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Driven: 2019 Mazda BT-50 gets updated

Mazda’s BT-50 has been around since 2011 and has hardly changed in those years. It’s based on the Ford Ranger but hasn’t been getting the same raft of constant updates.

The BT-50 still isn’t the techno-wizard that the Ford Ranger is, but the new look has softened the anime-style smile that polarised opinion on its looks. That new front-end is touted to improve airflow to your radiator and intercooler, but the factory bullbar design has stayed the same.

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Interestingly, it’s an Australia-only facelift; that front-end is made by Australian company EGR. Mechanically, it’s still all the same: 2.2-litre (110kW/375Nm) or 3.2-litre (147kW/470Nm) diesel engines are your options. There is now Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Mazda has also bumped out service intervals from 10,000km to 15,000km.

The new BT-50 still drives a fairly hard bargain for Australians, who mostly see it as a cheaper Ford Ranger without as many features. Prices start from $28,990 for a 2.2-litre single-cab 2WD XT, stretching up to $51,990 for a 3.2-litre GT 4X4 automatic.