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by Tim Beissmann

Mazda Australia has overhauled the mid-sized Mazda6, with the most dramatic change being a price jump of more than $4000 for the entry-level model.

The new Mazda6 range opens with the $31,450 Touring six-speed manual sedan, which is $4140 more expensive than the now-discontinued $27,310 Limited manual.

The new pricing means the entry-level Mazda6 is more expensive than the Toyota Camry ($30,490), Ford Mondeo (from $30,990), Hyundai i45 (from $26,990) and Volkswagen Jetta (from $26,490), but still cheaper than the Subaru Liberty (from $33,990) and Volkswagen Passat (from $38,990).

The Touring models have replaced the Classic, which was the volume seller in the previous range. The Touring sedan and hatch variants are $300 cheaper than the equivalent Classic models, and are now also equipped with front and rear parking sensors, leather seats and electric front seats with driver memory function. The added features come on top of the already-standard climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and the safety package that includes six airbags and electronic stability control.

The price of the Touring wagon (the only Touring model previously offered) has been slashed $3370 to align with the new sedan and hatch.

The Diesel wagon is also $300 cheaper than its Classic equivalent, and scores the same equipment upgrades as the Touring sedan and hatch.

The same price cut applies to the Luxury Sports and Diesel Sports hatches, and these models are now fitted with a seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system – previously a $2800 option – resulting in $3100 increased value overall.

Mazda Australia will be hoping the revised line-up can help turn around the Mazda6, which is enduring a slow 2011. After the first eight months of 2011, the Mazda6 sits fourth in the medium car sales race in Australia (3754), trailing the Toyota Camry (11,885), Ford Mondeo (4596) and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (3931).

Year-to-date sales are down 30 per cent in 2011 – more than three times worse than the average decline in the medium sub-$60,000 segment – and its share of the market has fallen from 13.2 per cent in 2010 to 10.1 per cent so far this year.

The update Mazda6 range goes on sale in Australia this month.

Mazda6 manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • Mazda6 Touring sedan manual – $31,450
  • Mazda6 Touring sedan automatic – $33,450
  • Mazda6 Touring hatch manual – $32,450
  • Mazda6 Touring hatch automatic – $34,450
  • Mazda6 Touring wagon automatic – $34,750
  • Mazda6 Luxury Sports hatch manual – $41,115
  • Mazda6 Luxury Sports hatch automatic – $43,115
  • Mazda6 Diesel wagon manual – $35,950
  • Mazda6 Diesel Sports hatch manual – $42,515



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