MAZDA BT-50 4X4 3000D

robust and powerful, yet smooth and easy, that sums up the 3-litre diesel BT-50

drives like a car, but with the added value of a bakkie and double-cab

Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" phrase  is one that celebrates life. It's one that understands that life should be lived to the full, that besides getting from A to B, driving should also be fun.

The arrival of the Mazda BT-50 is another generation Mazda to fully reflect the style and spirit of the Zoom-Zoom philosophy. Its design is distinctive, performance exhilarating and fun to drive.

The Mazda BT-50 delivers an exciting blend of distinctive design, responsive handling and dynamic performance, packaged together to feature outstanding versatility, comfort and convenience.

Having been known as the Drifter until recently, Mazda has now adopted the BT-50 badge.

“In developing the new Mazda pickup, our goal was to inherit the qualities that earned the previous generations of the Mazda B-Series pickup, praise and accolades from around the world. Simultaneously we needed to adopt the true spirit of Zoom-Zoom by creating a new dimension of driving pleasure,” explains Mazda's Marketing Manager.

And went on to say: “The Mazda BT-50 sets new standards in the popular one-tonne segment. With dual front airbags, and passenger side airbags on offer the BT-50 offers class leading safety standards, furthermore the 3.0-litre CRDi (referred to as the BT-50 Drifter) offers the highest torque in its class. “

Packaged as a sports activity vehicle the Mazda BT-50 caters for the adventurous at heart. The exterior styling reiterates this feeling with a bold, go-anywhere appeal. Conversely the luxurious refinement of the cabin interior is almost enough to make you forget that the Mazda BT-50 is a pickup truck. The new interior appointments offer true user-oriented convenience and utility in a modern package that features sporty and athletic styling.

The Double Cab body provides roomy comfort for five occupants, with two in the front and three in the back, making it just right for family use, sharing good times or pursuing outdoor recreational activities.

The newly developed MZR-CD 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection turbo diesel engine delivers a fine combination of power, fuel economy, quietness and reliability.

The potent 3.0-litre power plant produces 115kW at 3 200rpm and offers a torque peak of 380Nm at just 1800rpm. In order to support the greater power and torque generated by the MZR-CD unit new 5-speed manual (and automatic) transmission has been adopted.

The double wishbone front design and rear leaf springs already proven as tough and reliable on previous Mazda pickup trucks, have been carried over, though the system is refined to offer a smoother, more comfortable ride.

Larger shock absorbers on the front and rear, with a 32mm shaft diameter, greatly improve ride comfort as well as the feel of system rigidity. Extending the rear suspension's leaf springs to 1,320mm not only makes them the longest in the class, but more importantly provides ride comfort with a mild, reassuring feeling.

Designed for true driving pleasure, the seats are shaped with solid support and positive hold to match the Mazda BT-50's superb handling. The full-leather seats feature a superb balance of comfort and practicality.

Safety was seriously considered in developing the new BT-50, with Mazda now taking the lead as the safest 1-tonne pickup in its class. The BT-50 comes with 4W-ABS and EBD systems, that helps keep the vehicle under control at all times, regardless of the road or load conditions. In addition to dual front airbags, some models are available with new side airbags for head and chest protection.




Engine type:    In-line 4-cylinder 16-valve, Intercooled-Turbo

Fuel injection:    Common-rail direct injection

Displacement :    2953cc

Bore x stroke:    96 x 102

Compression ration:     18.0:1

Engine output

Power [kW @ rpm]:     115 @ 3200

Torque [Nm @ rpm]:     380 @ 1800


Type:      Manual 5 speed


Remote electric front wheel hubs


Power assisted

Steering column tilt adjust (manual)


4-Wheel ABS with EBD

Front type:     Ventilated discs

Rear type:    Drums


Raised suspension

Front type:     Double wishbone - independent

Rear type:     Live

Wheels & Tyres

Type:    Alloy

Wheel size:     7JJ x 16"

Tyre size:     245/70 R 16

Exterior dimensions

Min. Ground clearance (unladen):     207mm

Overall height (unladen):     1762mm

Overall length (with rear bumper):     5076mm

Overall width (w/o outer mirror):     1807mm

Overhang front:     884mm

Overhang rear (without rear step bumper):     1207mm

Tread front:     1475mm

Tread rear:     1470mm

Wheelbase:     3000mm


Depth:     465mm

Length:     1530mm

Width:     1458mm


GCM (Gross Combination Mass):     4669kg

GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass):     2869kg

Payload:     1167kg

Tare:     1702kg

Towing mass:     1800kg

Fuel capacity:     80 litres


Box body tie-down outer rope rail - body colour

Box body tie-down outer steel rope hooks

Rear Box body tie-down inner rope hooks (2 off)

Sportsbar - silver painted with HMSL

Tonneau cover

Interior comfort and convenience

Accessory socket


Cup holder depressions in front side trim

Cupholders in center console - 3 x front, 2 x rear

Leather covered gear shift knob/s

Power adjustable exterior mirrors

Power front windows

Power rear windows

Sliding rear window

Sliding tray in IP - passenger side [load capacity = 10kg]

Windscreen wash wipe [2-speed + variable intermittent]

Instrument panel, cockpit & controls

Digital clock incorporated in radio 

Front hub control switch (RFW)

Stowage bins in all side door trim panels


Leather seats

Interior - Lighting

Illuminated entry system (courtesy on with unlock)

Interior room lamp 

ICE - In Car Entertainment

Radio 6-CD with MP3 and RDS

Radio speakers x 4 + 2 x tweeters

Safety and security


2-point rear centre belt

Active 3-point front seat belts

Active 3-point rear seat belts


Driver and passenger front side airbag

Key operation

Remote central locking

Security devices


Engine immobiliser 

Warranty and Service

MazdaMotion Roadside Assistance 3 years
Service Plan 5 years/ 90 000km
Warranty 3 years / 100 000km
Service Intervals 10 000km

Price (October 2007)

Mazda BT-50 Drifter 3000CRDi SLE 4X4            R 311 990.00


BT-50's cockpit is snug with all controls within easy reach

Mazda's BT-50 3000 Turbo-Diesel 4X4 Drifter can run with the best - on road and off

quad rider looks on as Dylan powers the Mazda broadside through rain-sodden field

cross-country on a trail next to the Klip river

nature's own car-wash after playing in the mud and sand.

practical, neat, simple dash of the BT-50

Words by Lee Slater, photos by Dylan Slater


Thanks to Wilken Communications and Mazda South Africa

for the drive in their powerful, practical Mazda BT-50 4X4 3000D.