Is it too little too late for the aging BT-50 though?
It’s taken roughly two years of development, but Australian BT-50 utes have just received a visual front-end makeover. We are the only market to receive this update too. The updated styling cues are courtesy of a new bumper and grille design, undertaken right here in Australia. The front-end tickle up has put a new step in the BT’s stride, with a more squared look removing the ‘smiley’ front-end, which polarised the market since it was introduced in 2011. But is it kind of pointless considering most buyers will install a bullbar?
Brisbane-based canopy and accessory manufacturer, EGR Auto, was given the green light to handle the manufacturing process, once Mazda engineers painstakingly sculpted their redesigned front-end. They also tell us that no structural changes were required, as existing mounting points and locations were used when designing the updated panels.
Not only have the looks improved, Mazda engineers who were tasked with this project claim that the new front-end improves cooling, with increased airflow through the grille into the radiator and front-mounted intercooler. The original equipment bull bars offered by Mazda for the BT-50 have remained untouched design wise, however a redesign of the Mazda nudge bar was undertaken. We are unsure if aftermarket bull bars will need to be updated at this stage to suit the facelift.
As well as visual updates, the 2018 Mazda BT-50 scores Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across the range, as well as a 12V socket in the tub which stays active with the vehicle switched off (until voltage drops). Service intervals have also changed from every 10,000km to 15,000km, with Mazda claiming a saving of $854 over five years for BT-50 owners. Pricing starts from $37,990 for the 4X4 single-cab XT and tops out at $51,990 for the top-of-the-line GT dual-cab model.