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November 18, 2021

Will Mazda Philippines Introduce A Smaller Engine For The 2022 BT-50?

When Mazda Philippines revealed the all-new 2022 BT-50, there was a collective gasp when it came to one thing: the pricing.

With the Japanese brand’s tendency to price its products towards the premium scale of things (read: expensive), it came as a surprise to all that they’ve managed to undercut its mechanical twin, the Isuzu D-MAX.

For comparison, the top-of-the-line Mazda BT-50 costs P 1,790,000 to the Isuzu D-MAX LS-E’s P 1,825,000. And despite the P 35,000 difference, the Mazda comes with features such as rear lockers, free five years of service, and a service interval of just twice a year (Isuzu still does with the traditional four).

Going down to the 4x2s, it’s a more level playing field. The BT-50 4x2 M/T costs P 1,390,000 to the equivalent D-MAX 4x2 LS M/T at P 1,320,000, while the BT-50 4x2 AT sets you back P 1,430,000 to the D-MAX 4x2 LS-A A/T’s P 1,390,000. For those who’re not so good at math, that’s a difference of P 70,000 for the M/T and P 40,000 for the A/T in favor of Isuzu. Again, this doesn’t factor in the additional equipment found in the BT-50. Factor those in—LED headlights, standard cruise control, wireless Apple CarPlay, and five years of free service—once again it tips in favor of Mazda. Of note, the BT-50 4x2 doesn’t have blindspot monitors which the LS-A A/T has.

With such competitive pricing versus its twin, is Mazda Philippines willing to go for the win in the pickup truck segment? Say by further sucker punching Isuzu by introducing lower-end variants, perhaps those powered by the 1.9-liter RZ4E engine?

Well, those plans aren’t happening right now says Steven Tan, president of Bermaz Auto Philippines, the distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country.

“I’m a truck guy,” says Tan. “And if there’s one thing I know, Filipinos always prefer power. That’s why we’re offering the 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine as standard across our BT-50 line-up. We believe it offers the best balance of performance, fuel efficiency, and durability.”

He goes on to reveal that the price difference between equipping the 1.9-liter RZ4E and 3.0-liter 4JJ3-TCX isn’t huge when it comes to the distributor side. True enough, a gander at Isuzu’s official price list reveals that the similarly-equipped D-MAX RZ4E LS MT and the D-MAX 3.0 LS MT differs by just P 101,000. And remember, this price difference is already at the retail level.

Mr. Tan goes on to say that the biggest reason for Isuzu’s decision to make the RZ4E engine is down to emissions.

“The 1.9-liter RZ4E is rated to go up to Euro 6 emissions standards,” he says. “The 3.0-liter 4JJ3-TCX can go up to Euro 5. Since the Philippines is Euro 4, we figured this single powerplant is perfect for the market.”

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