A reader asks: Should I buy Ford Ranger Wildtrak or Mazda BT-50?

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by Botchi Santos | May 26, 2014
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Ford Ranger Wildtrak vs. Mazda BT-50 Philippines

Hi, Botchi!

I'm buying a pickup truck and have narrowed down my choices to the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and the Mazda BT-50.

I have read almost all the articles available online about the Ford and Mazda pickups, and I know that they're twins. I compared all the details down to their published specifications and saw that they're the same. I've visited the dealership and have already viewed both units. My primary reason for choosing these two models is because of their 800mm wading depth for use in flooded Manila streets--especially since typhoon season is coming in.

What got me going is that, I really, really like the Ford Ranger's overall look and feel. But at the price, the 3.2L Mazda is within reach, especially since it has the free three-year periodic maintenance with its Yojin3 total care promotion, which almost equalizes the price when I computed the expenses for three years.

I just want to get your opinions and preference. I'm trying to get a consensus if I should go with look and feel or displacement. Like what the saying goes, there's no replacement for displacement. And right now, it's a split vote.

Or should I really just wait and try my luck at getting the Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.2L and get the best of both worlds? I was informed by most dealerships that the 3.2L is hard to get by since the reservation queue is long and only around five units at a time comes in the country.

I hope you can help!

Continue reading below ↓

Gamerbot

 

Cool name! Thanks for sending us your e-mail, and sorry for the delay responding to it.

In all honesty, once you get going, both pickups feel the same on the move. It's when you're standing still that you take time to realize and appreciate the differences between the two, which gives them a unique flavor--at least when admiring the details and soaking in the interior ambiance.

I've never been a huge fan of American cars, never liked muscle cars and never bought into the mantra of "there's no replacement for displacement" (although I do love the Ford GT supercar and Chevrolet Corvette ZO-6 and ZR-1). I'm not denying their performance potential or value for money. I just never liked their look and feel. While the Ford Ranger is an equally impressive and very respectable piece of machinery, I've never been a fan of its--well--feel. Admittedly, I like how it looks outside (which I find out of character for me) but inside, I like it even less.

Which is why when I also got to try the Mazda BT-50, a change of clothes--from Eddie Bauer to Yohji Yamamoto--really made me warm up to the Mazda. Yes, I'm going out on a limb here and say I prefer the BT-50 but that's purely subjective and preferential. Both perform the same of course, but the Mazda just seems to suit me better.

(Read: Family feud: Ford Ranger Wildtrak vs. Mazda BT-50)

You're right about the Yojin3 promo. It removes a lot of doubts and question marks about the BT-50. You're more likely to get a Mazda BT-50 sooner than a Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak precisely because almost everyone else prefers the Ford, which is your gain. My advice? Hop onto your current car, drive over to the nearest Mazda dealership, test-drive a BT-50 3.2, sign below the dotted line and wait patiently until your truck is released.

Continue reading below ↓

As a side note, while Ford dealerships have always given outstanding service, the new raft of Mazda dealerships all tend to give just a wee bit more in terms of service and customer satisfaction. You'll be surprised because sometimes a really good dealer experience will be the tipping point to buying a car from them. My personal Mazda dealership preference, where we shoot a lot of Wrong Car/Right Car articles for the magazine, is Mazda Pasig on C5/Libis. Impressive facility, really stand-up sales and service staff.

And if you do decide to go with the Ranger, spend right and pony up to the 3.2 Wildtrak. A lot of people I've met who own the 2.2 aren't too happy with its performance and wish they'd saved up for the 3.2. Best to keep that in mind.

I hope this helps. Good luck and happy motoring! God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor 

Do you want Botchi to help you pick the right car? Send your inquiry to topgear@summitmedia.com.ph.

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