The new Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 share much in common, but are they really the same?
To the casual observer, the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 share nothing but a market segment: they are both dual-cab utes, that much is obvious, but inside and out they look completely different. The Ford is a bluff, squared-off truck in the Ford F-150 mould; the Mazda wears the swept back, bulbous guards, corporate-Mazda look.
But drill down further, and their shared DNA is revealed; these utes are twins born after a shared gestation period and with an identical gene pool. Both were engineered by Ford Australia and use identical powertrains, chassis and suspension. Nature provided the identical genes; Ford and Mazda engineers nurtured them to become slightly different, as we will see.
We tested the six-speed automatic mid-spec dual cabs, and compared and contrasted what should have been simple variations of a theme. While much was as we expected, some was not. The results may surprise you…
To read the full story, check out the April 2012 issue of 4X4 Australia.