Battling it out against some fierce rivals in the hotly contested ute segment, Mazda is broadening the appeal of its popular BT-50 with several running changes for 2022 and an efficient new entry-level engine.
Mazda Australia has announced its 2022 BT-50 ute line-up will kick off with a more affordable 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine as part of a wider range expansion.
The updated BT-50 will be available in Australia from January 2022, with pricing to be announced closer to the on-sale date.
Along with a new base engine, the ’22 BT-50 becomes the latest model in Mazda’s range to adopt a sports-flavoured SP grade, alongside the Mazda 3 Evolve SP, Mazda 6 GT SP, CX-30 Touring SP, CX-5 GT SP, CX-8 Touring SP and CX-9 GT SP.
The mechanically identical Isuzu D-Max adopted the new 1.9-litre turbo-diesel last month as a cheaper alternative to compete more closely with rivals such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux on price.
Developing 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque, the 1.9-litre engine is down on sheer grunt compared to the existing 140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel in all other BT-50 models, though it still packs more of a punch than many of its direct rivals.
Braked towing capacity has been reduced to three tonnes (versus 3.5-tonnes for the 3.0-litre) and Mazda has opted to offer the 1.9-litre exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission – unlike Isuzu who also offers a six-speed manual as a cheaper option.
Buyers who are determined to change gears themselves will be glad to know Mazda continues to offer a six-speed manual with the 3.0-litre engine across the range, with the exception of the XTR cab chassis.
Mazda offers the new 1.9-litre engine exclusively on a new entry-level XS grade. Buyers of the XS can choose either a 4×2 single-cab chassis or 4×2 and 4×4 dual-cab pick-ups.
The BT-50 XS is similarly specified to the XT grade, with the only difference being the inclusion of the larger 3.0-litre engine and 17-inch alloy wheels on the XT instead of 17-inch steelies.
As standard, both are equipped with a cloth interior, LED headlights and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto.
Mazda also includes a locking rear differential on 4×4 models and rear parking sensors on BT-50s with a traditional ute tray.
The BT-50 has been rated five stars under ANCAP’s strict new testing protocol and this is partly due to the generous amount of active safety features offered as standard.
These features include:
Stepping up to the BT-50 XTR builds on the XT grade by offering larger 18-inch alloys, power-folding mirrors, side steps, keyless entry and LED fog lights.
Mazda also includes a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, a rear-seat centre armrest and leather trim on the steering wheel and gearknob.
For 2022, Mazda will offer the BT-50 XTR grade as a dual-cab chassis alongside the regular dual-cab ute bodystyle.
Available exclusively as a dual-cab ute, the BT-50 GT steps into luxury territory with brown leather seats, heated front seats and eight-way power adjustment for the driver.
Other convenience features include front parking sensors and the ability to start the ute remotely in automatic transmission models.
The BT-50 SP is available exclusively as a 4×4 dual cab ute and features a combination of black and grey bodywork to give it a more sinister demeanour.
This begins with dark metallic grey roof rails, a black grille and satin black 18-inch alloy wheels along with gloss-black touches on the mirrors, door handles and sports bar.
Mazda also adds a tub liner, gloss-black wheelarch flares and a manual roller tonneau cover. The interior is trimmed in a combination of driftwood leather and black synthetic suede upholstery.
Sitting at the top of the tree is the BT-50 Thunder which ticks just about every accessory option on the list to enhance its off-road capability and provide a tougher appearance.
At the front, a single-hoop bullbar has been fitted with an integrated light bar, along with black 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky tyres, housed within widened wheelarch flares.
Mazda also includes a sports bar, an electric roller tonneau cover and an underbody bash plate for good measure.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for the 2022 BT-50 range but we expect those details to be released closer to the new year.
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