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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
She says Lindy George Climbing out of my small car into the BT-50 feels a bit like driving a truck at first -- that big nose with its bull bar, a rear end that goes on forever and the chug of a diesel motor. It has twice the turning circle I'm used to and I could eye- ball fellow 4WDs instead of looking up at them. And seriously, I didn't think 'pull and turn' park brakes still existed -- this one has so much travel that my chin was practically touching the steering wheel by the time I disengaged it. Thankfully the clutch holds so well that park brake- assisted hill starts weren't necessary -- in fact it's almost like having 'hill hold'! But the Mazda BT-50 is what it is -- a ute, and probably more for the tradie than the lady. The Freestyle Cab Utility is registered to carry four people. The rear 'dickie' seats are neither comfortable nor have sufficient room and with a lack of adequate back and head support, I wouldn't use them for day-to-day transport. If you're considering a BT-50 as a family car, go for a Dual Cab (however be aware that the rear-centre seat belt is a lap belt not a lap-sash). The Freestyle also has a rear-door system that means a constant tangle of kids, backpacks and doors -- particularly difficult in the confines of a car park. But, having said all that, the boys will love it -- strong and reliable, with a 3.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine (averaging 9.5l/100km) standard across the range. The BT-50 Freestyle is available in 5-speed auto or manual transmission. According to 'He', the 4X4 is more than capable off-road. So in this ute, I'd be happy for hubby to throw his mountain bike in the back and head bush. There's heaps of room for the camping gear, including rear under-floor storage bins and it's capable of towing the boat as well -- no thanks, I'll stay home! Our Freestyle came standard with side steps and a rear step -- and yes, I needed them! The overall height gives great vision, made even better with large power exterior mirrors. Safety includes front driver, passenger and side front airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution). The interior has all you need within easy reach, even for me -- except for the park brake! The front driver and passenger seats are comfy, which is great when you're not used to such a bouncy ride. The leather w rap steering wheel and gear shift were nice little extras. And because it's also available in a choice of eight 'blokey' colours, I'm sure there's one we could agree on. ANCAP Rating ★★★ Green Vehicle Rating ★★½ Looking for a new car? Ex-Tasmanian Government vehicles, most about two years old with 40,000km RACT Roadworthy Inspection with each vehicle (includes pre-registration certificate) Viewings and fixed price on Saturdays from 9am-2pm or Mondays from 8am Auctions every Tuesday at 11am 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent Park 6428 Buy with confidence at Pickles Auctions www.ract.com.au 39 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010