FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 SHED 078

WORDS MATT RAUDONIKIS

DATE ACQUIRED: NOV 2015 PRICE: $63,645 (inc extras) KM THIS MONTH: 927 AV FUEL: 11.2L/100KM KM 0 1 1 5 0 2 09

ONLY AFTER YOUíVE DRIVEN A CAR FOR SOME TIME DO ALL THE DOWNSIDES BECOME CLEAR. BUT WITH OUR LONG-TERM PRESS CAR, THE BT-50, THE GOOD STILL OUTWEIGHS THE BAD

They say youíll never know how many friends you have until you own a ute, a car trailer, or both. We proved that theory when one of our associates at MOTOR magazine spotted our BT50 in the carpark at a time when he was moving house. The timing was right for us, as we had five wagons on test for this issue, and so the BT was available for furniture-shifting duties, a task it handled with ease.

We also used the time we had the wagons at hand to get a 10,000km service done on the BT50, a relatively basic, routine service.

We had one fault to ask the service department at Brighton Mazda to attend to Ė a niggling rattle from under the car that has been there since we took delivery of the vehicle. It is a tinny rattle that can be heard at idle from outside the car and sounds like itís coming from an exhaust heat shield or something similar. This seems likely after the trip the Mazda did in Central Australia before we got it. Despite the rattle being easily audible from outside the car, the technicians at Brighton were unable to find its cause.

Maybe times have changed, but when I worked in the workshop of a new car dealer, if a mechanic tried to send out a car with such a rattle, the foreman or road tester would have kicked his arse, whether the car owner had noted the problem or not.

Aside from these happenings, the BT has been serving commuter duty, which it has done without trouble or complaint. You just need to be wary of the big uteís size when parking in suburbia, a task that isnít helped by the fact the reversing camera image is in the rear-view mirror and not the in-dash screen. While weíre mentioning the screen, itís great for sat-nav on and off road but is almost impossible to see in daylight, requiring you to shield it by hand to get a handle on whatís on screen. I donít know if itís the material used for the screen or simply that the angle of it catches the sun, but itís a crook design.

First world problems, I know. Itís lucky such problems are offset by the great size and performance of the BT.

Thereís a tinny rattle that can be heard at idle from outside the car and sounds like an exhaust heat shield or similar