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LA show: Mazda6 confirmed to cost more

Hit for 6: The updated Mazda6 looks set to creep up in price when the facelifted version arrives next year.

Extra gear reflects the Mazda6 mid-sizer’s move upmarket in mid-2018

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Mazda logo4 Dec 2017

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in Los Angeles

MAZDA Australia has confirmed that the facelifted Mazda6 range due early in the third quarter of next year will cost more than the outgoing model, but the company says the improvements made to the overall package should resonate with traditional premium mid-size sedan buyers.

Speaking with journalists at the Los Angeles motor show last week, Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said the pricing shift was in line with the car-maker’s move upmarket globally, but he was reluctant to reveal how much of a premium the updated version would attract over the outgoing car.

“After all this is our flagship passenger car, and the CX-9 is our flagship offering on SUVs (so) there is likely to be a change (in price),” he admitted at the Mazda6’s global unveiling at the LA show last week.

“But it’s a bit early for me to give you an indication. We’re still negotiating. We don’t see these until the second half, early in quarter three is what we’re hoping for, so there’s a lot of time between now and then to lock down the price. We still are going to make it good value for money. The Mazda premium of quality and performance is critical for us.”

Mr Bhindi also added that the 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo (2.5T) first seen in the CX-9 seven-seat SUV launched in July 2016 may not be limited to the higher-line GT and Atenza variants as time goes by, suggesting that a more affordable base 2.5T might be launched down the track as an alternative to cars such as the Kia Stinger 200S from around $45,000.

“My thinking is that the turbo will be for the top (spec) and the naturally aspirated 2.5 will be for the entry and mid-level cars,” he said. “But we’re not confined to that.”

Currently, the outgoing Mazda6 range kicks off from $32,490 plus on-road costs for the Sport sedan, extending to $49,540 for the Atenza diesel wagon. The variants that will gain the 2.5T come facelift time – the GT and Atenza – currently start from $42,690 and $45,390 respectively, so a premium of at least 10 per cent may be factored in for the update. Similarly, expect the most expensive versions to brush $55,000 and beyond.

The third facelift since the existing third-generation series made its debut in late 2012, the Mazda6 makeover as revealed at the LA Auto Show is more than just a CX-5-like grille and CX-9 turbo transplant.

It will also include a completely redesigned dashboard with higher-grade materials, revamped seats that promise to significantly improve comfort and support, advancements to the MZD multimedia system (but still with no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity), more luxury options such as ventilated front seats, updated driver-assist technology that now includes stop and go adaptive cruise control, cylinder deactivation on the non-turbo 2.5-litre petrol unit and a revised transmission.

The SkyActiv-D 2.2-litre turbo-diesel has also been confirmed for the Touring grade and up.

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