Mazda’s ‘car look’ BT-50 in SA soon
With its quirky and car-like style, the new Mazda BT-50 will provide a fairly unique alternative to the macho-obsessed bakkie world when it's launched in South Africa in August.
Although it's based on the latest Ford Ranger, the Mazda version gets its own unique design, and in contrast to the Ford's 'American truck' visual personality, the Mazda boasts sweeping curves at the front and tail light cluster that extend onto the tailgate.
Whether all this strikes a chord with bakkie buyers remains to be seen, but given our experiences of the Ranger we have little doubt that it'll deliver the goods for those looking for a smart, practical interior and a refined driving experience.
SPOILED FOR CHOICE
Mazda has also announced the local range through its Facebook page, revealing that it will offer a choice between four engines, three body styles (single cab, Freestyle cab and double cab) as well as three trim levels - SL, SLX and SLE.
The engine range mirrors that of the Ranger and all are available with a choice between 4x2 and 4x4 drive configurations.
The sole petrol engine is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder motor with 125kW and 226Nm available. Diesel customers get to choose between a 2.2-litre diesel with two output levels - 88kW/285Nm or 110kW/375Nm - and a 3.2-liter five-cylinder oil burner with 147kW and 470Nm.
The latter and high-output 2.2 are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox while the rest make do with a five-speed. The 3.2 is also available with a six-speed autobox.