Mazda and Isuzu Motors announced in 2016 that the new generation BT-50 and D-Max trucks will be the product of their partnership. Mazda discontinued a 48-year long alliance with Ford and the all-new, third-generation 2021 Mazda BT-50 has nothing in common with the global Ford Ranger.
The redesigned BT-50 shares the underpinning and drivetrain with the third-generation Isuzu D-Max which debuted for the Thailand market while will reach other markets later in the year. The new Mazda BT-50 debuts in the double cab configuration and it comes equipped with the modern infotainment and active safety systems.
The redesigned midsize truck shares also much of its in-cab design with the new partner but the exterior styling is true Mazda design. The turbodiesel engine is also sourced from Isuzu.
2021 Mazda BT-50: Design
The all-new third-generation 2021 Mazda BT-50 drops all ties with the Ford Ranger and the new version is based on the third-generation Isuzu D-Max. The new-generation Ford Ranger will, on the other hand, share the components with the upcoming Volkswagen Amarok.
The redesigned BT-50 sits on the same underpinning as the new-generation Isuzu D-Max and it is about 90 kg lighter than before. The new version is also smaller than the outgoing model. The new BT-50 sits on the 123.0-inch wheelbase while measuring 207.9 inches in length. The second-generation Mazda BT-50 was 211.0 inches long with the wheelbase four inches longer than in the current interior.
From the visual standpoint, the redesigned Mazda BT-50 isn’t just the rebadged Isuzu D-max. The model is designed in line with the brand’s new Kodo language applied to the brand’s modern SUVs. The model has also a distinctive body shaping compared to the Isuzu D-Max.
The front section of the model uses the brand’s signature shield-shaped grille with horizontal slats similar to that of the new CX-9 Mazda SUV. The model comes also with new, modern headlights.
Sculpted front bumper and hood contribute also to the model’s bold appearance. The profile has also strong character line and shaped fender flares. The rear is more conservative with simple tailgate and vertical taillights.
The model will come with the 16- and 17-inch wheels in lower-spec versions while the top-spec model will get 18-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin of the new 2021 Mazda BT-50 has a premium feel and comes equipped with modern tech and safety features. The top-spec version gets also premium comfort features.
The cabins of the BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max have identical center display sections and steering wheel. The upper dash section and front doors are unique.
The range-topping model comes with plenty of stitched leather on the dash and seats. It gets also larger 9.0-inch center display. Mazda will also offer the all-new BT-50 with the adjustable steering wheel, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, rear air vents, etc. There will also be wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
The new Mazda BT-50 comes also with modern safety tech including adaptive cruise control. The equipment list will also include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-keeping assist.
2021 Mazda BT-50: Powertrain
The redesigned 2021 Mazda BT-50 switched to the Isuzu-sourced platform and the same is with the engine and drivetrain.
The new model comes with the Isuzu’s latest 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine under the hood. The engine is slightly underpowered compare to Ford’s five-cylinder turbodiesel unit in the outgoing version. The new model has 140 kW and 450 Nm of torque at disposal. The Ford-sourced five-cylinder turbodiesel is good for 147 kW and 470 Nm. The BT-50 should, however, be about 20 percent more efficient compared to the current model. The new engine will be in combination with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Mazda said that the new BT-50 will tow up to 3500 kg. The payload capacity will be 1000+ kg in some configurations.
2021 Mazda BT-50: Release, Price
The all-new 2021 Mazda BT-50 will reach dealers in late 2020. Mazda hasn’t talked yet about the price but we should expect that the new BT-50 will cost slightly more.
The model will be constructed at the same production lines as the new Isuzu D-max in Thailand.
The redesigned Mazda BT-50 should fare better against the names such as the Ford Ranger, VW Amarok, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, etc.