While the original purpose of the pickup was to carry cargo and assist in work sites and job areas, there’s also no denying the fact that the pickup has also enjoyed much success as a personal, everyday vehicle, mostly in part to competitive pricing (TRAIN law has its perks). The high ride height and powerful diesel engines were always a top selling point, and in those cases, the Mazda BT-50 shares the tried and true formula, as we talked about in our full review.
We also went in-depth with our technology and safety review on Mazda’s midsize pickup truck, highlighting its infotainment and creature comforts paired with competitive pricing. In this article, we’ll be talking about the interior and cargo space of the BT-50. Does the cabin quality and comfort rate highly among its competitors? What kind of capacity and towing capabilities can we expect? Let’s find out.
Nice and simple or too plain?
We get the fact that pickups are workhorses, and their interiors reflect the sturdiness associated with that image. Plastic is your go to material for that, able to deal with all the dings, scratches, and dirt that could find its way into the cabin through everyday use. In this case, the Mazda embraces the utilitarian look well enough, and it helps that the fit and finish is good overall. They even managed to add leather seats, a nice leather steering wheel, and plush door armrests; there’s a tiny bit of aluminum plastic trim, too, sprinkled about the cabin. The seats are supportive and comfortable, but lack any electronic adjustment for the driver, something seen in top trim pickups these days. The steering wheel also lacks any telescopic adjustment, unfortunately. Fitting five adults is a breeze, and there’s a generous amount of space for all types of passengers.
Despite the older but still powerful 3.2L turbocharged diesel engine in the 4x4 trim, noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) was decent, with engine noise creeping into the cabin only at much higher RPMs. The chassis feels a bit stiffer when compared directly to rivals, but road going prowess is decent, and there’s a definite heft in the BT-50’s driving characteristics. We expect the comfort of the suspension to improve with more load, but it’s not the most forgiving ride out there.
Unfortunately, the BT-50’s contemporaries make stronger cases when it comes to cabin quality and material choices, deciding to spruce up their interiors with things such as generous amounts of leather and soft touch plastics. Sometimes the idea of a hard, stiff, and sturdy interior might not be a selling point for some buyers, and that’s where the BT-50 might be overlooked.
Big engine, better versatility
As with any pickup, the bed capacity is king when it comes to winning over those looking for a capable workhorse. With dimensions measuring a very useful 1560mm width and 1549mm length, there’s a lot to like here. With a powerful 3.2L turbocharged diesel engine, you’re also looking at a towing capacity of 3,500 kilograms, ready for a variety of trailers. That impressive towing capacity combined with a maximum payload of 1,100 kilograms make the BT-50 ready for any task.