I cannot believe that at the end of November our Mazda BT50 will turn two!
Back in March 2013 Brenden changed jobs and as a result he had to hand back his company vehicle which was a 2011 150 Series Toyota Prado. Although we really loved the Prado – it was a beautiful vehicle – we weren’t really sure what sort of vehicle we wanted to replace it with.
So while we were deciding we bought an old Ford Explorer to tide us over. This is now Brenden’s work car and it sits in the truck yard most of the time.
Now, whether you are thinking of buying a new vehicle or a second hand one, the purchase of a motor vehicle is a big decision and can also be a very pricey one. It is also something that is a very personal choice. To some people a motor vehicle is just a means of getting from point A to point B but for others it is something of a statement about themselves – an extension of their personalities.
Brenden is a researcher when it comes to making a big purchase and I was happy to let him start the process of choosing our new set of wheels. We had a few things that we considered to be important and these included –
- Diesel motor
- Good leg room in the front and the back as Brenden and the kids are all over 6ft tall
- High Clearance
- Utility Back so we could fit a canopy and a drawer system
- Ability to tow a decent sized van in the future
(You may ask why we wanted an automatic instead of a manual? Brenden had a serious bike accident several years ago and has limited mobility in his left leg so an auto just makes life easier! Plus he reckons he spends enough time changing gears in his truck!)
NEW OR SECOND HAND
The other decision we had to make was whether we wanted to buy new or second hand. We decided that as we wanted to own this vehicle for several years we would go with a new one. We also had to give consideration to our financial position. Could we afford the repayments on a new vehicle? I did the math and worked out that my wage from my part-time job would cover repayments.
We probably spent about two months all up looking at different vehicles and taking a few for a test drive. Of course we looked at the obvious candidates like the Toyota Landcruiser – way out of our price range, Toyota 70 Series Cruiser – only comes in manual, Toyota Hi Lux – limited leg room in the back, Ford Ranger – couldn’t justify extra cost for same features as the Mazda and the D-Max at the time of us looking only had a 2.4 litre engine capacity.
So the more we looked at the Mazda BT50 the more boxes it ticked. Plus it had the 3.5 tonne towing capacity that we were looking for. Our local Mazda dealer here on the Gold Coast was our next port of call to arrange a test drive. Unfortunately when you take a vehicle for a test drive your are pretty limited with how far you can go in it and where you can take it – I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be very happy with you testing out it’s four-wheel drive capabilities. We were lucky in that one of our good mates had an earlier model BT that we had both driven a couple of times and that he was very happy with so we had a bit of an idea what they were like.
After our test drive we both decided that we were happy with the vehicle and went ahead and ordered one a few days later. When ever you buy a new vehicle there are always several options to choose from. We chose the GT Model for the leather seats, in dash ‘Navman’, electronic windows and electronic drivers seat. It also came fitted with a 3.5 tonne rated tow bar and a bull bar. We added a colour coded canopy and fitted a reversing camera.
So far in our two years of ownership we have travelled over 45,000 kilometres. We have been so happy with the choice we made. It’s first big outing was when we took it to Fraser Island with less than 5000 kilometres on it and the way it performed on the soft sandy tracks exceeded our expectations.
Fuel consumption is brilliant for a large 4WD. Even around town, and with a learner driver behind the wheel a lot of the time.
It tows our camper trailer beautifully – you don’t even know it’s there. It’s a four-wheel drive that feels like a car to drive.
Brenden says, “I miss the 3 zoned climate control for the kids A/C and the gearbox doesn’t hold the gear for the engine to brake.”
Everything else about the vehicle gets a big tick from him, especially the torque of the big 5 cylinder diesel.
Melissa says, “It’s a bloody big car to drive. It took me awhile to get really confident in it especially parking it in shopping centres. But at the same time I love being up high and I feel safe in it!”
Everything else gets a huge tick from me as well.
So if you are looking for a new four wheel drive we would highly recommend you giving the Mazda BT50 the once over!