Does the 'new-look' Aussie-only Mazda BT-50 tempt you?
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The Mazda BT-50 has struggled against the juggernauts of the ute category so it seems fit for an update, and that's exactly what's happened ... for the Australian market.
Since the current BT-50 was released in 2011, updates have been few and far between. But Mazda Australia have given the ute some attention to make it tougher, bolder and more affordable to own.
Designed and developed in Australia, Mazda say the 'new-look' BT-50 is built to tackle everything from the daily grind to off road adventures, with major design changes and added equipment across all grades.
The Aussie BT-50 has a new front bumper and grille for stronger road stance. Feature lines are carried through to new fog light surrounds and a lower air intake with skid plate.
XTR and GT grades will have chrome grille fins and dark grey lower bumper insert, while XT will have satin black grille fins and black bumper insert.
The GT adds a chrome Sports Bar with integrated high-mounted LED stop light, a heavy-duty tub liner to protect the tub and tailgate from scuffs and dents, tailgate central locking to safely secure gear in the tray and a single 12 volt auxiliary socket and light to aid visibility in the tub. Equipment upgrades see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across all grades. The XT will see the biggest changes with a new Reverse Camera and a 7-inch Alpine Infotainment System.
Mazda Australia have also made the updated BT-50 more affordable to own thanks to increased servicing intervals, updated from 10,000km/12 months to 15,000km/12 months. Based on a 15,000km/12 month interval, Mazda say the change will save owners more than A$850 at the five year service mark. Real-world calculations suggest that owners travelling 25,000km per annum will see a A$1920 saving after five years.
So would an updated BT-50 help Mazda gain a bigger footing in what is currently New Zealand's second most popular category? It would no doubt help take the fight to the competition.
So far this year in New Zealand the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux have surpassed 2000 registrations, the Holden Colorado and Mitsubishi Triton both passing 1000.
All the while the Mazda BT-50 has 500 - less then the Nissan Navara and Isuzu D-Max.
Time will tell if New Zealand's BT-50 range will be updated too, but as yet, this new Mazda is for the Aussies only.