RSA Gets Way Cool Mazda BT-50 Small Pickup. Where's Ours?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

For some time, commentators on this site have bemoaned the lackluster lineup of small pickups on offer stateside. Many suggested that India's Mahindara & Mahindra should enter the U.S. market with a simple, small, economical and tough-as-nails pickup. Well, how about the Mazda BT-50? The Full Throttle section of the iAfrica website signals the arrival of the latest version of the flatbed formerly known as the Drifter. The BT-50 looks like just the ticket for frugal pickup drivers, what with a 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection turbo diesel engine good for 115kW at 3200rpm and 380Nm of torque at 1800rpm. (Do the math; it's good.) We reckon if it weren't for that damn 25 percent "chicken tax" on imported pickups, the states would be awash with these next gen small pickups, saving gas and kicking ass.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 9 comments
  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Jul 13, 2007

    BTW, as regards the "chicken tax" comments, I'm not intimately familiar with the tax itself but I believe a manufacturer could get around it by importing the parts and doing final assembly in the US. IIRC this is exactly what the Japanese manufacturers did in the 80's to avoid the tax.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jul 14, 2007

    Nope, I disagree. The compact pcikup's are now going for ridiculous premiums compared with a year ago. The market now is VERY fertile for a good compact that is under 20k. The problem is that these vehicles tend to represent lower profits and are therefore not as strongly marketed as the full-sized offerings. You also have to take into account that nearly every major auto manufacturer today has some type of full-sized vehicle that sells for well north of 30k. Five years ago that wasn't the case.

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Jul 14, 2007

    What I'd like is a small truck with a long bed - say 7'. One can still get a Ranger that way, though it might have to be special ordered rather than found on the lot. Today's small trucks often seem to be tall 4 door sedans with a practically useless somewhat pickup-ish bed. I still like the Ranger and consider it a good buy in the small truck category, but I can really see a place for a small (as in Hilux sized) long bed diesel, in plane jane form.

  • Borderinsane Borderinsane on Jul 15, 2007

    A Mazda 2007 B-Series 2.3L SX (4x2) is available in Canada for CAD15,000 base. Since the USD is near parity with the CAD, that's easy math. Sadly, the diesel engine is not offered in Canada. The 4.0L 4x4 super-cab variant with automatic transmission and air-conditioning jumps the price to CAD23,450.