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2022 Mazda BT-50 features detailed: Ford Ranger rival's update adds second diesel engine option and new Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain-rivalling SP grade

The SP is the BT-50’s newest grade, slotting in between the GT and Thunder at the top of the range.

Mazda Australia has announced the third-generation BT-50’s MY22 update will arrive in January, with the ute set to add a second turbo-diesel engine option as well as a new SP grade that has the related Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain firmly in its sights.

While pricing hasn’t been announced yet, Mazda Australia has confirmed the MY22 BT-50’s key specification details, including its new entry-level grade, the XS, which is motivated by a 110kW/350Nm 1.9-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that’s exclusively mated to a six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. Its braked towing capacity is 3000kg.

Until now, the entire Ford Ranger-rivalling BT-50 range used a 140kW/450Nm 3.0-litre unit that could be paired with a six-speed manual or the aforementioned automatic, and had a braked towing capacity of 3500kg. That said, that’s still the case for every grade other than the XS.

Either way, the XS is available in 4x2 single-cab chassis, 4x2 dual-cab pick-up and 4x4 dual-cab pick-up forms, with the previous range-opening grade, the XT, continuing to go further with 4x4 single-cab chassis, 4x2 extra-cab chassis, 4x2 dual-cab chassis and 4x4 dual-cab chassis guises.

Aside from their difference in 17-inch wheels (steel and alloy respectively), the XS and XT share their standard equipment, including a rear differential lock (4x4 only), LED headlights, power-adjustable side mirrors, a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, wireless/wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto support, digital radio, black cloth upholstery and vinyl floor coverings. Of note, all cab-chassis variants now come with black bumpers instead of body-colour.

Advanced driver-assist systems extend to autonomous emergency braking (with intersection assist), now-disableable lane-keep and steering assist (with emergency functionality), regular (manual) or adaptive (automatic) cruise control, speed limit recognition, high-beam assist driver attention alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors (pick-up only).

Next up is the mid-range XTR grade, which now complements its 4x2 dual-cab pick-up (automatic only) and 4x4 dual-cab pick-up forms with a 4x4 dual-cab chassis guise (automatic only).

Over the XT, the XTR adds LED daytime running lights and foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors, side steps, keyless entry, push-button start, a 9.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear selector, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Then there’s the GT grade, which is only offered in 4x4 dual-cab pick-up form. It gets remote engine start (automatic only), chrome side mirrors with heating, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, brown leather upholstery and front parking sensors.

Which finally brings us the aforementioned SP. It uses the same formula as the GT but also throws in a black grille insert with Gunmetal surrounds, gloss-black fender flares, satin-black 18-inch alloy wheels, gloss-blacks side mirrors, dark-grey side steps, dark-grey metallic roof rails, a gloss-black sailplane sports bar, a tub liner, a black roller tonneau cover and Driftwood leather/black synthetic-suede upholstery.

That said, the locally finished Thunder grade still assumes flagship responsibilities, featuring a single-hoop steel front bull bar, a Lightforce dual-row LED lightbar, fender flares, black 18-inch alloy wheels, side steps, a ‘premium’ sports bar, a tub liner and a power-operated roller tonneau cover above the GT.

For reference, the BT-50 is currently priced from $36,550 to $68,990 plus on-road costs, but expect the starting price to be lowered with the addition of the XS. Stay tuned for the official MY22 pricing.