Our Cars

2018 Mazda BT-50 GT 4×4 Long-Term – Week 7

Can the Mazda BT-50 GT 4×4 be a style master in town and a track warrior in the bush? We aim to find out.

What are we testing? The 2018 Mazda BT-50 GT 4×4 Dual-Cab

Who’s running it? Isaac Bober

Why are we testing it? To find out if the BT-50 is the best real-world dual-cab 4×4…

What it needs to do? While we’ve got the BT-50 we want to find out if it really can do it all, from the school run to the supermarket shop, to highway runs, towing and off-roading.

2018 Mazda BT-50 GT 4×4 Dual-Cab Specifications

Price From $56,990+ORC Warranty five years, unlimited kilometres Service Intervals 15,000km/12 months (capped price servicing ranges from $431-$502) Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel Power 147kW at 3000rpm Torque 470Nm from 1750-2500rpm Transmission six-speed automatic (as tested) Drive 4×2; 4x4H; 4x4L Dimensions 5365mm (long) 1850mm (wide) 1821mm (high) 3220mm (wheelbase) Angles 28.2-degrees (approach) 26.4-degrees (departure) 25.0-degrees (ramp over) Ground Clearance 237mm (claimed) Wading Depth 800mm Weight 2147kg Towing 3500kg maximum braked GVM 3200kg GCM 6000kg Fuel Tank 80L Spare full-size steel underslung Thirst 10.0L/100km (claimed combined)

Week 7 – September 28, 2018

The Mazda BT-50 is looking unloved and lonely parked out the front of casa del Bober. But with a Peugeot arriving as a long-termer late last week and a mad decision to start producing videos for PM, there just hasn’t been enough time in the day to get the thing out and about. Yep, cop out.

Every time I walk past the BT-50 I can’t help but admire the accessories. Now, I’m not one of these blokes who drives off-road and thumbs through off-roader magazines, lusting over the latest bulbar but I know plenty do. If I was spending my own money I’d pay way more attention. So this post is really just a long-ish question aimed at those who’ve got a fourby and have accessorised it.

I’m keen to know what we all think about manufacturers pushing so heavily into the accessories space, meaning you can buy your new vehicle and without even leaving the dealership have it fitted with a bar and driving lights, canopy and more, all without even picking up a fourby magazine. Is this a good thing?

Sure, aftermarket mobs are going to be way better than the manufacturer when it comes to niche things like lift kits and lockers and beefed-up suspension, and storage. You only have to look at our BT-50 to realise it looks pretty good and is wearing a heap of gear you might otherwise have had to go to the aftermarket for, like the front bar, lights and canopy (in most cases the accessories are actually from well-known aftermarket brands but they’re just badged with the vehicle’s name…

But look at the Colorado Z71 Xtreme we tested in outback South Australia recently, or the raft of HiLux Rugged X, Rogue variants. In the case of the latter, Toyota was honest enough to suggest it wanted a slice of the after-market given it knew that most buyers would simply head away from the dealership and get the stuff fitted at a 4×4 outfitter. So, from a business point of view I get why car makers are offering their 4x4s with more of the stuff you normally had to buy from someone else.

But, as a customer, is this what most touring 4×4 buyers want? And, if you were buying a 4×4 for touring purposes or even just to use for work and play what are the accessories you’d fit first. And what would you be happy to buy from the manufacturer and what do you think the aftermarket does better?


Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.