LIGHTING THE WAY

MAZDA BT-50 XTR 4X4 SHED 078

WORDS MATT RAUDONIKIS

DATE ACQUIRED: NOV 2015 PRICE: $63,645 (inc extras) KM THIS MONTH: 2145KM AV FUEL: 10.9L/100KM KM 0 1 3 6 4 7 09

OUR RESIDENT BT-50 SCORES SOME HIGH-CLASS DRIVING LIGHTS FROM LIGHTFORCE.

164 www.4X4australia.com.au Our BT-50 has been out on loan again, this time with the crew from Tradea- Boat magazine who had a fishing trip to some coastal location. They only just got back, but they reported the Mazda towed the 2.5-tonne boat up through Gippsland with ease, in comfort and remained economical. If only the fishing was that good, hey guys? More on that next month.

Before the boaties took it away we couldn’t resist fitting a set of Lightforce’s new DL230HTX driving lights to the bullbar. The BT came with a set of Lightforce Genesis spotties, which are great lights. Mazda should be commended for offering such top quality products as a genuine accessory. And it’s an Australian product, too! But these HTX lights are the next level up.

The HTX combines the broad beam lighting of an LED lightbar with the farreaching beam of HID lights. The 20 LED chips are wrapped around the 70-watt HID light, so there’s no need to have both round lights plus a lightbar on the front of your car. You can even run either the LEDs or the HIDs on their own, or switch them on together for the ultimate performance. Initial impressions are that the lights are amazing, but we’ll have a more extensive test of the Australianmade lights soon.

The lights were fitted by our good mate and local Lightforce distributor Phil Cochrane down at Ontrack Automotive in Ferntree Gully. Phil did the EFS suspension upgrade on our project HiLux give-away (March, 2016) and knows his stuff, so we had no qualms letting him loose on the Mazda BT-50. Fitting lights posed no challenge for him.

Around town the BT continues to be a great commuter. Ideal for chucking the BMX in the back to get away for rides, hitting the 4x4 tracks on quick weekend drives and just getting about the city. The versatility of a double-cab ute is unmatched and the Mazda, with its relatively big 3.2-litre diesel engine and six-speeed auto, provides a great balance of performance and economy.