Designed and developed locally, the new 2018 Mazda BT-50 has copped a new snout in an effort to appeal more to those wanting a more masculine kind of look to their 4X4 ute. With the front-end design changes and added equipment across grades, this is the second and most comprehensive update to the Mazda BT-50 since its launch in 2011.

Interestingly, this update has been designed and pulled off in Australia by EGR (who make canopies and tonneau covers). BT-50s that land in Australia are treated to the facelift locally, which is exclusive to Australia.

I don't know about you, but I reckon the BT-50 looks best in extra-cab format, and looks particularly great with some mods thrown at it.

I don’t know about you, but I reckon the BT-50 looks best in extra-cab format, and looks particularly great with some mods thrown at it.

The look of the original T6 BT-50 was a bit of an opinion-splitter. We didn’t mind the look back then; it was a welcome difference amongst the crowd of utes trying to look tough and masculine. And to be honest, I was a little sad Mazda was going to do away with the look entirely.

But they haven’t. This is the most significant update the BT-50 has had since it came about in 2011, but it’s not really significant at all. There’s a new look; that smiling cartoon-esque face has been squared off a bit, helped along by a redesigned grille and black inserts along the front bumper.

Who needs an engine cover, anyway?

Who needs an engine cover, anyway?

Although a small update, it’s one that Mazda needs to keep pace with a lightning-fast 4WD ute market. Whilst other models have been updated and spruced up, the BT-50 has slowly been losing market share.

Don’t forget, the 2019 Mazda BT-50 will reap the spoils of its new relationship with Isuzu, making it a very different vehicle.

Aside from the facelift, everything else is mostly business-as-usual. It’s still a 147kW and 470Nm five-cylinder diesel motor, running through a six-speed gearbox (auto or manual), all very similar (if not identical to the Ranger). The suspension tune has stayed the same, and the steering is still a hydraulic setup.

Apple Carplay and Android auto is now part of the Alpine infotainment unit.

Apple Carplay and Android auto is now part of the Alpine infotainment unit.

Apple Carplay and Android Auto are now a standard feature across the board. Plus, the GT Spec gets a chrome sports bar, central locking on the tailgate, tub liner and a rear 12V socket.

Going down the grades, the XT model will now get a reversing camera and 7” touchscreen, similar to higher-specced models.

Additionally, service intervals have been stretched out for the new BT-50. While this might not agree with everyone (especially those who are regularly off-road), service intervals are now 15,000 kilometres/12 months, up from 10,000 kilometres. We’re not sure what has prompted the change, at this stage.

New Look 2018 Mazda BT-50 pricing – driveaway

Model Driveaway price
6M 3.2L SINGLE C/CH XT 4X4 $37,990
6A 3.2L SINGLE C/CH XT 4X4 $39,990
6M 3.2L FREESTYLE C/CH XT 4X4 $40,490
6A 3.2L FREESTYLE C/CH XT 4X4 $43,490
6M 3.2L FREESTYLE CAB UTILITY XTR 4X4 $45,990
6A 3.2L FREESTYLE CAB UTILITY XTR 4X4 $47,990
6M 3.2L DUAL C/CH XT 4X4 $41,198
6M 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY XT 4X4 $40,990
6A 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY XT 4X4 $42,990
6M 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY XTR 4X4 $46,990
6A 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY XTR 4X4 $48,990
6M 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY GT 4X4 $49,990
6A 3.2L DUAL CAB UTILITY GT 4X4 $51,990