Munji Review of the new Mazda BT-50 (collaboration with Isuzu - 4JJ3 Isuzu Engine) Posted on 14 Oct 08:42 , 0 comments

For those who were not aware, Mazda have now teamed up with Isuzu for their BT-50 Ute.

This is our quick review of the new BT-50 / Isuzu (running the new Isuzu 4JJ3 engine).

I was lucky enough to have Kane Camden from Southport Mazda pop around to Munji HQ with a brand new Mazda BT-50 / Isuzu for me to have a test drive of and have a peak.

Kane came around as we are tossing up between purchasing the new BT-50 or D-Max with the 4JJ3 engine.

After a quick test drive and look around the car, here are my initial thoughts:-

  • COMFORTABLE seats, and I mean COMFORTABLE! Even better than the wife's Y62 Series 5 Nissan Patrol
  • The drive quality was considerably better than the previous models with the new suspension config/set up
  • Power delivery was nice and smooth with the six speed automatic gear box
  • Engine noise was surprisingly lower than our previous 2016 LST D-Max due to the changes in the 4JJ3 engine
  • Interior was very nice with the large screen. The leather was nice and soft compared to the previous hard rigid leather in older models
  • Being a tall lad (6'5"), I noticed the centre console was a better design, whereas in the previous model I found my left knee was hitting on a hard ridge
  • Did not sit in the back at all, but the seats looked just as comfy as the front
  • Had a look underneath, it looks like they addressed the issues of the previous model (D-Max) with the location of the diff hub centre however, I can still see there is room for improvement, in particular with suspension lifted vehicles (diff drop relocation will be in the works)
  • I was quite surprised with the front end of the Mazda, photos don't do it justice, it makes me think of swapping to the dark side and leaving the Isuzu badge behind, what do you think?
  • The steering wheel had a really nice soft feel leather. It will be interesting to see how it holds up against tradie hands. I would recommend a cover to keep it in good condition (as we know how expensive it is to buy new steering wheels)
  • Ride quality - knowing it is a ute, you can still feel the leaf spring in the back, but it rode very nice for an unloaded ute (as good as can be without coils IMO)
  • I did notice with the tub, as a bare tub, it had very good water drainage front and rear, where I can imagine this would be great to let rain out, but for those travelling through dusty areas and running a canopy, could let a lot of dust in if you did not have a liner to minimise dust entry
  • Electronic assist steer was AMAZING, it gave a very light feel of steering a slow speed, made for very easy manoeuvrability. At speed, it would stiffen up and provide a firmer feel, giving better control (first time being offered in the Isuzu range in Australia)
  • Head room - I did not feel my head was close to hitting the roof, whereas in the previous models I could feel my hair touching on a bad hair day
  • The drivers seat was electric, the same as previous models, it would have been nice if they came out with driver memory

 All in all really happy with the rig. If your interested in checking out the BT-50, contact Kane at Southport Mazda (07 5583 8954) and he will be glad to help you out.

It would be great to be able to take this rig four wheeling (hint hint Kane) to test out the new suspension set up and standard issue rear diff locker (first time ever offered from factory in the Isuzu drive line in Australia).

I am looking forward to seeing the new D-Max in person for a better comparison before I make up my mind.

We are yet to find out whether they have fixed the issues with the body cracking in this new model.

The current 4JJ1 EGR Delete Module DOES NOT work on the 4JJ3 and so we will need to work with Crisp Mods to develop a new module. Don't let any company out there tell you otherwise, a new module needs to be created.

(N.B. This is the Mazda BT-50 GT, top of the range.)