November 30, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 Mazda BT-50 4×4 (C! Exploration Long-Termer Update)

The Dapper Bakkie Travels North

Now with close to 4,000 kilometers on the odometer, we decided to take the long-term Mazda BT-50 4×4 test unit North for our ongoing C! Exploration activities. This time we journeyed to the Camaya Coast Resort in Mariveles, which is located in the southernmost tip of the Bataan peninsula.

We have travelled to Bataan on numerous occasions over the years but we had not ever experienced the enormous 2,100-hectare development of the Earth & Shore Leisure Communities Corporation (headed by its President and CEO: Mr. Manuel Carlos ‟Goody” Ilagan, Jr.). The total development is on three tracts of land at over 700-hectres per property focus; one in Mariveles, a second in Bagac, and the third in Balanga City, each comprising unique residential community properties with tourism, leisure, environmental protection, and commercial developments, most of the three properties are part of the expansion areas of the freeport area of the province of Bataan that surround the majestic Mt. Mariveles. Furthermore, last June 29, 2022, the Joint Venture Agreement between Earth and Shore Destination Communities Corporation and the Provincial Government of Bataan was signed by Mr. Goody Ilagan, Jr. and Gov. Abet Garcia establishing the Public-Private Partnership between ESDCC and PGB for the development of FAB F.O.R.E.S.T. (Food, Over-all Health, Resources, Economics, Science and Technology). The second and third phases are ongoing while the first in Mariveles is closer to completion which is where we traveled to.

Our journey from Muntinlupa City to the Camaya Coast Beach Resort took an extra hour of travel time due to a RFID tollway glitch that affected the length of the SKYWAY motorway from the South all the way to Balintawak in the North, compromising every motorist on the 35-kilometer elevated expressway. So total travel time was 4 hours and 32 minutes to complete the 208-kilometer journey of mostly highway and paved surfaces. Alternatively, the Camaya Coast Resort has ferry terminal services to and from Manila (which usually takes about two-hours), Corregidor Island and other destinations. By 2025, they will open the Camaya Premium Airpark Development runway for small plane travel aimed to be the Premier Gateway and Regional Tourism Hub, conveniently connecting Bataan to other short flight destinations such as Caticlan.

We spent the next couple of nights at the 49-room Aqua Fun (Waterpark) Hotel where the Aqua Fun freshwater pools are, which is located in Phase 1, in Mariveles. There is a second 35-room facility called the Camaya Sands Hotel at the beachfront where the second waterpark is located in the ocean but unfortunately due to the recent storms it was temporarily dismantled during our visit. There is also a Pawikan hatchling release program on the beach as well as multiple available watersports. There are multiple restaurant outlets open at convenient times while the hotel rooms and facilities are quite comfortable and very well serviced. There are free shuttles to get you around the huge property to check out the other facilities and residential investments. You can also rent golf carts for private excursions.

We traveled as 4 pax in the awesome Mazda BT-50 which performed very well, but admittedly the uneven concrete roads from the Dinalupihan exit off the SCTEX highway to the resort proper was often punishing since the rear bed was also not too burdened with weight to calm down the rear leaf-sprung suspension combined with the all-terrain tires.

For maximum interior cabin comfort, we used a zipper-sealable waterproof 130 x 102 x 56 cm cargo carrier luggage bag secured with high quality bungee cords fixed to the four mounting points in the rear bed which was then further secured with a heavy duty 120 x 120 x 180 cm storage elastic mesh net with hooks. We also placed an additional thick full rubber matt underneath the luggage bag. Aside from our trip luggage, the storage bag also swallowed two full-size golf bags for our double 9-hole golf round at the Camaya Golf course which is being designed to be integrated with residential homes and is supposed to eventually swell to 54-holes!

With our rear bed setup, not a single rattle or noise from the cargo area entered the cabin. Ironically, however, due to the fairly subdued cabin, we did experience odd vibrations and hear buzzing under low speed and low engine speed travel between 1700 rpm to 2300 rpm that seems to rise between the engine and transmission after the truck travels over an hour of constant duty and disappears completely beyond that range. It is an unnerving noise which I am sure the Mazda team can isolate and remove. We also noticed a few sharp hard plastics on the top of the front door panels and the area between the automatic gear knob and manual hand-brake. And lastly, there is an intermittent rattle in the front passenger seatbelt mount area. Again, these areas can be swiftly addressed and smoothed out too. The eager active safety measures are great, and the adaptive cruise control is hugely usable and efficient but I had shut off the lane departure warning function indefinitely since our Philippine road conditions just bewilder it. After three days and two nights, we returned home with over 700 kilometers of fuel range left.

Our overall initial experience in the Camaya Coast Resort was a very good one, we highly recommend it especially for young kids. Our soon to be nine-year old now frequently asks us when we will go back. The golf course may be only nine holes so far but it is challenging and fun too. This ambitious and massive development has tremendous promise and it is very reachable, thoughtful, and entertaining. The kilometer long beach is very clean and managed properly too. An important facet that really impressed us was the staff, they are great and warm people, very well trained, energetic and highly motivated!

The 2022 Mazda BT-50 4×4 is a an excellent, desirable and wonderful pick-up truck that continues to surprise and entertain us. The few issues that have cropped up lately are merely more pronounced precisely because of its overall refinement. When on the move at a spirited pace, its handling and balance on the road is truly exceptional.

 

 

 

Specification – 2022 Mazda BT-50 4×4 (Long-Termer Update)

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front Semi-Midship, Longitudinal

Displacement: 2999 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Iron upper with induction-hardened cylinder bores, Cast aluminum lower

Cylinder head: Isuzu-patented Special Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Swirl System

Fuel Injection: Direct Commonrail Fuel Injection, Intercooled Variable Geometry (VGS) Turbodiesel

Max power: 188 bhp @ 3600 rpm

Max torque: 332 lb-ft @ 1600-2600 rpm

Transmission: Aisin AWR6B45 II 6-speed with sequential shift and brake shift lock electronically controlled, tri-mode with fuel-saving lock-up torque converter on gears 3, 4, 5 and 6. Primarily rear-wheel driven. 4×4 System: “Terrain Command” control with ‘shift on the fly’ 2-high↔4-high selection at up to 100 km/h & 4-low. Rear Differential Lock.

Front suspension: Independent double wishbone, high-ride, coil springs, gas shock absorbers, anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Heavy Duty Solid-axle alloy-steel over slung long-span semi-elliptic 3-leaf springs; gas shock absorbers.

Fuel Capacity: 76 liters (20 gallons)

Ground Clearance: 240 mm

Wading Depth: 800 mm

Approach Angle: 30.4 degrees

Departure Angle: 24.2 degrees

Ramp-over angle: 23.8 degrees

L x W x H: 5280 mm x 1870 mm x 1810 mm

Wheelbase: 3125 mm

Brakes: Front 12.6-inch (320 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers / Rear 11.6-inch (295 mm) drums, ABS, TCS, EBD, ESC, EBA, AEB, HAS, HDC, Misacceleration Mitigation and Turn-Assist.

Wheels: 18” x 7.5J Multi-spoke Brilliant Black with Machined Finish Aluminum Alloys.

Tires: P265/60R18 110H Dunlop Grandtrek AT25

Weight: (kerb) 2130 kg. (4686 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.5 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 196 km/h (123 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 7.9L/100km Overall

Price as tested: PhP 1,790,000.00 (4×2 AT variant: PhP 1,430,000.00 and 4×2 MT variant: PhP 1,390,000.00) in Gun Blue Metallic

C! RATING 10/10

+Superior to its predecessor, best looking pick-up from the front with the most refined overall interior, very full-featured, paired expertly with its Isuzu twin, Mazda’s brilliant free 5-year service plan.

The active safety can be too aggressive, no wireless phone charger, drum rear brakes, conventional rear light assembly, wallows a bit when unladen, no option for a powered retractable aluminum tonneau bed cover yet.

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