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Truck Thursday: 2013 Mazda BT-50 – The Small Pickup We Can’t Have

Sigh. Ford has said that, despite between 70,000-200,000 annual sales in the last decade,  it did not make financial sense for them to sell a small pickup truck in the United States (or something along those lines). Head scratch

Being that this little Mazda is built right along the new Ford Ranger in other parts of the world, it won’t be coming here either. And that’s sad, because look at this thing… it’s totally bad-ass!

[Source: carguideblog.com via MazdaMovement| Thanks for the tip Bill!]

While Mazda has not revealed any specifications, the power-train in the Ford Ranger adds insult to injury: “2.2-liter four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.2-liter in-line five-cylinder engine producing 197 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque”. Yes… small diesels.

Ford is choosing to focus on electric and hybrid vehicles for the economy starved people, and the magic that is EcoBoost, direct-injected turbo engines, for more conventional choices. Given that pickups, small and large, have been the bread-and-butter of the big three for decades, I fail to see why none of them have developed a small diesel for the North American market. B.S. excuses don’t work, just look at Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs.


  • ramLlama

    That does look very good.

    But, why is Mazda making a Ford Ranger? Didn't their JV end last year?

    • Not sure of the exact arrangements there. Perhaps the joint venture still exists at a lower degree.

    • Feds_II

      The car industry works 5 years ahead of today. I left gm in 05, and the last of my work got on the road last year.

      What I'm saying is that this thing was designed, tested, and tooled up before the JV was ended. No point sinking all that cost, especially on such an important product. The NEXT version of this truck likely wont be a colaboration.

      • ramLlama

        Ah, that makes a lot of sense. I had forgotten about the development times that cars usually see. Thanks!

  • MVEilenstein

    Ford isn't bringing the new Ranger here for a few reasons I can think of. 1)This truck is over 75% the size of an F-150 2)Full-size trucks can be had for a pretty good price these days 3) Demand. There's just not much.

    If you think about it, this truck is about the same size as an old full-size pickup.

  • I think I like the cleaner look of the 2013 Ranger better.
    <img src="http://mundodasdicas.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ford-ranger-2013.jpg"&gt;

  • buzzboy7

    Wish they were smaller. There's a reason people bought/buy small pickups. That reason is the word "small."

  • Bruno Balestra

    Look at the flipside:
    While we get all the small pickups here in Brazil, the only fullsizer we get is the Ram 2500.
    Now, I love that thing and will own one some day and the roads along with it (here in my corner of the country, size REALLY matters).
    BUT, having the diesel means having to have the 2500 trim, which adds higher suspension, smaller wheels, a aller bonnet and the necessity to upgrade one´s driver´s license to a "C".
    I wish we could have the diesel in the 1500- better in every way.
    Better yet, I wish we could have V8s, all the fullsizers with V8s….including your sedans.
    I am so bored by 4 cilinders and diesels…they are just everywhere.

  • Feds_II

    My lost and lamented '84 B2000.

    <img src="http://i480.photobucket.com/albums/rr161/DrKool/SuperB.jpg&quot; width=500>

    For scale, those are 29.5" tires on 15" rims.

    • G.K. Anguiano

      I'm only 25 years old, but my first vehicle was an '88 B2000. It was this exact same shade of red, some dudes from California removed the torsion bars and dropped it, threw some mags on it, and tinted the windows before I bought it. I know it sounds stupid. It was the most rough-riding little truck you've ever been in, but man, did it turn some heads. My big brother sold it out from under me for $50 when I was 15 because we had a disagreement. It had 275,000 miles on it and ran like a top! I'm looking to buy another one very soon, as my '87 RX-7 is not the best commuter car! I love Mazda with an undying passion, a true car lover's manufacturer. So, I too, feel your loss and lamentation, my friend! Awesome truck, I hope you can buy another one very soon!

  • Bren

    If Americans want 'small' pickups then Isuzu/GM and Nissan already have such models – Ford US is always behind the game since the Edsel destroyed their confidence – LOL

    • iwannadieseltrk

      Bren – Your missing the point, small & good mpg via DIESEL engine. My Ford Ranger only gets 16 mpg. 🙁

  • TechEd

    We get both the BT50 & Ranger here in Oz. Nice to have the good stuff for a change … but the waiting lists are long.

  • bhtooefr

    The reason why is because most of the buyers will still buy a V6 F-150, so they can afford to piss off Ranger buyers, because what else will they buy? An overpriced Tacoma? A mediocre Frontier?

    And, the reason for no diesels is the cost of the emissions controls, and modern companies are very risk averse.

    This breaks down the moment someone actually has the balls to shove a diesel in a compact truck and sell it here. But, that may take a decade or more.

    • Bren

      Course they're now reporting Diesels are a cancer risk so ………. !!!!

  • BobWellington

    I find the new Ranger and BT-50 to be quite ugly. Weird swoopy lines and they look so fat and the belt lines are so high. They both look like crossovers with beds. The U.S. Ranger was probably the best looking modern truck ever made (in dark blue/gray two tone with the FX4 package). It's a shame they couldn't update it and not change the looks too much.

  • Wayne

    Ford screwed up when they quit making the ranger. I will now be going to another brand. Other people will also swap brands.

  • Bill Bates

    Hi mazda
    I have owned five mazda 4×4 trucks enjoyed all of them,I got them all at the same mazda dealer as new. I bought a new
    Nissan exterra that although I really like the exterra it has been a total disappointment as far as quality and the amount of breakdowns . A total Lemon!!! I would really like to try one of the new 2013 trucks 4×4 with diesel power , Please bring them to Canada and myself and many other canadians will buy one . I'll bet Mazda dealers are crying for them. Too bad if Ford feels that it and the ranger will compete with it"s full size trucks . I do not need a full size.A lot of people will then go to Toyota or Nissan. Bill

  • Shane

    Does the 2013 Mazda bt50 come with bigger wheels than the 17' that are stated…?

  • Daniel

    Buy used. They are cheaper, and you can get parts at the junkyard. I bought an excellent 97 Mazda B2300 for less than 2 grand. It looks good, it works good. All I needed to do was update the electronics and boom! Updated small pickup in America. It would be nice to have a small diesel though.