The Mazda6 is changing in a big way for 2018. It’s getting a power bump, for a start
Seductive looks. Affordable price. And now, possibly even more surefooted, all-wheel drive handling. Automotive journalists have lauded Mazda’s mid-size sedan for its appealing Kodo design language and its well-mannered handling prowess against its competition. However, the current generation isn’t getting any younger. Thanks to its pleasing aesthetics, both inside and out, and the handling, the Mazda6 has aged gracefully. But it’s time for a refresh. Mazda realizes that, and they’re pulling out all the stops with the new Mazda6. The car sports new styling and a new heart, but it could also get all-wheel drive sooner than expected.
On the new heart front, the Mazda6 is getting the turbocharged 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine currently in service under the hood of the larger CX-9 crossover. As a result, power gets a respectable bump from 184 to 250 (on regular fuel, power drops to 227). Torque also climbs mightily, to 310 lb-ft. That should bring the new Mazda6 up to speed with the competition. But Mazda can still do one better. What’s something that competing mid-size sedans in this class don’t have?
The New Mazda6 Could Get All-Wheel Drive Too, According to NHTSA Crash Test Reports
Yep, the new Mazda6 may get all-wheel drive, and sooner than we expected. Opening up to CarAdvice in December, Mazda’s CEO Masahiro Moro floated the possibility of all wheel drive in the 3 or the 6. Such is demand for all-wheel drive in fact, that the company is investigating ways to overcome platform limitations with the aforementioned turbocharged engine. Said Moro:
“Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future.”
Now, postings on the NHTSA results showing crash tests for the new Mazda6 indicate an all-wheel drive version (“4 DR AWD” pictured above). While Mazda has not officially confirmed all-wheel drive, it would make sense to market that model. Most importantly, it would certainly help rein in the waywardness you might get sending so much torque through a front-wheel drive platform. It plays into Moro’s astute observation of demand for AWD sedans, particularly on the East Coast. Including AWD would also signal the brand’s intention to move into a “premium-esque” market, distancing Mazda from its more humble, economy-minded origins.
Would you buy a Mazda6 against its competitors if it did feature all-wheel drive? Let us know what you think in the comments! Check back to TFLcar.com and subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for the latest news, views, and real-world reviews! Find out more about the 2018 Mazda6 and its turbocharged powertrain below: