A multipurpose car

The Mazda’s BT-50 2015 comes in two types, the 2.2 litre engine and the 3.2 litre engine. It is considered to be a utility vehicle with an athletic design. photos by Michael Kakumirizi

What you need to know:

If you want a car that you can take to the farm and at office without any discomfort, what you need is a double cabin as Didas Kisembo writes.

Over the past years, several double cabin utility vehicles have dominated the Ugandan roads. The brands that are quite easy on that tongue in this regard include Toyota and Ford. But lately, another player has entered the market – Mazda.
Featuring a ladder frame chassis, Mazda’s BT-50 2015 vehicle is beefed up to be a rigid utility vehicle.
The latest installment comes in to packages that feature 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre and 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre turbo diesel engines along with the six-speed manual or auto transmissions.


Launched last month, Mazda BT-50’s exterior has an athletic design; that amongst other features includes 17 inch steel wheels and dual front airbags. It has an ingenuous outlook– which is a move away from the blocky styling that most double cabins feature.
On the outside, the BT-50 style features HID headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and grille, along with tail lights within the same body apertures.
Rodgers Byamugisha, the Mazda brand sale representative, explains that the new outlook is one that is premised on balancing the need for comfort in utility vehicles.
“It is like cruising a luxury SUV. You can now execute your heavy duty activities while in the comfort of this double cabin.


It also has Bluetooth hands-free and audio, Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Launch Assist (HLA) as well as satellite navigation. Mazda this year also incorporated a reversing camera on its safety features list.
“Because of the nature of work these vehicles have to carry out on a daily basis, these safety features will help ensure the car does not get knocked or scratched,” Byamugisha adds.
In 2014, Drive, a global leading online source for consumers researching to buy a new car, ranked the BT-50 as the Drive Car of the Year amongst utility vehicles giving it a five-star rating for its safety features.
Byamugisha believes the new safety improvements on the 2015 model will take it a notch higher.


For all its pluses, the Mazda brand faces a challenge of accessibility of its vehicle parts on the Ugandan Market, for example for persons upcountry that may need spare parts for the vehicles.
George Lugemwa, a mechanic with Smart mechanics Kisekka, adds; “There has been a struggle in finding parts and even when the service providers try their level best to stock up, there are scenarios when the part you need is unavailable or out of stock and that leads to more costs in importation of parts.
He adds; “There is also the issue of cost. The new Mazda is expensive and a high maintenance car. So whoever takes it should be ready to foot the bill all the way.”


When it comes to money matters, the Mazda double cabin goes for $44,000 (Shs156m) for the 2.2 litre engines and $52,000 (Shs184m) for the 3.2 litre engine, which Byamugisha explains it is worth it.
“If you are after quality and durability, then this should be your pick,” he says.
“Besides, it also comes with two years or 50,000kms mechanical warranty to cover any defects you may encounter.” Byamugisha further adds that there are also special packages on pricing for those who purchase in bulk and negotiations to that effect can be initiated once the party states intent.
For now, how the latest Mazda will fare alongside the other brands remains to be seen, but what is clear is that the BT-50 double cabin is one that is sure to draw the attention of those that love comfort and sturdiness in a utility vehicle.

The numbers

Cost of the 2.2 litre engine

Cost of the 3.2 litre engine


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