Did Mazda Ever Make a Pickup Truck?
American and Japanese automakers dominate the U.S. pickup truck market (though South Korea’s Hyundai is making inroads with the Santa Cruz). And from Japan, only Honda, Nissan, and Toyota are major players stateside. But that wasn’t always the case. At one time, a Mazda pickup truck was a reasonable alternative to the American and other Japanese manufacturers’ models.
What pickup trucks did Mazda make?
Though Mazda has exited the U.S. truck market, the automaker’s history of producing pickups dates back nearly a century. Some of the most notable Mazda pickup trucks include the following:
- Mazda Rotary Pickup (REPU), 1974–1977: As its name suggests, the REPU packed a Wankel rotary engine, giving it the distinction of being the only major production pickup to sport that engine type. Mazda sold about 15,000 units in North America during the REPU’s production run.
- Mazda B-Series, 1961–2009: The Mazda B-Series includes a host of compact pickups manufactured by the brand beginning in 1961 with the B1500. The B-Series was marketed as the Ford Ranger in some markets, and the two trucks shared a platform beginning in the mid-’90s until the line was discontinued.
- Mazda B2000, 1985–1987: The B2000 marked the fourth generation of the B-Series and debuted in 1985 in the North American market. The “2000” in the name denotes its 2.0-liter engine. From 1987 to 1993, the B2200 was available with a 2.2-liter engine.
- Mazda BT-50, 2006–present: In 2006, the BT-50 debuted as a larger variant of the B-Series. However, it’s sold only in select markets, and the U.S. isn’t one of them. The BT-50 shared its underpinnings with the Ranger, but Mazda and Isuzu now develop this pickup.
What was the first Mazda pickup truck?
The first Mazda pickup wasn’t a typical truck. Introduced in 1931, the Type-DA was essentially a three-wheeled motorcycle with a cargo bed.
According to Mazda, the Type-DA, also known as the Mazda-Go, had a load payload capacity of 200 kilograms (about 440 pounds). The automaker says it made 66 units, and they bore the Mitsubishi logo because Mazda vehicles at the time were marketed through Mitsubishi’s sales network.
Is the Mazda B-Series a Ford Ranger?
Mazda and Ford have a longstanding partnership that began with the Ford Courier (later the Ranger), basically a rebadged B-Series. As a result, the Mazda B-Series pickup truck and the Ford Ranger shared a platform from 1994 until B-Series production ended after the 2009 model year.
Are Mazda B-Series pickups reliable?
The B-Series has a strong reputation for reliability. For instance, the 1996 model scored 4.7 out of 5.0 points for reliability from Kelley Blue Book, and later editions also earned high marks. The 2009 Mazda B-Series pickup truck, the final of its production run in the United States, received a reliability rating of 4.6.
Is the Mazda BT-50 coming to America?
Though Mazda continues to make pickup trucks for other markets, primarily Australia and Thailand, the BT-50, produced in partnership with Isuzu, doesn’t appear primed for the American market. Mazda has announced no plans to bring the BT-50 to the States.
Does the Mazda BT-50 have a Ford engine?
The Mazda BT-50 is now produced with Isuzu, so the pickup packs Isuzu, not Ford, engines. Available engines for the latest BT-50 include 1.9-liter and 3.0-liter turbodiesels.
Is Mazda making a new pickup truck for the U.S. market?
Mazda hasn’t shared any plans for bringing the BT-50 or a new pickup truck to the U.S. market. With the BT-50 produced in conjunction with Isuzu, which no longer has a stateside market presence, and the model’s diesel engines, it seems unlikely the BT-50 will come to America without significant changes.
It also stands to reason the company isn’t willing to enter the U.S. pickup market because its SUVs and cars are major players in their segments and help drive Mazda’s marketing as an upscale brand.
So, Mazda has a long history in the truck segment that continues today, but its pickups remain forbidden fruit in the U.S. That will likely continue for the foreseeable future.