The Mazda BT50 ute has a few features every tradie should want – decent air-con, navigation, laptop-sized glovebox, and safety systems that settle down the suspension with a heavy cargo load or trailer.

It is available in a choice of three body styles, trayback or ute backs, two diesel engines and 2WD or 4WD. With its specifications and price, our test vehicle might appeal more to private recreational users.

First impressions include how much one-tonne utes have grown – the BT-50 4WD stands 1821mm tall and with its gruff, tough five-cylinder diesel, feels ready for anything.

But it’s surprisingly refined to drive and comfortable up front. Fuel consumption is the equal of many sedans. Electric engagement of 4WD, low range and a rear differential lock make off-roading easy.

$48,890 plus on-roads | 4WD dual-cab ute

3.2 litre diesel | 147kW/470Nm

FOR: Refinement, power.

AGAINST: Boy, it’s big!

VERDICT: A classy hauler.