Well, if they had a facebook status, it would be it's complicated but they're all very competitive in the 4×4 dual cab part of the market, that's right mate. What we have here is the new mazda, bt50 and it's, based on the new generation isuzu d max, whereas in the past it was pretty much a ford ranger in disguise. This matchup is going to be a beauty it's going to be awesome and in this test, i'll be taking care of the on road part of the video. While crafty will be doing the off road part, i will give it a nudge Applause. These three dual cab diesel four wheel, drive utes with automatic transmissions are towards the top of their respective model lines, and all of them have a point to prove in this test. The mazda bt50 model we've got here is the range topping gt variant? Does it look enough, like a range topper in this company it's a bit understated, but it is a bit more affordable on list pricing anyway, the isuzu d max in this test is the x terrain. The show pony flagship model in the new generation d max the price you see here is a list price, but the brand is doing drive away. Deals already check out autotrader to find a bargain. Then there's the established legend of this segment, the ford ranger wild track. We'Ve got the 2 litre biturbo version, which waves the most expensive flag.
In this comparison test, you can find out what your money will get you in each of these utes by reading the full detailed comparison test and you'll find the link to that story. In the description below, if you want to watch matt detail the on road driving experience, then stay tuned, but if you're a little bit impatient – and you want to see how these three units go off road then feel free to scrub ahead. The time codes are on screen now and if you're, watching on youtube, you'll find the chapter markers in the timeline and if you are watching on youtube, don't forget to hit like hit subscribe, share this video with your friends and hit the bell icon to stay up To date, with all of our latest videos, because there's plenty more on the channel now, should we go for a drive Music? The first thing you notice as soon as you slide into the driver's seat of the bt50, is just how upmarket feeling the interior is, and a lot of that comes down to the fact that you get brown leather, which is lovely. I actually really like brown leather. I think it's um quite nice. It sets it apart in this segment and mazda's all about that in a bunch of the different segments in which they play they do different trim finishes to make their cars feel well just a bit special. Also making the bt50 feel special is heated seats.
Well, actually, you get them in the ranger as well, and also an auto dimming rear view mirror, which you also get in the ranger, but you don't get those in the d max anyway. What i'm saying is the bt 50 feels nice inside and it's got a redesigned dashboard compared to the d max, which makes it just a little bit more up market there's, a bit more of the soft material stuff that you might want if you're buying a premium. Ute and it's yeah pretty pretty impressive. There are some elements which obviously are carried over from the d max, including the screen layout, the steering wheel, the instrument cluster. All of that, but it just looks different, which is what a lot of people will want. It doesn't drive differently, though it's in fact identical to the d max to drive, because isuzu didn't, really let mazda do anything to the steering the suspension, the engine, the transmission it's, basically, a cut and paste job and that's, not necessarily a bad thing. Let'S talk about the engine. First, it is an isuzu engine, a three liter turbo diesel. Four cylinder it's got less power and torque than a lot of its rivals for such a big engine capacity, but it's a pretty honest thing and it's got a six speed. Automatic transmission, which does a fairly good job in most situations, you will notice that it can jump around a little bit at higher speeds because it's trying to keep you in its torque band, which is actually quite a broad talk band.
But you might notice that transmission being a little bit busy but honestly it's, not that big of a deal you get used to it. The engine can be a little bit noisy though, and that's something you'll have to just live with and that's the same. In the d max, to be honest, just like the d max and the ranger in this test, the bt 50 has three and a half ton maximum brake towing capacity, 750 kilos for an unbreak trailer, and that means that it's at the benchmark level for dual cab. Utes in this segment now this particular bt50 doesn't have a tow bar. So we can't do a towing comparison this time around, but stay tuned we'll get to it. I'Ve really come to appreciate just how nice the steering is because i've driven an existing bt50 and the steering in it was very heavy. But this is very accurate and very usable and sure it's still got a big turning circle 12 and a half meters, but it's a ute. So you've got to expect that, and it just means that when you are doing a, u turn or three or five point turn then it's going to be a little bit easier to maneuver. The ride. Comfort is it's, okay for a ute it's, not exceptional it's, not as comfy as well one of its other competitors in this test which you'll find out about soon. But it is okay. The balance between comfort and control is okay, but i wouldn't say that it's cushy or relaxed just you notice a bit of the surface underneath the tyres, maybe more than you might expect that you would in a brand new generation ute, especially one that's sort of aimed At luxury ute buyers, one of the big ticks for the new platform that underpins this d max and bt 50 is the fact that it gets so much safety technology as standard.
We love that honestly it's such a big step forward for the dual cab ute segment and, if you're a dual purpose: buyer: the sort of person who wants to use their ute for work during the week and take the kids down the coast on the weekend. Then you're going to love that it's got so much safety tech, although some of those safety systems can be a little bit overbearing, especially the steering assist system in both the bt50 and the d max can get annoying, unlike some of the other utes in this segment. It'S not as simple to turn off those safety systems if they do get a little bit annoying for you, you have to use the steering wheel, controls and it's through the driver. Information screen there's no simple button to turn off the steering assist which could be a little bit frustrating you can disable all those safety systems when you go off road, though so this new bt50 is based on the isuzu d max, and it makes sense that we'll Jump into that one, next Applause, if you didn't, watch the mazda part of this video just before uh, this is going to make no sense, but it feels basically the same to drive the d max and the bt 50 are the same underneath and so there's. Actually not a whole lot new to talk about when it comes to the drive experience in the d max, as opposed to the bt 50, because they're identical.
But i suppose i should tell you all about the d max drive experience anyway, because you're watching this part of the video. So here it goes, the steering is light, accurate and direct and quite easy to maneuver into parking spots or three and five point turns just like the bt 50. The ride is: okay, just like the bt, 50 it's, pretty comfortable for the most part, although without a load in the back, you can feel that it's a little bit jittery. Although the d max x terrain is about 100 kilos heavier than the bt 50 gt, and that means that it does just have a slight very slight advantage in terms of ride comfort, if you didn't drive them back to back. You probably wouldn't pick up on it, but we've been driving back to back and i've picked up on it, so the ride is pretty good. The suspension copes pretty well with direction changes and it's, also not too sharp over lumps and bumps. In the road surface, the steering, as i mentioned, not too bad, the engine, yep it's good enough there's, a three liter four cylinder turbo diesel and it's the same engine as in the bt50 it's got less power and torque than a lot of its competitors, but it's A more relaxed drive experience because well it's, not too strained and the six speed auto does a pretty good job of keeping it in its sweet spot in the talk band, which means that it can be a little bit busy at higher revs.
But you get used to it and it's, not too noisy, although it's not the quietest ute in this test either. So what sets the d max apart from the bt? 50? Well, it's the interior design and finishes it's, not quite as plush as the bt 50, and that might matter to you. I mean i mentioned in the mazda part of this video that it's missing a few things in the d max top spec, including an auto dimming, mirror and heated seats, and that might matter to you, especially because this is more expensive than the bt 50. Although it does get a lot of those exterior bits and pieces, if you like the show pony ute style, so the interior design is different. Although there are some commonalities between the two vehicles, you've got the same screen. You'Ve got the same instrument. Cluster you've got a identical steering wheel, although this one says isuzu not mazda, obviously, but it's, still a pretty nice interior for what it is, and it does have a few advantages over the bt50, not in terms of necessarily the styling of it but the design because There are some nice bits like pop out cup holders next to the air vents, and that means that you don't have to deal with your coffee cup being too small for the central cup holders, because they're quite large in the bt50. It means that you might actually find yourself struggling to get your coffee out of the cup holders, try living with a ute and going for a road trip and not having somewhere suitable to put your cup and then come back to me in the comments section, and I actually like the design of the dashboard in this d max, i think it's, pretty smart it's, not yeah as plush, but it's it's, nice, and also it gets the added storage on top of the dash a little storage cubby up there, which is advantageous.
Now, if you've seen any of our other coverage of the d max you'll know that it got a 10 out of 10 for safety tech in our reviews, and it also got a five star. End cap safety rating as well and it's got everything that a ute can possibly have at this point in time. Now, if you're watching this in 2025, the game will have moved on, but in 2020, when this generation of d max came out, it was at the benchmark level. It set the benchmark for the segment. It'S got things like a front center airbag to stop. You clashing heads with someone in the event of a side, impact crash and it's also got all the safety tech. You could expect lane keeping assistance with active lane, keeping and blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, plus front and rear parking sensors and a rear view. Camera it's got pretty much everything that you can possibly get in a new car right now fitted to a ute and the pt50 has it all too, which is excellent. If you want to know all the nitty gritty detail on the safety technology, what each of these utes has and what one of them misses out on you can read all about it at the cars guide site. So this new generation d max does push the game forward for isuzu, but next let's jump into the ford ranger wild track, which, in some of our previous comparisons, has been crowned the king of the dual cab, utes Applause.
If you've seen any of our other comparison tests, you'll know that the ford ranger is one of our favorite utes in the segment and even with the new competition from the bt50 and d max. It still stands up as a very impressive vehicle when it comes to on road driving. Yes, it's getting a little bit old and there's an all new one coming soon, but you can't escape the fact that the ranger in wild track guys it's just very nice to drive because it's got excellent, steering which is very well weighted and it's got a nice Amount of feel through the wheel as well and also the suspension, is super comfortable, it's, very soft, and that means that it just copes with lumps and bumps better than a lot of its competitors, including the other two utes in this test. Yes, it does have a little bit of a price to pay if you do need to put lots of weight in the tray, because it is a little bit soft when you do that. But if you're running around with not too much weight in the back it's. Very very good: now this is the bi turbo version of the ranger. You can get the 3.2 litre 5 cylinder still if that's, what you want, but the 2 liter with the 10 speed automatic and two turbos is just excellent. It'S super refined, it's also really punchy. You might think that a two liter engine in a vehicle that's designed for both work and play isn't big enough and doesn't offer enough oomph but you'd be wrong because this engine is powerful.
It'S got plenty of torque and when you put your foot down it just smoothly progresses you up. The road it's got a nice sound to it too. If you ask me it's less of that diesel rattle that you get in the other utes in this test, it's got more torque and more power than both of the other utes in this test, and while it does have a narrower torque band, it's got more gears To play with so it stays in the talk band pretty well, you don't need to worry about it, shuffling away in the gears, because it does it so smoothly and overall, it just feels very refined in the range of wild track. It'S always felt good in here and even against these new rivals. It still feels really impressive there's lots of nice materials used in here, and it feels special as well, not just because of the dark headliner, but it does have a few elements across the dashboard. The orange stitching the wild track logo, it all just makes it feel, like you're driving something a bit more special than some of its rivals. There are some things that aren't great about the way that you have to use the controls in the ranger there's controls for the air conditioning through the screen and through the buttons below, which is a little bit annoying but geez you get used to it. I mean it's a pretty minor complaint because there's not much else to complain about inside the range of wild track.
It'S comfortable it's got very comfy seats. It'S got good storage, there's cup holders, there's no pop out cup holders like you get in the d max, but you do get decent sized cup holders there. So you can fit a coffee a little bit easier than you can in the d max and bt 50. One area where the ranger is falling a little bit short because of its age is that it's missing things like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, and it doesn't have the same level of sophistication to its safety systems in terms of the steering assist. But it does operate a little bit better it's a little bit less intrusive and that can make a little bit more relaxed of a drive experience because, yes, it does have lane keeping assist but it's, not quite as aggressive as what you find in the dmax and The bt50 and it's easier to disable, if you just want to turn off the lane keeping system it's just a button at the end of the stalk. Instead of having to go through the driver information screen and using the buttons on the steering wheel, like you do in the other two units in this test, if you want to know more about the full safety specs of each of these utes, including what speeds their Aeb systems work at and whether they've got pedestrian and cyclist detection you'll have to read the full detailed review because it's too complicated to go over right here now.
It'S crafty's turn the new bt50 and the d max, as you know, are essentially the same vehicle. The skin's just different, the metal, is just different. The design elements that doesn't matter when you're low range four wheel, driving what matters is what's underneath the guts of the vehicle. You want to know that the mechanicals are all up to the task. You want to know that the four wheel drive system, the off road traction control, is up to the task and the good news is the bt. 50 is it's, giving it a bit of heavy right boot and we're through. This is a real greasy track. It'S a clay surface and it tends to become really slippery and even the slightest hint of rain and there's been more than a hint overnight. There'S been a lot of rain. It'S really washed. This out, it's it's exposed tree roots, it's exposed, rocks and it's made the holes that were pretty serious before even more severe and it's a real challenge for a standard vehicle. The bt 50 is eating it up. We'Ve had the d max here before in lsu variant, and it did it really well. That was in the dry, though, so this is a really good test, wet slippery, pretty dangerous in parts, but the bt50 is doing well. All the elements are there that off road traction control system has been recalibrated because it is the d max's. After all, the bt 50 has a little bit less power and torque than in its previous generation, but that doesn't really matter you don't, need to go gung ho with your right boot.
Well, not most of the time anyway, every now and again, but the parent talking. This is working pretty well as it does in the d max you've really got enough there on tap there's plenty of wheel, travel it's, not a modified vehicle after all, but if you can get the tire to the dirt, you can use that torque and you can Keep going for a stock standard vehicle, the new bt50 is pretty impressive. Music engine braking is good in the bt 50 and if you don't want to rely on that on severe downhills, you can always engage hill descent control and again, that's shown its worth in the d max we've been on this hill before in the dry, and it Worked really well and in the wet it is also very effective. We'Ve had the bt 50 run down this hill a couple of times prior to this and it's always held at speed, nice and firm, two or three kilometers an hour and that's enough. Just to give you nice control and maintain that throughout, so you don't have to think about anything else. You can concentrate on well having fun, but also getting through unscathed. Overall, the new bt50 has shown itself to be a pretty impressive all around off road package and with that d, max platform on which it's built that's, no surprise, because, as i've mentioned, the d max has impressed us off road as well. You really could do a lot worse than use a new bt50 as your off road tourer of choice.
The d max did the dern and gravel track on the way here reasonably well: it's, not the most refined thing around and it can get a little bit noisy when pushed hard but it's perfectly fine and now for the low range four wheel driving. This is a hill that we've had a d max here before, but we had the lsu it's all the same mechanicals. This is the x terrain, the top spec, all the same four wheel, drive setup, so we're not expecting any difficulties and sure enough it's doing it. Pretty well there's, no real need to put the hammer down except here and there, where the washed out ruts are, are quite deep and are quite severe, and your way out can be quite steep, but the d max seems more than up to the task. The d max has always had a pretty robust four wheel drive setup, but in the past it was hampered by a less than ideal off road traction control system. Let'S be honest, but that's been sorted out with this new line up it's proving its worth it's doing this easily and as an all round package. It really is quite impressive, because the bt 50 and the d max have so much in common. It really is like driving the same ute and both utes are very effective Music. The ford ranger did a great job coming in over lightly corrugated, gravel and dirt tracks, but this is now the serious stuff we are in low range.
We'Ve got the rear, diff, lock, locked and we're we're getting wheels up. This is the fun part of full driving. The engine is up to the task. There'S, nothing wrong with the ford rangers by turbo engine there's plenty of torque plenty of gears in the auto transmission to cycle through to make sure that you're at that peak, torque range and it's comfortably capable and that's the thing with the range and that's. What sets it apart from pretty much every other ute around is that, while many of the others pretty much all modern utes are capable, the ranger tends to eat hardcore terrain up off road traction control in the ranger is quietly effective, it's, always chirping away it's, always Giving you that little bit of torque that little bit of traction to keep you moving and safe, controlled, sustained momentum is what four wheel driving is all about. We'Re popping wheels all over the place, but some pretty serious obstacles to get through you've got to put the boot in a little bit, but the ranger is more than up to the task in this trio, however, the ranger has the shallowest off road angles and the Least, amount of ground clearance, but with a bit of considered driving you're generally okay. But it does tend to grind and bump and ground itself on some of the sharper steeper rocks and through the deeper ruts. But as long as you take your time and pick your line, you're generally, okay, Music down this muddy hill, is a real good test of a standard four wheel drive.
If you pitch it into a hole, you don't have a lot of space to move and remember. We'Re, relying on essentially highway tyres stock standard tyres which are doing pretty well in the circumstances, but obviously that's something you'd swap out and you'd go for a more aggressive, all terrain set of tyres. Hill descent control in the range is another strong part of its off road arsenal at the moment, it's keeping us to a steady speed of about two or three kilometers and that's important when you're on a steep, real greasy sort of clay surface. Just to keep you in control, you'll hear it every now and again sort of chime in, but it really is quite non intrusive but still very effective. While the ranger feels a little bit unwieldy, especially through tight tree sections like this it's, actually quite easy to maneuver. The steering is light and precise. It even feels a little bit too floaty at times, especially on open dirt tracks, but on this sort of stuff, where you need supreme maneuverability, you need to be able to get in and out of tight turns. While it feels big in terms of dimensions, it doesn't feel big if this makes sense in terms of steerability around, especially in low range four wheel, driving at the start of this video. We said it was all about how they go on road and off road, and surprising. Both of us was the fact that the ford ranger wild track was the best in both of those situations, it's still a really good ute, but these are very strong competitors that it's up against, including the isuzu d max x, terrain absolutely mate spot on, and this Definitely looks the business and it is very comfortable and it is very capable on and off road, as is the bt50 gt, but that's.
If you want a little bit more of a prestige, feel it's. Quite nice, yeah it's got a bit more classy feel to it and the ford ranger well. It is starting to miss out on some of the bits that the newer utes have like all that comprehensive safety equipment, but it is also the most expensive of these three. So it really depends what your preferences are and we'd love to know what they are. Let us know in the comments section below whether you're on the cars guide site, where you can find the full detailed review or if you're, on the youtube channel you'll, find the full detailed review story link in the description below and if you are watching on youtube.