We don't usually get the opportunity to get this far off the beaten track, but today we're in the beautiful Arkaringa station in Northern South Australia - just north of Coober Pedy - to put the 2016 Mazda BT-50 through its paces.
Out here, there’s a lot of dirt, a lot of dust, and hardly any people. This adventure is more reflective of what proper off-roading is all about, so let’s take a closer look at just how competent this new Mazda BT-50 is when the going gets tough.
Traversing sand, severely rutted dirt and sharp creek beds, the BT-50 performs well, with its low-range gearing, ramp-over clearance and low-stress diesel engine all combining to make short work of pretty aggressive off-road fair.
The ride in the BT-50 is also exceptionally smooth over corrugated gravel roads. It soaks up the bumps really nicely, making things extremely comfortable, even with no load in the tray.
Cabin refinement is another plus. Compared with years gone by, now days, you can have the windows up, the air conditioner going and the re-circulation function engaged - which all makes a huge difference.
So after two days out in the desert in some of Australia’s most desolate country, we return to Coober Pedy. Put to the test over 700km of off-road terrain, we’ve found that the 2016 Mazda BT-50 is just as impressive in the dirt as it is on the sealed stuff.
And the message for dual-cab pickup or ute drivers is, get out there and experience this because you won’t be sorry.