November 2, 2011

In by a nose: the new Mazda BT-50

Back from the Mazda BT-50 launch near Taupo. It's the same as the Ford Ranger only … different. I thought "traditional" ute buyers would avoid it like the plague because of its styling, leaving it to find a niche in the suburbs. But maybe not; after a few hours in its presence it kind-of looks okay. Mazda takes only the five cylinder turbodiesel and some of its suspension settings are different from Ranger's. It seems slightly less jiggly than the Ford when running without a load.

Here are the key earlier BT-50 posts: Accessories, the Freestyle cab, world introduction.

As with the Ranger, BT-50's superb hill descent control allows slow and steady descents even on relatively slippery surfaces.
Doesn't look much in the photo, but this section of track was really slippery, and off-camber as well. Two minders keep a close eye on the BT-50  as it proves yet again that when the street tyres clog up and there ain't no traction, none of its electronic aids or rear diff lock are going to help.

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