Praised for its styling by seemingly everyone from Car and Driver to tech-website NewAtlas.com, Mazda has taken the wraps off its new BT-50 pickup truck.
The mid-size pickup won’t be offered by U.S. Mazda dealers. When it goes into production this summer, it is destined only for Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America. But wait a quarter-century for the 25-year rule to kick in and you might be able to import one to display at a Future Collector Car Show in the late 2040s.
Although the truck is based on the Isuzu D-Max pickup (previous versions used Ford Ranger underpinnings), the new BT-50 gets styling that uses Mazda’s Kodo (Soul of Motion) design language, also shared by the CX-5 and CX-9 crossovers, and a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine rated at 188 horsepower but 332 pound-feet of torque.
Car and Driver notes the 7,700 pounds of towing capacity and nearly 2,350 pounds of in-the-bed payload are better than vehicles such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma.
New Atlas says the new BT-50 “might be the prettiest pickup truck on road or trail.”
“Call it the antithesis of the Tesla Cybertruck,” it adds.
“No one would accuse the Isuzu D-Max of being the most attractive pickup truck in the world (or near-empty parking lot), and yet Mazda takes that very truck and gives it the effortlessly smooth looks for which it’s known,” New Atlas notes.
“That may or may not be a good thing depending on your truck preferences, and the first BT-50 owners are almost sure to take a ribbing over their purty, crossover-faced truck the first time they pull into the job site. But those doing the ribbing will likely be boiling with envy inside, especially if they happen to be driving a D-Max home.”
Also envious could be American owners of the various mid-size pickups available in their home market.