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Mazda axes entry-level ‘Six’ sedan
Price cuts, more standard equipment and a streamlined model range for Mazda6
4 Oct 2011
MAZDA has cut pricing, boosted standard equipment levels and axed several variants from its Mazda6 model range, sales of which are down 30 per cent for the year.
The entry-level Limited sedan has been deleted from the line-up, meaning it now costs more than $4000 extra to step into the medium-category heavyweight, starting now from $31,450 (plus on-roads).
The Classic name also disappears, with the top-selling petrol-powered variants across sedan, hatch and wagon bodystyles now to be sold as higher-spec Touring grade instead, meaning they gain front and rear parking sensors, leather seat trim and electric seats with driver’s side memory function.
Along with gaining extra features, both sedan and hatch variants have received $300 price cuts over the previous Classic versions, while the Touring wagon has shed a hefty $3370 to bring it closer to its sedan and hatch siblings.
As well as the fleet-oriented entry-level Limited (which was priced from $27,310), Mazda has also axed the flagship Luxury sedan ($40,905) from the line-up, meaning the revised Touring variant will now be the only sedan available.
Left: Mazda6 hatch. Middle: Mazda6 range. Below: CX-5.
Other standard equipment on what is now the entry-level Touring model includes climate-control air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with trip computer, rain-sensing wipers and six airbags.
The manual-only diesel-powered wagon, meanwhile, gains the same additional features and $300 price cut as all new Touring variants and is now priced at $35,950.
With the demise of the entry-level Limited, which was only available in sedan configuration, all Mazda6’s now come with leather seats and parking sensors as standard.
Both petrol- and diesel-powered versions of the Sports hatch bodystyle benefit from the $300 price cut while also gaining a fully integrated satellite-navigation system with seven-inch touch-screen. This system was previously a $2800 option.
All petrol Mazda6 models are powered by a 2.5-litre four cylinder that produces 125kW of power and 226Nm of torque, matched to either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
Diesel-powered versions use a 2.2-litre turbocharged unit with 132kW and 400Nm, paired exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The next-generation ‘6’ should appear overseas next year before going on sale in Australia in 2013, by which time the current model will be a little more than five years old.
It will combine Mazda’s lighter and more rigid new SkyActiv chassis with a range of SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines, as well as the brand’s fresh Kodo design language as shown on the new CX-5 compact SUV.
Despite experiencing a sales slide this year, the Mazda mid-sizer is still the third-highest-selling car in the medium-car segment to the end of August, trailing only the Toyota Camry and Ford Mondeo.
Its 3754 sales year-to-date equate to a 10.1 per cent share of the medium segment, which is down 8.3 per cent overall.
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