Trucks & SUVs

The Mazda BT-50 is the Banned Ford Ranger We Need

Darn it, other countries get the coolest trucks, including the 2021 Mazda BT-50, which we can’t have in the United States. The Mazda BT-50 is a former Ford Ranger based truck that takes work and play to the next level, and we wish we could have it. 

Why isn’t the Mazda BT-50 in the United States 

The Mazda BT-50 replaced the Mazda B-Series trucks in 2006 and has a growing connection to the Ford Ranger. The grille and headlights are slightly different. Also, there are chrome accents to help it show off against its main rival, the Toyota Hilux, another cool truck we can’t have in the United States. 

2020 Mazda BT-50 Midsize Pickup | Mazda-00
2020 Mazda BT-50 Midsize Pickup | Mazda

While the Toyota Hilux fails to meet emission standards, the Mazda BT-50 faces the chicken tax. The Chicken tax imposes a 25% tax on all vehicles imported into the U.S., making it difficult for manufacturers to make a profit off of them. 

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So, allowing the Mazda BT-50 to be sold here could be a pretty risky business move. Also, for 2021, the BT-50 switched from using Ford Ranger parts to being a by-product of the Isuzu D-Max pickup truck, with a new platform and bodywork. 

Mazda BT-50 power 

Most of the cool trucks we don’t get like the VW Amarok, BT-50, and Toyota Hilux are equipped with diesel engines, as that’s a more popular option in Australia, South America, and Europe. While the Mazda BT-50 used to have Ford Ranger powertrains, it’s making some changes for 2021. 

Isuzu engines will now power the 2021 Mazda BT-50. A 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 190 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque comes standard. This is a downgrade from the previous engine, which was a 3.3-liter inline five option with 200 horsepower. 

This will help the Mazda BT-50 be more fuel-efficient even though it will suffer a power loss, which is seen in the Isuzu D-Max. The Mazda BT-50 can tow up to 7,700 lb when properly equipped, making it a powerful little beast. It can also carry a payload of up to 2,200 lb. 

Black 2021 Mazda BT-50 pickup truck rising over a ridge
2021 Mazda BT-50 pickup truck

Currently, the suspension for the 2021 Mazda BT-50 is being kept under wraps, but a ladder-frame chassis, and leaf spring suspension is expected in the rear to carry more weight and to enhance towing abilities. It does have a rear locking differential and has a water wading depth of up to 33″. 

Mazda BT-50 features 

While the inside of the Mazda BT-50 used to feel like the Ford Ranger, now it feels more similar to the interior of the Isuzu D-Max. It also has a more upscale feel than before with soft-touch materials on the dash, center console, armrests, and more. 

The Mazda BT-50 can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also has convenience features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic wipers, remote start, and parking sensors. It also has modern safety features such as rear-cross traffic alert and more. 

two 2021 Mazda BT-50 midsize pickup truck front 3/4 views
2021 Mazda BT-50 midsize pickup truck | Mazda

We hope that the Ford Ranger will receive updates to become a more powerful off-roader like the Mazda BT-50. The Ford Ranger Raptor is coming, but so is the Ford Maverick. We will just have to wait and see what 2022 has in store for the U.S. in terms of better off-roading trucks.