The new Mazda Bounty is packed with practical features for the busy farmer
The failings of many a 4WD ute are not to be found in the muddy paddock but on the open road. However, the Mazda Bounty ute does very well on the open road happy cruising along at 100k’s all day.
As we were driving the DX base model it was even more surprising.
Among the different Bounty models is one called the "freestyle cab". In this version, the doors open out from the centre and the rear leaving a huge open pillar-less space in the middle. If you were carting lots of tools about that you wanted to keep out of the weather or harms way this would be an ideal option to go for.
The cab is a functional easy to find your way around environment. The seats, although a touch on the firm side, were very comfortable on a long trip.
Mazda Bounty is powered by a 2.5ltr four-cylinder intercooled turbo diesel. It puts out 82kW at 3500rpm and offers 271Nm of torque at 2000rpm. On paper they are not power figures that are going to set the world on fire, but the reality of it was that although we had very little load on our trip in the Bounty we had no trouble passing people in that vital 80-100kph band. The turbo has been redesigned from the previous model to give more power at lower speeds and less lag and is more fuel-efficient than the previous model.
Bounty is stopped with ventilated discs up front and auto adjusting drums at the rear, and on the way home in the wet I can testify that the ABS works very well.
The box frame chassis has been made 13 percent more rigid that the previous model and there are side intrusion bars in the doors.
Power steering and central locking are standard on all models.
The ratios in the five-speed gearbox are well spaced and the gearlever is an easy-to-use action. On the floor next to the gearlever is the transfer case lever. Bounty can be operated in 2WD, 4WD or 4WD low ratio. In two-wheel drive, the front hubs are automatically running free from the front axles and drive assembly, helping fuel efficiency.
We did get to try Bounty in 4WD in a muddy Rotorua paddock. Although other vehicles using the same path were slipping and sliding all over the place we tracked straight and true along the muddy track in 4WD.
When you put the Bounty into 4WD, a light comes on to tell you that the front hubs are no longer disconnected from the drive train.
In two-wheel drive, the front hubs are electronically disconnected to prevent you have to turn over all the front drive assembly when just in two wheel drive. What the difference is between this and freewheeling hubs quite escapes me, but a good fuel saving idea anyway.
In summary, great comfortable hard working ute. Go for the freestyle cab version with the wide opening doors. Don’t let yourself be put off by the engine power figures, numbers on paper aren’t everything. Because there is plenty of usable power available.
Mazda Bounty B2500 Turbo
Engine: 4 cylinder, 12 valve 2499cc
19.8 compression ratio
Power: 82kW @ 3500rpm
Torque: 271Nm @ 2000rpm
Gearbox: 5 -speed manual
Clutch hydraulic single plate
Limited slip diff standard
Brakes: Front Ventilated disks
Suspension: Front Independent double wishbone
Rear Leaf spring
Width : 1695mm
Curb weight: 1688kg (double cab 4WD)
Towing: Braked 2000kg