also gets a heavy-duty tub liner, central locking function for the tailgate, a 12-volt auxiliary socket and tub light. The entry-level XT now comes with a reversing camera as standard, as well as a 7-inch Alpine Infotainment System. Across the range, service intervals have been increased and costs reduced, with the previous 10,000km/12mth service interval upgraded to 15,000kms or 12 months. Year-on-year savings with this upgrade include $323 over two years and up to $854 after five years.
Driveaway pricing for the new-look Mazda BT-50 starts at $28,990 for the 4x2 range, while 4x4 versions start at $37,990 for the XT single cab-chassis manual. Dual cab 4x4 driveaway pricing starts at $41,198 (XT cab-chassis manual) and rises to $51,990 for the GT utility auto. For driveaway pricing Ts and Cs, along with all other details, see your Mazda dealer.