The new Mazda 6 facelift has just gone on sale in Japan. However unlike the new 6 that’s going on sale in USA and Australia, the Japanese market 6, which is sold under the Atenza nameplate, won’t be using the new 2.5-litre turbocharged engine that’s currently employed in the CX-9.
Instead, it will retain the previous model’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre, the latter now improved with fuel-saving cylinder deactivation function. Also offered is the SkyActiv-D 2.2-litre turbodiesel, which in Japanese specifications, now makes 15 PS and 30 Nm more than before (190 PS and 450 Nm).
In USA and Australia, the new 6 has dropped the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine in favour of a 2.5-litre turbo, which is sold alongside the naturally aspirated 2.5-litre engine, now updated with cylinder deactivation technology.
Like the new CX-3, Mazda has tweaked the chassis of the new 6 to incorporate elements of Mazda’s latest SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture, a new platform that will eventually underpin all of Mazda’s next generation models. So although the new 6 still looks very similar to the outgoing model, its suspension, noise suppression, steering, and body rigidity has been significantly improved.
Visually, the new 6 is differentiated from the pre-facelift model by its redesigned grille, new headlights and tail lights. Inside, the cabin is now even more luxurious than before. The new dashboard design now extends into the doors in one seamless pattern, while the seats have also been redesigned to take advantage of the better refinement and control offered by the new SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture components used.
The outgoing model’s flip-up type heads-up display (Active Driving Display) has been replaced with a proper premium looking unit that projects images onto the windscreen.
Safety has also been improved, as Mazda has fitted radar cruise control with stop and go feature. This complements the already generous list of equipment, which include traffic sign recognition, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Smart City Brake Support, and a reverse camera.
Since our local Mazda 6 are imported from Japan, we can expect the new 6 to be making its local debut soon. Local distributor Bermaz Motor has confirmed that it no longer has any more stocks of the outgoing 6 to sell but a small number of its dealers might still be holding some stocks.
Considering that our Malaysia’s vehicle taxes are still based on engine capacity, we expect the new 6’s engine line-up to mirror that of Japan, meaning that we will continue to get the 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, as well as 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines, but not the 2.5-litre turbocharged unit.
We expect the new 6 to make its local debut before the year ends, after Bermaz Motor gets more clarification with regards to implementation of the new Sales and Services Tax (SST).