Trucks Trucks & SUVs

The Mazda BT-50 Might Be the Best Truck Not Available in the U.S.

In your quest for the best truck on the market, Mazda may not come to mind as a top performer. But what you may not realize is that the Mazda BT-50 is getting all of the praise overseas. It may even be the best truck that isn’t being offered here in the U.S. Let’s look at what people are saying about Mazda’s best pickup.

The Mazda BT-50 has all the style

The Mazda BT-50 has a beefy look to it. If a midsize truck had muscles, they would look like the BT-50. While most automakers opt for a leaner design, Mazda is sticking to this chiseled, hunky look.

The BT-50 almost appears to have a broader stance than most, but that’s due to the precise design of the wheel arches and overall outline. It boasts 17-inch aluminum wheels and stands off the ground 9.3 inches for solid ground clearance.

It has fun and peppy performance

The Mazda BT-50 offers a 2.2-liter turbo engine or 3.2-liter turbo engine. Both are diesel, but torque is at peak with the 2.2-liter five-speed manual transmission. While the 3.2L offers a six-speed automatic transmission, the most fun is driving with the stick shift. Reviews praise the Mazda’s peppy performance, mostly with a controlled selection of gears.

Here are the official specs of the 2020 Mazda BT-50:

  • 200 hp
  • 276.5 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Independent double wishbone suspension
  • 3,500 kg towing capacity
  • 2,040 kg weight

Standard features on the BT-50 include:

  • Four-wheel-drive with shift-on-the-fly capabilities
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sidesteps
  • Fog lamps
  • USB connectivity with aux jack

The Mazda BT-50 has the most practical interior

Go entirely upscale with the Mazda BT-50 Pro and enjoy leather seats and electronic seat maneuvering. Lower trim levels are available for those interested in a work truck, as well.

Expect a 3.5-inch display, easy to use buttons, and simplistic dialing for almost any hands. This truck is designed for the utmost practicality and function.

It has all the best tech

Some of the other midsize trucks claim to have the best technology, safety, and gadgets. However, it’s worth mentioning Mazda’s attention to tech in the Mazda BT-50.

Braking, for instance, offers superior performance. There are a host of safety technology enhancements to accommodate driving in almost any road or weather conditions. Buyers enjoy hill launch assist, dynamical stability control, as well as traction control features. 

Why can’t you buy the Mazda BT-50 in the U.S.?

Mazda has a presence in America, but why won’t we see the BT-50? Any company based outside the U.S. that pursues truck sales here is also required to manufacture them here. It all goes back to the chicken tax imposed in 1964.

This was a tariff designed to target chicken imported from the United States into France and Germany. A countermeasure ensued that still holds true today. Mazda may pursue production again for trucks on this side of the ocean. But, for now, the BT-50 is enjoying top ratings in Australia, Asia, and parts of Africa.

It’s not like we don’t have a robust selection of midsize truck options available in the states. But it’s a bit of bummer to see consumers singing the praises of a fun, peppy truck without having a chance to drive one ourselves. Only time will tell if we’ll get our chance.