Major update to the Mazda 6 large sedan: Cylinder deactivation tech, improved safety, redesigned interior and more
SINGAPORE — Mazda’s big sedan, the Mazda 6, is receiving a major update this year. The most significant point could be the addition of a turbocharged engine.
Earlier this year, the international model was announced with a 250hp 2.5-litre turbocharged engine.
Official word from Mazda is that turbo models have gone into production for left-hand drive markets, but they have not yet been confirmed for right-hand drive markets yet – and that includes Singapore.
Whatever the case, the improved model will definitely be Singapore-bound in 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated form.
But unlike the current model, it will have cylinder deactivation technology, similar to systems found in German cars, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan and newly-introduced Audi Q2 1.4.
The technology will be seen first in the updated CX-5, which we expect to test very soon. The tech is a first for Mazda, and also making it possibly the only Japanese car on sale with the fuel-saving tech, and should improve the car’s already impressive 6.5L/100km consumption figure.
It’s first for Mazda, which is the only Japanese car brand to have the fuel-saving tech, and should improve the Mazda 6’s already impressive 6.5L/100km consumption figure.
The 2.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine first appeared on the CX-9 SUV. Overseas variants have 250hp, but Singapore’s have the same 231hp/420Nm of torque as seen in the CX-9’s powerplant.
Performance specs have yet to be announced, though the additional power over the existing 2.5-litre 192hp non-turbo engine should improve its 0-100km/h significantly over the current 8.2 seconds. Top speed is estimated around 240km/h.
By our reckoning, if the turbo is offered, it will very likely be the more expensive model, with the 2.5 being the less spendy choice, though we won’t know more until the exact grades and variants are announced here.
The major product improvement for 2018 also includes significant updates to the styling, interior, safety, and other areas. Mazda says it’s taken advancements seen in its latest sports utility vehicles (SUVs), the CX-5 and CX-9, and put them in the sedan.
All that should improve the Mazda 6 experience in a major way, as we found both cars to significantly up the ante for East Asian SUVs, with the CX-9 being Mazda’s largest, most luxurious car currently in our market, having impressive dynamic performance for a big seven-seater.
The 6 also picks up styling cues from the CX-5, with the SUV being the model that rolled out Mazda’s updated design language.
The headlights are standard LED units (with adaptive function optional) but of a new design, with the new chrome strip underneath (it used to go halfway under the lights but now extends their full length) that connects to the updated, less rounded grille design in gunmetal. Likewise, a new chrome highlight strip stretches the entire rear end of the car.
A new colour debuting on the 6, shown here, is Soul Red Crystal.
The interior sees considerable work, with Mazda saying only the steering wheel and minor trim elements being carried over.
The MZD Connect infotainment screen now more ‘embedded’ into the cabin fascia, while the air vents and climate controls appear to be slimmer. Materials for higher trim levels include microfibre on the dashboard, and Nappa leather for the seats.
Mazda says the front seats have been re-designed, with larger areas of vibration absorbent foam, an ergonomic shape that’s friendlier to backs for long-distance driving, and, for the first time, ventilation.
Technology improvements include a new 8.0-inch infotainment display with improved contrast (the previous version was 7.0-inches), like before, it also incorporates touch control, besides the useful rotary controller. A new safety feature for the 6 is a 360-degree view camera, for improved parking and manuvering.
The driver gets a new, fully-digitised instrument 7.0-inch TFT display, plus a windscreen-projected HUD system that replaces the old, glass-panel one.
There have also been chassis improvements, with Mazda claiming improved NVH control, plus better ride quality and handling. The steering rack is now mounted to the chassis more rigidly, for better feel and response. The suspension has been revised, the Skyactiv Chassis stiffened through thicker suspension mounds, thicker metal in the wheel-wells, and chassis bracing.
The current-gen Mazda 6 first debuted in 2013.
Current 2017 Mazda 6 2.5 shown here
It received its first facelift in 2015, with mostly cosmetic updates first, a second technology update in 2017 with some additions to the interior (one active instrument panel, ride-smoothing G Vectoring Control).