The Mazda6 Is Officially Dead — But That May Not Be Such Bad News

The CX-3 is being axed as well

2021 Mazda6 Carbon Edition
The 2021 model year will be the last for the current-generation Mazda6 — but…there may be a glimmer of light on that news. (Images: Mazda)

After seven years, the third-gen Mazda6 will head off into the sunset.

Pour one out for another lost sedan, as the 2021 Mazda6 officially bookends the brand’s flagship sedan, which has been on sale since 2014. With Mazda’s exit, only a handful of manufacturers still offer sedans in this class at all, as family sedans continue to lose ground in the sales charts.

This cancellation comes as little surprise, frankly, as the midsize sedan has been one of the Japanese automaker’s slowest sellers, ahead of the subcompact CX-3 crossover (more on that shortly). However, unlike some of its former rivals, this may not be where the story ends. Rumors continue to grow that Mazda has a larger game plan here. Within the next year or so, the company will supposedly launch a brand new flagship four-door, based on a new rear-wheel drive architecture. Not only that, but we’ll see an inline-six engine come into the mix, either complementing or replacing the 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G four-cylinder we’ve known for nearly a decade now.

As ever, company representatives will not comment on future product, so at this point whether the Mazda6 will actually see a replacement isn’t certain.

The CX-3 is gone too

In preparation for the 2022 model lineup, the Mazda6 isn’t meeting the guillotine on its own. The small CX-3 — largely supplanted by the massively more popular CX-30 — will see its end this year as well. Again, no surprise there, as the company already pared the CX-3 down to a single trim. Mazda cites consumer interests that “continue to evolve” for culling both cars from their current lineup.

Unlike the Mazda6, there are no rumors floating around of a direct CX-3 replacement. The CX-30 technically competes in an emerging class that’s not quite subcompact, but still smaller than the compact segment where the CX-5 lives. Think Chevy TrailBlazer, Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos and the like. Smaller crossovers still exist — Hyundai Venue, Chevy Trax, Toyota C-HR, etc. — but there’s not a large enough slice of the pie to really make it worth Mazda’s while, it seems.

We’ll surely find out more about what the brand has in store for its 2023 model lineup. Some major updates are due, including the next Mazda CX-5 (or possibly CX-50), a next-gen Mazda6 if one is indeed coming, and possibly a revamped CX-9 and a mildly refreshed Mazda3 could be on the docket as well. Mazda’s first pure electric model, the MX-30, will have also joined the U.S. lineup, as it’s set to go on sale this fall.

Update: To clarify, Mazda specifically announced dropping these vehicles from their U.S. lineup — this does not necessarily impact the car’s availability in global markets.