Earthmovers & Excavators

style and substance

Mazda has said goodbye to Ford after its decades-long partnership creating utes and other commercial vehicles, and embarked on a new era, this time teaming up with Isuzu for its new BT-50 ute.

While the earlier Ford/Mazda one-tonne utes were primarily developed and built by Mazda and then rebadged as Ford products, the last generation of the partnership was primarily developed by Ford (in Australia) with input from Mazda, then re-skinned and badged as BT-50s.

The new BT-50 is essentially a re-skinned Isuzu D-Max, and that is the all-new 2020 D-Max that launched just a few months before the BT-50 hit the market. Mazda is banking on Isuzu’s reputation for engineering strong, reliable vehicles and class-leading levels of safety technology in sharing the D-Max’s platform, while wrapping it in stylish sheet-metal to make it distinctly Mazda.

POWERTRAIN & PERFORMACE

While many drivers appreciated the old Ford-built five-cylinder 3.2-litre diesel engine for its relaxed and loping torque delivery that never seemed to raise a sweat, it did come at the expense of fuel consumption, which was always a criticism of the old BT.

Conversely, Isuzu’s 4JJ series of four-cylinder, 3.0-litre diesel engines have always been some of the more efficient on the market, and the latest iteration

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