4X4 SHED: MAZDA BT-50

THE BT-50 HAS BEEN PULLING BOATS AND LIGHT­ING UP THE BUSH.

4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page -

LAST month we men­tioned the guys from Trade-a-boat mag­a­zine bor­rowed our Mazda to pull some boats on a fish­ing trip, and they’ve since sent us some pics that show just what they were haul­ing. No won­der they said it towed them with ease. The Mazda’s 3.2-litre five-cylin­der diesel would have made light work of those lit­tle boats and prob­a­bly could have pulled them both to­gether without rais­ing a sweat. All the same, it’s good to know that the boat­ies thought it a good thing for tow­ing.

We also took the BT out for a nightrun through Wom­bat and Lerderderg State Forests, with the crew from the Wer­ribee District 4WD Club. We hit the tracks af­ter a cracker meal at the Black­wood Ho­tel, and this gave us the chance to give the Light­force HTX lights a burl. The HTXS em­ploy a HID spot beam and an LED broad beam, and we found the LEDS to be the real win­ners in these scrubby con­di­tions. The light colour is easy on the eyes and pro­vides nice def­i­ni­tion to the ar­eas around the front of the car.

On the high­way, the HIDS punch out way ahead of the car and are bet­ter­suited to this sort of driv­ing, but ours need to be ad­justed to get bet­ter re­sults. We didn’t have the right tools for the job at the time, so we’ll have to see to that later.

The Mazda again showed its ease of use on bush tracks, and we did most of them in high-range 4x4 to let the 3.2 just lope along at an easy pace. Low range and a bit more throt­tle were used a cou­ple of times for the steeper stuff, but it was rel­a­tively easy go­ing on this night. We passed on the more chal­leng­ing tracks, as our stock-ride-height BT would have scraped to a stop in the axledeep ruts, but other­wise it was never chal­lenged for trac­tion.

Our Mazda has HEMA maps in­stalled to pro­vide more de­tails of the bush tracks in this area. This is an op­tion on the BT-50 and one well worth the money if you like to get off the beaten track. As far as we know, Mazda is the only com­pany that of­fers this great Aus­tralian map­ping prod­uct.

Get­ting out with the Wer­ribee District 4WD Club was a lot of fun and showed us an­other way that a ve­hi­cle like the BT-50 can be used to get out and en­joy the bush. It was as much a so­cial night as any­thing, and the gen­uine-ac­ces­sories Icom UHF fit­ted by Mazda was buzzing with chat­ter all night. Thanks to the Wer­ribee District 4WD Club for the in­vite.

Fol­low­ing our com­ments last month about the rat­tle from un­der the BT, Mazda took the car away and re­placed the muf­fler that had lose in­ter­nals. Prob­lem fixed. We don’t know whey the dealer couldn’t have done that.

DATE AC­QUIRED: NOV 2015 PRICE: $63,645 (incl. ex­tras) KM THIS MONTH: 1337KM AV FUEL: 10.9L/100KM You call that a boat? The BT-50 didn’t even feel like it was tow­ing any­thing at all!

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