Mazda BT-50 3.0L High Plus test drive review

Mazda BT-50 3.0L High Plus test drive review

From purpose-built workhorses with minimal emphasis on refinement and comfort, pickup trucks have evolved into stylish lifestyle oriented vehicles which people are buying just to look cool in urban surroundings.


  • How much is the Mazda BT-50 3.0L High Plus AT?

    The Mazda BT-50 3.0 High Plus AT is priced at RM141,000
  • In fact, the more a pickup truck feels like a car, the better it is in this day and age. Since all the models in the market from your Chinese JMCs to the Rangers are just as capable when it comes to carrying load or going off-roading, things like the design, refinement, and daily-driveability are what make the difference.

    Mazda BT-50

    That being said, one of the most refined pickup truck in Malaysia at the moment is this model we’re looking at here – the new Mazda BT-50 3.0L High Plus.

    Launched last year, the new Mazda BT-50 is actually based on the new Isuzu D-Max, sharing the same platform, powertrain, and most of the features.

    Mazda BT-50

    Priced at RM143,218 on the road without insurance, the variant which we sampled was the flagship BT-50 3.0L High Plus AT which goes against all the other flagship models in the market like the Hilux Rogue and the Isuzu D-Max 3.0L V-Cross just to name a few.


    Even though it is based on the Isuzu D-Max, the BT-50’s exterior is designed exclusively by Mazda, featuring the brand’s ‘Kodo Soul of Motion’ design philosophy. Even the rear LED lights that are unique to the BT-50 were designed by Mazda.

    Mazda BT-50

    Highlights include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED tail lights, roof rails that can support up to 100 kg, front and rear parking sensors, and a reverse camera.

    Another thing which we like about the Mazda BT-50 is that it doesn’t have any funky stickers on the side like the Hilux Rogue or Triton Athlete that make the pickup truck very loud visually. This proves that a 4x4 can still look handsome without unnecessary graphics.

    Mazda BT-50

    Visually, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the BT-50 is the most elegant and classiest looking pickup truck in the market compared to its rivals that are all designed to look radical and striking.

    So, if you are looking for a pickup truck that is not too visually loud and classy enough to be driven to functions and client meetings, the BT-50 is definitely worth checking out.


    The elegance of the exterior continues in the cabin of the BT-50 as well, as you will be greeted by a very premium looking cockpit which features a generous dose of leather upholstery, leather seats, and high quality materials.

    Mazda BT-50

    While the seats provide good level of support and comfort, all the buttons, levers, and toggles are placed ergonomically where they should be.

    The list of standard equipment is quite extensive as well, including eight speakers, a 9-inch infotainment system which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, Keyless entry with Remote Start, Adaptive Cruise Control, as well as an eight-way powered driver’s seat.

    Mazda BT-50

    Rear seats are among the comfiest in the segment as well, and a big plus point is the fact that there are rear air vents to ensure that the occupants are always “chilled”.

    Driving it

    As mentioned above, the level of comfort and ergonomics are top notch in the BT-50. Thanks to the power-adjustable seats, we could find the comfortable driving position in no time. Visibility is also good.

    Mazda BT-50

    On the upside, there is ample power courtesy of the 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine producing 190 PS and 450 Nm of torque from as early as 1,600 rpm. Complementing the powertrain is a perfectly-weighted steering which is neither too light nor too heavy.

    Coupled with safety and driver assistance features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Forward and Rear Collision Avoidance systems, Automatic Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, things are always kept so safe that anyone can drive the BT-50 without any issues.

    Mazda BT-50

    We didn’t really take the BT-50 off-roading but since it is based on the D-Max, there is no questioning its abilities to perform as a workhorse or to handle the beaten track.

    What we really wanted to evaluate was how it felt in urban surroundings and truth be told, the BT-50 is mighty impressive as it is arguably the most car-like Japanese pickup truck in the market.

    Mazda BT-50

    The only downside is that the engine noise was audible throughout our stint with the BT-50 but besides that, everything was fine and dandy.

    Also read: 2022 Mazda models price go up, here's why

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