4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

Our BT-50 has been out on loan again, this time with the crew from Tradea-boat mag­a­zine who had a fish­ing trip to some coastal lo­ca­tion. They only just got back, but they re­ported the Mazda towed the 2.5-tonne boat up through Gipp­s­land with ease, in com­fort and re­mained eco­nom­i­cal. If only the fish­ing was that good, hey guys? More on that next month.

Be­fore the boat­ies took it away we couldn’t re­sist fit­ting a set of Lightforce’s new DL230HTX driv­ing lights to the bull­bar. The BT came with a set of Lightforce Ge­n­e­sis spot­ties, which are great lights. Mazda should be com­mended for of­fer­ing such top qual­ity prod­ucts as a gen­uine ac­ces­sory. And it’s an Australian prod­uct, too! But th­ese HTX lights are the next level up.

The HTX com­bines the broad beam light­ing of an LED light­bar with the far­reach­ing beam of HID lights. The 20 LED chips are wrapped around the 70-watt HID light, so there’s no need to have both round lights plus a light­bar on the front of your car. You can even run ei­ther the LEDS or the HIDS on their own, or switch them on to­gether for the ul­ti­mate per­for­mance. Ini­tial im­pres­sions are that the lights are amaz­ing, but we’ll have a more ex­ten­sive test of the Aus­tralian­made lights soon.

The lights were fit­ted by our good mate and lo­cal Lightforce dis­trib­u­tor Phil Cochrane down at On­track Au­to­mo­tive in Fern­tree Gully. Phil did the EFS sus­pen­sion up­grade on our pro­ject Hilux give-away (March, 2016) and knows his stuff, so we had no qualms let­ting him loose on the Mazda BT-50. Fit­ting lights posed no chal­lenge for him.

Around town the BT con­tin­ues to be a great com­muter. Ideal for chuck­ing the BMX in the back to get away for rides, hit­ting the 4x4 tracks on quick week­end drives and just get­ting about the city. The ver­sa­til­ity of a dou­ble-cab ute is un­matched and the Mazda, with its rel­a­tively big 3.2-litre diesel en­gine and six-speeed auto, pro­vides a great bal­ance of per­for­mance and econ­omy.

Phil’s fit­ted the odd spot­tie or two over the years but never one as high tech as the HTX230

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