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2017 Mazda BT-50 XTR Dual Cab Review

2017 Mazda BT-50 XTR Road Test, Review

Mazda has a great reputation when it comes to their passenger car range with outstanding offerings like the Mazda3, CX-9 and MX-5.

So it was reasonable to expect the same from the light commercial Mazda BT-50 XTR, one of the only utes I was yet to test drive.

But for an upper range dual cab, I have to say, I expected a little more – especially on the inside.

The cabin is rudimentary and pragmatic, as most utes are, without the more premium materials and finishes or convenience features.

Dashboard and doors are enclosed in hard black plastic and the seats are cloth trim.

The highlight of the dash is the 8” Alpine touchscreen with great graphics and comprehensive options including sat-nav.

However, the infotainment system can be hard to navigate and the bottom row of buttons under the screen are small with a hard press.

But the BT-50 XTR possesses all the essentials and performs on the road.

Much like other utes, it’s sluggish low down, but once it gets a head of steam there’s plenty of power there and with 470Nm of torque copious pulling power too.

Suspension may be hard and stiff but with the chassis provides a consistently stable ride and the steering is nicely matched.

Fuel consumption of 11.5/100km may be a bit high for a 3.2 litre diesel engine.

Beyond that the Mazda BT-50 is a standard one-tonne ute with a braked towing capacity of 3500kg.

The ute tray comes with a tub liner made of thick rubber and a non-slip surface; the BT-50 logo emblazoned on it. Not too many strap down hooks or anchors though.

Additional features are auto wipers, dual climate control, low range 4WD/diff lock and side steps to aid boarding.

Other practical conveniences include a centre console bin and armrest with a double tiered tray and a cubby on the top of the dash with USB and HDMI ports handy for your smartphone or other device.

Disappointingly there are no parking sensors to go with the rear view camera.

The two 12V sockets up front have a loose cap that can easily fall off or be misplaced.

Also getting my goat is the fact there are no pre-installed child seat tethers.

As a tester I’m always having to move my baby seat in and out of cars every week and this came as an inconvenience.

But of course if you own the car, you can easily install an anchor on the tether point and never have to change it again.

For $52,490, the Mazda BT-50 XTR is a more affordable upper spec model with the basic necessities, though you do miss out on some features.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Mazda BT-50 XTR

  • Engine: 3.2L turbo diesel producing 147kW/470Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed sports automatic 4×4
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Safety: Five Stars
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Price: From $52,490

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About Simon Lai 1450 Articles
Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

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