Mazda says the new BT-50’s exterior design sets it “totally apart” from the Isuzu D-Max on which it is based.

Speaking to CarsGuide, Mazda Australia marketing chief Alastair Doak said the new bakkie’s styling would serve to differentiate it from the D-Max.

“We think design is great. We used the Kodo design as a basis here and made it appropriate for a [bakkie] by making it tougher,” Doak said. “Obviously, that sets us totally apart from our partner.”

The new, third-generation BT-50 is based on the new D-Max and is thus powered by Isuzu’s 3,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which delivers 140 kW at 3 600 r/min and 450 N.m from 1 600 to 2 600 r/min.

As a reminder, the new BT-50 measures 5 280 mm long, 1 870 mm wide and 1 790 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3 125 mm. It will be available with a locking rear differential, low-range gearing and an 800 mm wading depth.

Inside, the new BT-50 predictably shares much with the latest D-Max, including its nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (it thus does without Mazda’s own MZD Connect arrangement). The newcomer also offers a rake- and reach-adjustable steering column.