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LA auto show 2017: Mazda 6 update


After being teased last month, Mazda chose the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show to reveal an update of the current generation of its mid-size flagship, the Mazda 6. To be the third and final facelift of this generation of Mazda 6, this 2018 upgrade has focused on providing an even more premium feel to the car, with a new interior design and new materials to push it further upscale in the medium car class.

The facelift has also debuted some new technology for the car, including the CX-9’s turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, as well as additional sound deadening and revisions to the car’s dynamics to make it feel sportier and more upscale.

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza Soul Red Crystal front detail

According to Mazda, the update “elevates the Mazda6 from its traditional competitive set into a higher class, with unparalleled craftsmanship, design and technologies for the driver who savours every moment behind the wheel.”

“Yet, Mazda6 is also serene, thoroughly reworked underneath its sheet metal to deliver a refined experience befitting of a far more expensive car.”

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza Soul Red Crystal side

According to Mazda, the reason for an upscale push has come from sales of its current cars – over 60 percent of CX-9 sales come from the top-spec GT and Azami variants. With the Mazda 6 being the company’s flagship sedan for now, a push upmarket was decided upon.

The centrepiece of the upmarket push is the Mazda 6’s cabin, which is much more modern to look at now – a sleek line runs the halfway point of the centre console, and leather covers almost every surface. The materials quality has been upgraded as well, with a richer Japanese wood option, more brushed chrome and redesigned seats for extra comfort as well.

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza light interior

The cabin also scores the larger 8-inch infotainment screen from the CX-9 running Mazda’s latest MZD Connect software – no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as yet, though the company has said that it will be offering it as standard from next year. The MZD screen earns a 360-degree parking camera, as well as ventilated seats, Nappa leather and suede dashboard inserts on the top-spec Atenza specification. The whole Australian Mazda 6 range will also earn radar cruise control with stop and go functionality, as well as traffic sign recognition and lane keep assist.

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza chocolate dashboard

The other big news is that Mazda have revised the car’s drivetrains. The naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four has earned cylinder deactivation between 40km/h and 80km/h on light throttle applications for better fuel economy. But the big drivetrain news is that the 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre turbo four from the CX-9 SUV has migrated into the Mazda 6 Atenza, a very welcome decision from the Japanese car maker. Like the CX-9, it features Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo, which builds boost instantly with a small hole in the turbo forcing air into it. Fuel economy and performance numbers are yet to be confirmed, though we hope that the donk also makes its way into the CX-5 and next Mazda 3.

The Mazda 6’s 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel has reportedly not been revised for 2018.

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza chocolate seat layout

The Mazda 6’s exterior has also undergone some change, with CX-5-like styling at the front – more chrome has been added, as well as a new design of grille to further emphasise the upscale feel. Newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels feature, as do new LED tailights at the rear.

2018 Mazda 6 Atenza Soul Red Crystal rear

Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news and reviews regarding the Mazda 6.