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2018 Mazda BT-50 GT Long-Term Update – Week 4

This week we take a closer look at the storage space inside the BT-50 GT and discover the dash plastics are incredibly easy to keep clean.

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

What’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…

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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 4 – August 31, 2018

Most of this week was taken up with road testing various vehicles and runs to Sydney (next week will be even more quiet as I’ll be away at the Subaru Forester launch). So, the BT-50 didn’t get much of a run this week but I did get a couple of hours earlier today to head onto a track about 15min from my house that I’ve been meaning run down for the last five years. It was worth the wait with some stunning cliff top vistas. It’ll make an appearance in some BT-50 updates across the coming weeks.

This week’s all about storage inside the BT-50, excluding the tray. As we’ve noted the plastics in this top-spec GT are hard but that’s a good thing, in my opinion. The overly padded and mish-mash of materials you get in some top-spec dual-cab utes are prone to damage when used for both work and play. That’s not the case with the interior of our GT.

It’s tough but it doesn’t look like it’s been made from old lunchboxes. And it can be wiped clean very easily. Indeed, while taking the photos you see here a storm started blowing in and the pollen from the pine trees where I was parked filled the air. It covered everything. Luckily, I had a micro-fibre cloth in the car and a quick wipe across the dash, etc, made the whole thing spick and span. There aren’t the crevices or high-gloss finishes you get in competitors and, for me, that makes this thing a more practical work and play offering. I’ve got kids, see, so I like the idea of easy-clean surfaces. Moving on. Storage.

2018 Mazda BT-50 GT long-term updated week 4

It’s no secret the BT-50 is basically just a Ford Ranger. Look underneath the thing an FoMoCo stickers are everywhere, even the windows have Ford labels on them. But the BT-50 retained some of the practical features the Ranger PXII lost, like the little drop down storage box to the side of the steering wheel. It’s a nice deep storage container that tucks out of the way and can hold quite a bit of stuff. I’ve heard quite a few Ranger owners complain that Ford dropped this little container from the PXII.

2018 Mazda BT-50 GT long-term updated week 4

There’s storage in the door, it’s not much, but there’s room for a 500ml water bottle and some other odds and ends. You can keep a set of keys in the grab handle on the door, if you like. And then there’s a shelf at the top of the dashboard for your phone, there’s a USB and HDMI outlet here for connecting to the infotainment system.

The centre console storage bin is a split set-up in that you pinch the first handle and raise the lid and there’s a shallow dish; pinch the second handle and raise the lid and you get a much deeper storage box. There’s a 12v outlet next to the cupholders and a shallow storage space at the base of the dashboard.

In the back there’s only the one map or tablet pouch on the back of the passenger seat and a small shelf and 12V outlet at the back of the centre console.

The back seats can be folded down to access the jack or the top tether anchors, or you can fold up the base which is latched to the back rest near the middle headrest. Lift the seat base and there are two storage bins and a bigger storage space in general.

In all, there’s plenty of storage scattered around the cabin of the BT-50 and the wipe clean plastics are a real plus in my books.


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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.