Car Reviews | Mazda BT 50 4x4 SLE 3.2L M/T

Mazda BT 50 4x4 SLE 3.2L M/T

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Bring It On
The BT 50 is known for being able to easily slot into city life but also adapt to ‘going wild’, and as such, is affectionately labelled as a workhorse and a weekend warrior. It’s a tough and confident bakkie with refined features that puts it just a few steps ahead of its competitors. The newest addition to the 4x4 family has evidently been inspired by trucks and so it’s able to harness a great amount of power to take on any task. With its go-anywhere ability, we encourage you to take it through its paces – you won’t regret it.

The Concept
An ever-popular double cab, the new Mazda BT 50 is versatile enough to suite any adventure-seeking woman. It not only has an abundance of power, but also boasts some refinement and comfort, perfected by Mazda to make this a lifestyle, rather than just a vehicle. Whether you’re a driven city girl who doesn’t back down, or an adrenaline junkie who is constantly seeking new thrills – this is the bakkie for you.

The Look
The sheer size of this double-cab is enough to tell you of its capability. Add on the gun metal grille, steel embellishments on the rear bumper and large 17-inch alloy wheels, and you’ll find yourself with the embodiment of the words ‘robust’ and ‘ready to take on the world’. Chiselled lines, chrome detailing on the door handles, tailgate handle and mirrors complement the expressive aluminium side steps and ensure a bold, adventurous appearance that is testament to its DNA. Halogen headlights are equipped as standard with an automatic on/off feature, and is underscored by an attractive pair of fog lights. Yes, this is unmistakeably a bakkie – but it’s also a good-looking one which any lady would look great driving.

The Feel
I found myself already impressed, before even getting into the cabin. With 237 mm of ground clearance, you’re seated high up, and contrary to what you’d think, hopping up unto the cab is easy, too. The interior looks great, and on this derivative, offered comfy leather-clad bucket seats with eight-way lumbar support, which makes finding a driving position effortless and also provides ample support on longer trips. The steering wheel and gear level are also leather-wrapped for a premium touch. So, sitting behind the wheel feels like a brilliant balance between comfort and capability, and with the awareness of its size and height – not to mention 4x4 gearing – there is also a great sense of confidence and competence in what the vehicle can achieve.

The Features
Infotainment is taken care of by a standard multi-function display connected to auxiliary and USB inputs, AM/FM radio, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, and voice control. Sound plays through a total of six speakers, two of which are tweeters. Mazda has also integrated features specifically to make life easier for the driver, such as cruise control, electric windows, dual zone automatic air conditioning and rear park assist with a rear-view camera. The manufacturers also understand that being safe on and off the road is a must, and so, they have armed the BT 50 with a long list of safety features, including a central locking/ unlocking and drive away locking system, six airbags (including driver and front passenger, side seat as well as side curtain), ABS, EBA, aa brake override system (BOS), load adaptive control (LAC), trailer sway mitigation (TSM), roll over mitigation (ROM), hill launch assist (HLA), and four-way hill descent control (HDC). The standard dynamic stability control also aids the vehicle to control the road grip in adverse conditions by handling engine power as well as the braking force that is individually distributed to each wheel to prevent skidding. Trailer sway mitigation is always useful if you’re pulling caravans, trailers, horse-boxes or your boat regularly.

The Drive
This 3.2-litre five-cylinder engine comfortably produces 147 kW of power and a seriously impressive 470 Nm of torque to climb over those steep hills and low valleys with utmost ease – it’s also this impressive torque figure that makes towing and hauling heavy loads a breeze. Naturally, this implies that fuel consumption will be affected, and the BT 50’s 9.3-litre per 100 km figure is expected for this segment. A large 80-litre fuel tank is fitted. I particularly like the fact that the Mazda bakkie feels just as good on urban roads as it does on gravel or sand, and there’s superior traction on loose or irregular terrain too. The locking rear differential ensures that torque is equally allocated to the wheels if one gets stuck or loses grip. Added to this, the big bakkie still feels easy to pilot, with no sense of it being cumbersome or too big to manage. I’d be quite happy to sit behind the wheel for a trip to the coast, even in rainy conditions. The confidence this vehicle inspires is remarkable, and it’s well worth a test drive if this fits your lifestyle.

Where to Find It
Visit www.mazda.co.za to find out more about this beautiful beast.
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