The 2022 Mazda BT-50 has finally been unveiled in the Philippine market more than a year since it made its global debut in Australia.
The all-new 2022 Mazda BT-50 is certainly in its best form in years. The Japanese automaker’s evolved Kodo design language works extremely well in a pick-up canvas. Three variants will be sold in the Philippines: 3.0 4×2 MT, 3.0 4×2 AT, and 3.0 4×4 AT.
Whichever variant you choose, the BT-50’s fascia is highlighted by Mazda’s signature wing-shaped grille that’s flanked by LED headlights as standard and a minimalist design that’s devoid of any character lines. Circular LED daytime running lights are equipped on the 4×4 AT variant. It’s certainly the most car-like design among pick-up trucks, though it still manages to look tough and utilitarian with its high-profile tires and 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels. The back is finished off with a nice pair of sleek LED taillights.
The first 200 buyers of the all-new BT-50 4×4 AT will come with these subtle fender flares, front and rear skid plates, and tonneau cover (as shown).
3.0 4×4 AT
3.0 4×2 AT/MT
In line with Mazda’s goal of offering a premium experience, the interior has a more upscale look than the D-Max that it’s based on. Soft-touch brown leatherette wraps the top of the dash, and this is regardless of what variant you choose. The top-of-the-line 4×4 variant gets black headlining, brown leather seats with seat heating at the front, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, smart entry with push-button start, just to name a few.
There are two things that Mazda Philippines did right versus the D-Max, and it begins with the car’s infotainment system. Whereas its Isuzu sibling used a more inferior locally-sourced touch screen infotainment system, Mazda Philippines did the right thing by offering the global factory OEM infotainment system for the BT-50. Lower variants come with a 7-inch unit, while higher variants get an 8-inch unit. The interface is far more attractive and cohesive to use. The bigger 8-inch unit comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well. Lastly, the BT-50’s global OEM infotainment system has physical controls, which makes it easier than the D-Max’s capacitive touchpoints.
The next one is the availability of a rear differential lock on the top-of-the-line 4×4 automatic variant. Isuzu only offered this in the 4×4 manual for some reason, which we think is a missed opportunity for Isuzu. A rear differential lock splits the torque on the left and right rear wheels evenly, making it easier to get out of low traction situations. An open differential on the other hand just sends the power to the wheel with the least resistance, which is not ideal off-road.
In line with Mazda only offering top-of-the-line engines for its cars in the Philippines, the 2022 Mazda BT-50 only comes with a 3.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged diesel engine that produces 190 hp and 450 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the rear or via a 4×4 system through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
As for safety, the 2022 Mazda BT-50 comes with two airbags, a reverse camera, brake override system, rear parking sensors, electronic stability control, traction control system, hill start assist, and hill descent control. Lastly, the top-of-the-line 4×4 AT comes with seven airbags, front and rear parking sensors, and the same Smart Duo Cam suite of driver-assistance tech from the D-Max, and this includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam, radar cruise control, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Now, this is where things get interesting. Given Mazda’s premium direction, you’d expect the BT-50 to cost more than the D-Max, right? Well, not exactly. The base 4×2 MT starts at P1,390,000, while the AT is priced at P1,430,000. The top-of-the-line 4×4 AT costs less than the D-Max LS-E, and it starts at just P1,790,000! This includes Mazda’s signature and industry-leading 5-year free maintenance as well.
As mentioned, the first 200 units of the 4×4 AT come with the aforementioned subtle fender flares, front and rear skid plates, and tonneau cover, and it has a total value of P80,000.