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Driven: Major overhaul for Mazda6
Late-life update for Mazda6 mid-sizer brings pricing changes, turbo-petrol power
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31 May 2018
MAZDA Australia has launched the late-life facelift for its Mazda6 sedan and wagon range that introduces new and updated powertrains, more standard safety spec, a heavily upgraded interior, and pricing changes on all but the base variants.
The update comes ahead of an all-new Mazda6 that is expected to roll out globally in about 2020 and it represents the biggest overhaul of the mid-sizer since it launched in Australia in third-generation guise in late 2012 as the first Mazda model to feature the Kodo design language.
As reported, the updated Mazda6 will now be offered with the same 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine as its CX-9 large SUV stablemate, however it is only available in the higher grade GT and Atenza variants.
The model grades for what the company is calling “its most refined Mazda6 yet” continue unchanged, with the line-up kicking off with the entry-level Sport that is offered exclusively with a tweaked version of the carryover 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.
Pricing for the base Sport has not changed and starts from $32,490 plus on-road costs for the sedan, while the wagon – like all load-lugging variants – carries a $1300 premium over the four-door for a $33,790 pricetag.
Pricing for the Touring has dropped by between $450 and $600 depending on the variant, with prices starting at $36,690 for the 2.5-litre petrol sedan and topping out at $40,990 for the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel wagon.
Mazda says the Sport and Touring now feature about $3000 worth of additional value compared with the model it replaces.
Diesel versions of the GT grade have had a $450 price cut, but swapping out the naturally aspirated 2.5 for the new turbocharged unit has meant a $1300 increase for petrol GTs compared with equivalent outgoing variants. GTs start at $43,990 for the petrol sedan and hit $46,390 for the diesel wagon.
Prices have increased for all top-spec Atenza variants by $550 for the diesel and $2300 for the petrol, with prices now ranging from $47,690 for the petrol sedan to $50,090 for the diesel wagon.
Mazda says the GT and Atenza have an extra $1000 worth of overall value compared with the outgoing versions.
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G naturally aspirated petrol unit has been tweaked with a 2kW/2Nm output increase to 140kW at 6000rpm and 252Nm at 4000rpm, and Mazda has fitted it with cylinder deactivation technology.
On the official combined cycle, fuel use for the Euro 5 petrol engine is 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres, which is an increase over the outgoing version’s 6.6L/100km figure. Mazda has not provided updated CO2 emissions figures.
The new SkyActiv-G 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit pumps out 170kW at 5000rpm and 420Nm at 2000rpm, identical to the outputs in the CX-9.
Under the bonnet of the Mazda6, the blown petrol engine only requires 91RON fuel rather than premium petrol. Mazda said it was only homologated for 91RON but if it had have been homologated with 98RON premium fuel, it would have increased its power output to 184kW.
The turbo-petrol’s fuel claim is 7.6L/100km, which is less than the CX-9 (8.4L/100km), but 1.0L more than the outgoing petrol unit.
Mazda has also boosted the outputs of the 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D turbo diesel by 11kW/30Nm to 140kW at 4500rpm and 450Nm at 2000rpm and Mazda says it is now fitted with a variable geometry twin turbocharger.
Fuel consumption in the diesel has dropped by 0.1/L to 5.3L/100km.
All Mazda6 variants are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels only.
Mazda engineers have made further changes under the skin, including increasing the rigidity of the chassis and revising the suspension geometry to ensure a smoother ride and improved dynamic performance, while the electric power steering rack has also been tweaked for better response and more neutral handling.
Addressing criticism relating to the 6’s noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, Mazda has added thicker metal around the rear wheel wells, extra body bracing and bigger suspension trailing link mounts to help lower noise paths for a quieter cabin.
As reported, the new Mazda6 gains a fresh front-end design, partly inspired by the Vision Coupe concept from last year’s Tokyo motor show, with a new lower set grille, sharper looking headlights and a smoothing out of surfaces, while the sedan and wagon both get new-look tail-lights and a few other tweaks.
It is also offered with newly designed 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the dash, centre console and door trims are all new and now closely reflect the more minimal look of the CX-5’s cabin.
The old flip-up head-up display has been replaced by a more modern Active Driving Display that projects information onto the inside of the windscreen.
The seats have been redesigned and now feature new materials and shapes that are plusher than the outgoing model, according to Mazda.
Mazda has also boosted the safety offering, with radar cruise control (with stop and go) added to the i-Activesense suite of active safety tech.
Other safety gear offered as standard from Sport grade up includes blind-spot monitoring, driver attention alert, emergency stop signal, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dimming rearview mirror, reversing camera, forward and reverse smart city brake support, and traffic sign recognition.
The Sport also features LED headlights and tail-lights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning with rear vents, 8.0-inch full colour touchscreen display with MZD Connect, six-speaker audio system with DAB+ digital radio, sat-nav, Bluetooth, auxiliary jack, USB charging and input ports, black cloth trim, electric park brake, leather-wrapped gear knob and steering wheel, 60/40 split-fold rear seats and 17-inch alloys.
On top of this, the Touring adds daytime running lights, black leather trim, 11-speaker Bose audio system, front parking sensors, keyless entry, heated and auto-folding power mirrors and front seat memory.
The GT gains 19-inch bright silver alloys, black or white leather trim, front and rear heated seats and an Adaptive Front Lighting System.
Flagship Atenza grades add either white or walnut brown Nappa leather trim, wood door and dash trim, Ultrasuede door and dash trim, sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, surround-view monitor, a 7.0-inch TFT LCD screen, ambient LED lighting, a frameless interior mirror and, for the first time in a Mazda, ventilated front seats.
The Mazda6 is offered with a choice of eight colours, including Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic, Sonic Silver Metallic, Titanium Flash Mica, Blue Reflex Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Jet Black Mica and Snowflake White Pearl Mica.
2018 Mazda6 pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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