Living with Silver - Mazda BT-50 4x4 Limited


A second update story on the journey so far with our long term Mazda BT-50 4x4 ute, affectionately known as Silver.

Words: Robert Barry   |   Photos RB
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Silver our longterm BT-50 Limited, has now travelled more than 7000 km, and is now due for its first six-monthly service which will be booked into the Grey Lynn service department at John Andrew Mazda.

The beauty of the Mazda Commercial Care package offered to BT-50 owners is that they will never pay more than $200 plus GST for a standard six-monthly service during the vehicles three-year unlimited km warranty.

For those high-mileage users having the certainty of cost must be a hugely persuasive argument to run a BT-50 in preference to most of the other utes on the market, with the exception of the current model year Holden Colorado which is now covered by a capped-price service programme.

Part of the joy of running a long term vehicle like the BT-50 is experiencing the brands service network and discovering what it is really like to be an owner. Fortunately we’ve only touched the dealer network once in the last 7000km and it was a very pleasant experience.

Mazda New Zealand prides itself on its dealer network, and so as a bit of a mystery shopping experience for us, Silver was booked into South Auckland Motors - Mazda for the fitting of a detachable towbar.

It’s the little details that make or break the ownership experience

Have to say the team at South Auckland Motors in Manukau City are very friendly, at the ungodly hour of 7am very nice lady redirected us from the Ford service bay around to the Mazda service reception area which was found on the opposite side of the building.

Once in the right place, we found a pleasant reception area with tea and coffee facilities, and Merv the service advisor who reckoned the tow-bar fitting would take around three-hours and he would call once it was done. Sure enough exactly three hours later the phone rang.

When collecting Silver later that afternoon, we asked Merv for a run-through of how to operate the detachable tow-bar, and minutes later a young service technician was despatched to the forecourt to take us through the finer details of how to use it and where to store it when not in use.

It’s the little details that make or break the ownership experience, and so far we’ve been impressed with the Mazda network, so it will be interesting to see if the John Andrew team match or better the service we received from South Auckland Motors.

Apart from a few wear creases in the leather upholstery and a few minor clear coat blemishes from six months of being used as a daily commuter and weekend workhorse, Silver still looks and feels like a brand new car.

We have yet to put a really heavy trailer or caravan on that European designed detachable tow bar system, but Silver has carried plenty of firewood, as well as carting green waste to the refuse transfer station, and mountain bikes to cycle trails.


It also provides black leather upholstery, 8-way electric power adjustment for the driver’s seat, adaptive LED headlamps, privacy glass, chrome mirror caps with side indicators as well as heating function for demisting and power fold function for narrow parking spaces.

The navigation system comes with three-years of software updates at no additional cost, and we do like the real-time traffic advisory feature which helps you to stay away from congested Auckland streets.

Silver has been driven by most of the NZ Autocar team, editor Kyle and senior editor Peter, general manager Gavin, and photographer Tom, but the majority of the km’s travelled have been in the stewardship of commercial editor Robert.

The only grumble that has arisen during our time with Silver, is the occasionally squawking sound quality according to call recipients when using the Alpine Bluetooth system, despite the ability to control both the call volume and the microphone volume on the touch screen.

We are looking forward to spending some more time in Silver and have planned a few towing expeditions with a current BT-50 owner, as well as a future meeting with Mazda New Zealand’s team of BT-50 ambassadors to ask about their thoughts and experiences with the vehicle.

The Stats

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Model Mazda BT-50 Limited 4x4

Price $59795   Engine 3198cc, 5-Cylinder, 147kW/470Nm

Transmission 6-speed auto

Service 10,000km intervals, 3 year / 100,000km warranty

Vitals 10L/100km, 3200kg GVM, 1500kg payload,

3500kg towing capacity, 2118kg kerb weight

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