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2021 Mazda BT-50 truck revealed

2021 Mazda BT-50 truck revealed

We mentioned that Mazda were planning to reveal their new truck and they did exactly that last week. There is now one more competitor in a very crowded marketplace. But is the BT-50 good enough to compete? I think so.

Leaks had hinted that the BT-50 was going to be built on an Isuzu platform and they were spot on. The truck is essentially a redesigned Isuzu D-Max truck with Mazda design and an Isuzu under the skin.

Mazda BT-50

The Mazda BT-50 looks pretty good. It is definitely a Mazda with the large grille and badge taking centre stage. The usual angled lighting and fog light arrangement we see on their cars is present on the truck too.

The ‘Kodo’ design language works surprisingly well. It is definitely a Mazda and has all the familiar elements we expect of the brand, just in a truck format. There is a lot of the CX-9 in this truck and that’s a good thing. The design is rounder, more organic and a lot less boxy than many out there.

Panels have detailing, creases and interesting shapes. The hood has similar details and the same peaked nose as sedans while the raked windshield could have been taken from any of the SUVs.

The rear is surprisingly simple compared to the front. A pair of vertical lights and a crease above the handle of the rear door is all there is to see.

Overall, the Mazda BT-50 is very pleasing to the eye.

Inside, Mazda has upgraded the cabin materials and dashboard above the usual Isuzu fare and it works well. It uses the same touchscreen and switchgear as the Isuzu but the overall impression is of a higher quality cabin.

New truck on the block

The D-Max is a tried and tested truck with a reputation for bulletproof reliability. It’s a good platform to use. The BT-50 will be made alongside the D-Max in Thailand using the same production line, so should also enjoy the same high level of build quality.

Under the hood of the global model is a 3.0-litre diesel engine. It’s a turbocharged four cylinder that produces 188 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It uses a six speed manual or automatic transmission to send all power to the rear or all wheels.

We do expect gas engines and we do expect the BT-50 to come to North America eventually. Just when those two things happen, we simply don’t know.

For now, we are happy that the established incumbents in the truck market are seeing some new competition. Viable competition with a genuine ability to take the fight to the market leaders. I for one can’t wait to see the new Mazda truck in the flesh!

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