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)

A short update this week. While I’m a big fan of the BT-50’s accessories they do add an extra element to parking and then reversing out of spots in carparks. This week, while outside a Woolworths it felt like I was driving a Monster Truck.

Manoeuvring into the parking spot was relatively easy but then when I went to open the door I realised how tight the parking spot was. Fortunately, the BT-50’s door has a grab handle so that I didn’t end up putting the door into the side of the car I was parked next to. I slid carefully out through the gap.

And while I’m talking about getting out of the thing… the side steps which are nice and solid and look great hold onto mud like you wouldn’t believe. Get out too quickly and without thinking and you end up with a streak down the back of your legs. First-world complaint because the things really do offer more advantages than disadvantages.

Parking spaces must be getting smaller because when I tried to reverse out of the spot I had to make a 25-point turn to get the thing out. See, as I reversed out, with some of the car still in the space I was almost hard-up against the cars in the other parking bank. I’m not blaming the BT-50 because it’s not a particularly massive ute.

One thing that is annoying me about the car is the reversing camera. I’ve been bashing the Mazda about off-road over the last couple of weeks and I might have loosened a wire. See, the image doesn’t seem to be rendering properly inside the car; it seems a little blurry and there’s some buffering too. Indeed, I nearly backed into a stump I couldn’t see through the mirrors because the picture froze. There were only millimetres in it. Is anyone else experiencing similar issues with the reversing camera in their BT-50 or Ranger?

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober