Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - AUTO -

ma­te­ri­als more geared for the work site. For lux­ury and tech­nol­ogy, the BT-50 Pro is avail­able.

Where the BT-50 earns it bread and con­nects to the rest of the Mazda brand are un­der its bon­net and be­neath its wheels. Mo­ti­vat­ing the pickup to classlead­ing per­for­mance is the MZ-CD 3.2 in-line five-cy­clin­der com­mon-rail, di­rect-in­jec­tion tur­bocharged diesel en­gine. Th­ese spec­i­fi­ca­tions run con­trary to a market filled ei­ther with four or six cylin­der mo­tors, but noth­ing new for the com­pany that per­fected the mod­ern rotary power plant. Mazda says their choice of­fers up the per­for­mance of larger dis­place­ment while re­tain­ing a com­pact foot­print along with top-level power and ex­cel­lent fuel ef­fi­ciency.

It works as the

BT-50 packs a punch. Horse­power is 197 at 3,000rpm, but the real magic is the torque fig­ure. Step into the throt­tle and the pickup lights up the rear tyres as the sixspeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion quickly shifts to ac­cess 346lb/ ft avail­able from as low as 1,750rpm. That num­ber goes to 2,500rpm. In two-wheel drive mode, the trac­tion con­trol will usu­ally kick in. How­ever, there are few wor­ries when the elec­tronic on-the-fly four-wheel drive mode is en­gaged. A rear lock­ing dif­fer­en­tial makes the pickup even more vi­able off-road.

For those that do use their pick­ups on-road, Mazda has but their del­i­cate touch on the sus­pen­sion to make the BT-50 han­dle well. The ve­hi­cle is never un­set­tled by rough con­di­tions, re­tain­ing a good level of pas­sen­ger com­fort at a wide range of speeds. Equipped with the five cylin­der, there are few ri­vals that can match the ease at which the BT-50 can op­er­ate.

The BT-50 is ready for any work thrown at it.

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