Mazda BT50 3.2 4x4 AT

Li­cence to light

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - TEST LONG-TERM -

The Mazda BT50, now in the fi­nal stages of be­ing turned into a real-world, prac­ti­cal over­lan­der, should, quite pos­si­bly, be clas­si­fied as a weapon.

Not be­cause of the ARB bull bar, or this or that... in­stead, it’s the set of ARB In­ten­sity driv­ing lights that should be sold with a li­cence to op­er­ate. The AR32 lights re­tail for over R30 000 for the set, which seems quite

ex­or­bi­tant. How­ever, when they come to the party at night, they make day of night.

Once or twice, we briefly and sub­tly flashed the main beams to in­di­cate an­other ve­hi­cle could turn ahead of us, or to let them know they were driv­ing with their brights on. But there are no sub­tle mes­sages, with these ba­bies: all we’d see were mouths full of white teeth, eyes wide open and of­ten, a dan­ger­ous sw­erve of their au­to­mo­biles.

Once, mo­men­tar­ily for­get­ting about the impact of the lights, we may have scared the liv­ing day­lights out of a fam­ily as we flashed to in­di­cate they could go first at a three-way stop. Sorry!

It’s on a quiet, dark B-road where they re­ally come into their own and that’s ex­actly what they were de­signed for: to pro­vide safe il­lu­mi­na­tion on re­mote over­land trips, at night. On such a road you re­alise ex­actly why they cost such a pretty penny.

Mileage: 7 125km Av­er­age con­sump­tion: 11.2 litres/100km Rand per kilo­me­tre (@ 13.38 per litre): R1.50 Tank size: 80 litres Dis­tance per tank: 714km THE GOOD: Laid-back char­ac­ter, those ARB lights (on an over­land trip) THE BAD: Fuel con­sump­tion is up, thanks to all the ex­tras, those ARB lights (in town)

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