The facelifted 2015 Mazda 6 range has landed with a largely unchanged pricing structure, increased technology never seen before in the Japanese medium car line-up and the promise of improved ride comfort and refinement.
Still available with either 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder or 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engines, the Mazda 6 range kicks off at $80 less than before, at $32,540 plus on-road costs for the Sport.
There is now a larger step to the Touring, up $720 to $37,280, while the GT gets the second largest hike, up $520 to $42,720. Despite scoring the most new active safety technology, the flagship Atenza is up a lesser $390 to $46,240.
In each case the wagon bodystyle commands an extra $1300, while a $3000 surcharge for the diesel is available for those buying the Touring and above.
The price cuts would be more pronounced – by up to $1180 – though Mazda already reduced its pricing last month in response to the Australia-Japan free-trade agreement, with further cuts expected on diesel models in March.
Although exterior changes are limited to a revised headlights and grille, and a new finish for the alloy wheels, the interior has been completely overhauled, designed to give the Mazda 6 a more premium look and feel. Now standard on the Mazda 6 Sport and above is the brand’s contemporary MZD-Connect infotainment system with new 7.0-inch colour touchscreen and Pandora/Aha internet apps connectivity, plus a new electric handbrake.
New features added to the Mazda 6 Touring are full LED headlights and foglights, while the Mazda 6 GT adds a head-ups display compared with the pre-facelift model.
The flagship Mazda 6 Atenza gains the most technology, following the addition of: adaptive LED headlights that can ‘block out’ the high-beam portion affecting an oncoming car; lane-keeping assistance that subtly moves the steering wheel in the instance of lane wander and driver attention alert that detects driver inattention and recommends driving breaks – all new features to the Mazda brand.
Also new to the Atenza, and available optionally on the Touring and GT as part of a wider safety pack, is low-speed auto braking that for the first time incorporates a feature that works between 2km/h and 8km/h to automatically brake the car when reversing (in addition to between 4km/h and 30km/h when driving forward).
The optional safety pack is available on the Sport ($1230) but only with front low-speed auto braking, with the Touring ($1260) and GT ($1020) add the rear low-speed auto braking in addition to blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and auto-dimming rear-view mirror common to all three packs.
Mazda claims the facelifted 6 is now 25 per cent quieter on the freeway and 10 per cent more hushed on country roads, while the suspension has been retuned to deliver improved ride comfort. While outputs for the engines are unchanged, as is fuel consumption, the standard six-speed automatic transmission on petrol models gets a Sport mode for the first time.
Mazda says 25 per cent of buyers will select the Sport, while 45 per cent will select the Touring and 15 per cent each split between the GT and Atenza.
Mazda 6 Sport:
Mazda 6 Touring (additions over Sport):
Mazda 6 GT (additions over Touring):
Mazda 6 Atenza (additions over GT):
Mazda 6 pricing (plus on-road costs):
Wagon: $1300 extra. Diesel: $3200 extra (Touring and above).