By on September 5, 2012

 

Mazda has released official pictures of what will likely be the best-selling car in the United States, should it ever be sold here; the 2014 Mazda6 Wagon, which will be available with the new Skyactiv-D engine and a manual transmission.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Mazda6 wagon equipped with the diesel engine and the three-pedal gearbox would solve the needs of all crossover, pickup truck, sports car and Volkswagen TDI buyers. Take-rate for the manual will likely be in the neighborhood of 99 percent, save for the handful of customers with medical issues affecting their left leg. Industry analysts expect this vehicle to demolish the currently healthy CUV segment should it debut in North America sometime in late 2013.

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101 Comments on “Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon To Outsell Ford F-150 In United States...”


  • avatar
    Opus

    “Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon To Outsell Ford F-150 In United States”, he said, tongue DEEPLY inserted into his cheek!

  • avatar
    mike978

    Well played Derek. Any news on whether the wagon will actually make it to the US? Also any rumours about a future MazdaSpeed 6?

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      The wagon is a confirmed “NO.” Sorry. :(

      There was a pres release 2 or 3 weeks ago where they said that it was not coming to North America.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        thanks, I suppose they assume the CX5 covers the market segment.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        That’s right. The US version of a wagon is a CUV.

        It’s a shame because from what I’ve seen so far, this wagon looks better than the sedan. (And that’s not something I usually think.)

        Hopefully the diesel gets released before too long. While saying “I’d buy one” is common on the internet, I’m actually planning on getting one of these if everything checks out.

  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    I WANT to believe.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I’m in the market for a new Subaru. This is better looking. I’d buy an automatic FWD version.

    The 3 is too small and teh CX-5 is too tall.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    I read the title and was thinking, this isn’t April Fool’s day is it?

  • avatar
    jmo

    It’s not rear wheel drive. Any TTAC commenter knows that to outsell the F-150 it has to be a REAR DRIVE, manual, diesel, wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Jmo is correvt. It’d have to be rwd and have a tow rating above 3500 lbs. What’s the tow rating on VW tdi wagon?

      All SAAB 9-5′s have tow rating of 3500 lbs for the US. And it’s not the brakes are holding a higher rating but the automatic transmission. Owners manual says to pull over and cool off if trans light comes on. My manual transmission 9-5 has towed 4200 lbs for close to 600 miles with just gas stops in 90F heat.

      • 0 avatar
        caltemus

        You’ve got balls to tow that much more than the rating.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        So, this as a diesel w/ manual.

        http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2011/02/09/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1997-ford-crown-victoria-station-wagon/

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        This is the same guy who claims 25 mpg towing 4000+ and 45 mpg empty.

        No balls required with an imagination like that.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        US tow ratings, at least aside from from full sized pickups, are pretty conservative. It seems like 10 runs at 80mph up and down the Grapevine in 110 degree heat is a minimum requirement, despite the fact that most of the country is, most of the year, cold, and mostly flat.

        In many less lawyer infested parts of the world, if the hitch weight doesn’t flatten the rear suspension (and tires!) and point the headlights at the stars (which is a problem when the driven wheels are up front :)), it’s good to go. Just a bit slower and more carefully.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      There’s a decent chance we’ll see an AWD version.

  • avatar
    blau

    So, just to be clear, we’re making fun of the people who want practical and entertaining and generally excellent cars, not the people who ignore them, right?

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I laugh at the notion that one type of car (manual diesel wagon) can somehow fit literally every type of vehicle purchaser. If anything, we should make fun of THAT.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Yes, it’s not the first time I’ve gotten a distinct impression that the editors wish they had readers and commenters who properly appreciate the virtues of a Camcord/fusion rather than an interesting car like this or a BRZ.

      Alas, it’s enthusiasts like us who read and hang out at car sites, though.

  • avatar
    alex_rashev

    Lol.

    Watch them actually bring it here and sell a grand total of 700 of them. 20 years later they’ll all be in the hands of college professors, repeating the fate of every other sensible car (like diesel 240 wagons, mid-90′s Camry wagons, original Insight, and soon Mazda5).

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    If this makes it to the States, I plan to start complaining that true enthusiasts want it in right-hand-drive.

  • avatar

    Best. Title. Evar.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Awesome. I’ll take two please.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    I know the entire article is sarcasm, but I know close to a dozen people who would love this very vehicle. Our little motorcycle group tends to buy cars, with manual transmissions, loves wagons and would love a diesel engine. How this venn diagram came to be is a surprise to me as well.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I want another diesel car someday (manual yes, wagon not so much), but I don’t want to take my chances with another VW. It would be nice to have options, but so far no good.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        With a diesel you could quite handily tow a bit of weight behind it as is done in Europe. Add a panoramic sunroof and a roof rack system, ensure it has enough ground clearance to at least maneuver on rough roads and I’ll be standing at the door to the dealership with the title to my Saturn Astra and a loan agreement in my hand.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    If I were to trade my sensible Mazda 5 on this and I’m not a college professor, what does that make me?

  • avatar
    ant

    what’s so hard about making such a low volume car available by special order?

    What other hurdles need to be cleared other than logistics?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Cost.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      The cost of separate EPA, crash testing, and DOT certification for some.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Do you need to run separate crash tests for an engine and transmission swap? I can see EPA testing, but I’d imagine that’s less expensive than crashing a bunch of perfectly good cars just because you changed out the engine.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        So split the cost among the few people who want one. I am willing to pay.

        The take rate for such special order cannot be so low that the extra cost would be unreasonable.

        • 0 avatar

          As far as I understand the process of developing cars, this would add astronomical costs to the sticker price of the hypothetical U.S. spec Mazda6 Skyactiv wagon. There are so many minor little differences to make a car meet U.S. compliance that this is often a 7-figure expenditure. Money that Mazda, which is on the financial ropes, doesn’t have.

          In 2004, Mazda sold about 72,000 Mazda6s in the US, its best year ever. How many were wagons? I can’t imagine more than 15 percent. That’s 10,800 wagons, and how many of those would be diesel? Maybe 30 percent? So 3240 units. And then the manual option take rate?

          Based on this back of the napkin number crunching, I think it’s very hard for a cash-stapped, minor player automaker like Mazda to satisfy the obscure tastes of a view people, no matter how fantastic said vehicle may be (and based on Mazda’s track record and the prototype drives that have been conducted, it will be very good).

          NOW, on the other hand, Cadillac needed to sell 5 CTS-V wagons to break even. So it happened.

      • 0 avatar
        Rental Man

        To my fellow readers who work for an OEM or just have an idea. What are the rough approx costs (in millions) of EPA, crash testing, DOT and others for adding another engine or wagon bodystyle to a car that is already destined to come here?
        Audi has lot’s of A4/5′s. Mazda had 4/5 doors and wagons in the last gen. Current Chevy Impala had 3 different 6 cyl’s and a V8. I can keep on going on.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @vvk

        OR

        Instead of adding $10,000 to the cost of each of the three hundred and fifty Mazda6 Wagons they’d sell, why not just buy a German wagon? Same price range, only they already exist.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark MacInnis

        @tuffjuff

        What fun would that be?

      • 0 avatar
        hriehl1

        Derek’s napkin logic is flawed… it assumes the only buyers of the hypothetical diesel-wagon version of a Mazda6 (OK, they gotta offer an automatic) would be only those predisposed to Mazdas in the first place.

        I submit that mainstream diesel (sedan and wagon) offering could poach from the millions of Accord/Crosstour, Camry/Venza, Altima, Sonata, CUV, etc. buyers. Gas won’t see $3 again anytime soon.

        The point is, a Mazda6 diesel would be darn near a market exclusive (MB too expensive, VW also pricey and unreliable). If they could poach only 2% of mainstream midsize sedan/crosover buyers, that would be a very healthy volume for a small firm like Mazda. Why not diesels in the whole lineup too? Why not ONLY diesels?

        A diesel-only strategy would give Mazda a marketing schtick, an identity, which they sorely need. Look what the AWD schtick has done for Subaru. Their’s are not perceived as me-too products and they have a loyal customer base.

        The large firms operate with a herd mentality and produce bland products that strive to offend no one. On the other hand, a small firm can turn-off 90% of the buying market as long as they resonate, really resonate, with the remaining 10%.

        There was a time when styling and design ruled the day. The sameness in today’s marketplace leaves an opening for any firm bold enough to go against the tide with an aggressively positioned niche strategy.

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        @DK: IIRC the US sales on the prior Mazda6 wagon was 200/month, and a good chunk of probably were not to individuals as the 6 was half fleet at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Richard Chen

        The last time Mazda sold a wagon in the US, there were a fair number of wagons to choose from. And that generation of Mazda 6′s problem was that it was a 1/2 size too small, and expensive compared to the competition. Now in this price range there is the VW Jetta and the VW Jetta. Plus this car is a LOOKER – I think they are being very short-sighted not bringing it here. A wagon is a way to stand out from the crowd of CUV-things.

      • 0 avatar
        alex_rashev

        @hriehl1

        There was a moment in history when Mazda said, “Hey, we’re only gonna offer cars with THIS type of engine!”. Look how well that turned out, they barely escaped death by gas crisis and were only saved by starting to offer goode ole piston motors again.

        That said, Mazda has always been known for innovative, if sometimes quirky motors. Millenia S, rotaries, etc. A high-efficiency diesel would not be unexpected and would resonate with the brand quite well.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        As much as we’d all like to see it, Mazda would simply be better off taking whatever amount of money it would cost to offer it for sale in the USA and applying that money to the next-gen Miata development project.

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        @krhodes1: and then there’s sunk costs from what would be internecine competition. US CX-5 sales are over 24K YTD, and the perennially slow-selling Mazda5 at 8K YTD it’s still far beyond that of the old 6 wagon. There’s also the CAFE factor: both the CX-5 and Mazda5 are classified as trucks, with a lower MPG target than a wagon.

        Disclaimer: 5yr Mazda5 owner, wouldn’t give it up for a Mazda6 wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        There’s another flaw in the logic of not bringing the wagon to the US: They are considering making a coupe, which means more development budget, time, and testing, but the wagon is already done. It just needs to be fitted for the US. All this and the coupe isn’t likely to sell more than the wagon.

        That tells me that it isn’t the development/testing budget that is keeping the wagon away.

  • avatar
    belfagor

    not a college prof, but my daily driver is a V50 wagon, manual
    this may very well be my next car, it looks gorgeous!

    • 0 avatar
      musicalmcs8706

      If this does well and isn’t too large, I could see my mom eventually replacing her V50 with it. As long as it still felt that it had the power like her T5. The 2.4i was too slow for her!

      She’s been able to convince a few people to get rid of their larger SUVs and minivans and downsize because they love hers so much.

  • avatar
    pecos bill

    Will it be available in brown?

  • avatar
    Clarence

    Good stuff. The new Mazda6 looks great, but, of course, the manual transmission will almost certainly be available only on the low-end stripper models. Michael Karesh has noted this lamentable trend.

  • avatar
    DenverInfidel

    Well played Derek.

    And for the record, I want one.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    I don’t even know where to begin. Is this weird editorialization about the new press photos? I’m lost before the first comma.

    “Industry analysts expect this vehicle to demolish the currently healthy CUV segment should it debut in North America sometime in late 2013.”

    What are you doing? PLEASE don’t make joke news into a trend here. Don’t ruin it, Derek.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      ….you must be new here.

      This is the site that formerly annually named the Ten Worst All Time vehicles….and enjoyed every nano-second of 7th grade humor that could be wrung from the corresponding acronym.

      This is the site that managed to define schadenfruede more than 200 ways when the GM Deathwatch series absurdly swashbuckled its way across these pages.

      Coming here for serious automotive news?

      That’s what Motor Trend is for….

  • avatar
    jco

    HA. nice try. but it isn’t rwd, therefore the internets will dismiss it with much whining. *this* close.

  • avatar
    nutbags

    Such a tease!!! Not nice at all.
    Maybe in 2-1/2 years when my GLI lease is up they will be here. Had a VW Sportwagon and would love to see the 6 Wagon back and with a manual to boot.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Just wait until Mazda announces the 12 speed AT diesel Miata.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    With the right marketing this thing could really sell.

    Now that Mazda has separated from Ford they don’t need to worry about stealing sales from profitable SUVs and pick-ups.

    Yep, put me down as wanting one, even an automatic.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I would love to own one these one day, wagon or not–Now that the new accord did away with the double wish-bone suspension, I believe this is only car in it’s class left with one.

    I can’t wait until Mazda gets more manufacturing out of Japan and the costs go down, the high cost of the yen is killing them.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark MacInnis

      Marching in the wrong direction, is Mazda on that one. They just built their last car in Flat Rock, MI….

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Nope, I believe that Mazda ditched DWB in the new 6. Same excuse as Honda–co$t, weight, EU “prevention-of-Darwin-award” pedestrian crash-regs, etc.

      Fortunately, it seems as though 95% of the Honda goodness is still there. We’ll see about the 6–that wagon is a looker (and the Sedan is a well-executeed evolution of the current one–even the new design language up-front is OK).

      They may have missed the boat just a bit on the interior–the dash looks a little last-gen-Camry-esque for my taste.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I’ve read lots of negative comments on the interior, typically calling it dated.

        I actually like it. I’m not sure how that idrive-like knob is going to work out from a functional standpoint, but the rest looks clean and straightforward. Not over styled and busy like newer Fords for example.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Sorry. I gotta keep coming back to this site, because FOXNews has a BIG picture of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on their webpage this morning, and everytime I click on FOXNews, hoping that it will be gone….

    It scares the shyte out of me.

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    BAH! It’s not brown! I don’t want it!

    (yes I do! It’s a good-looking car!)

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    What’s that? You’ve got sexy thin A pillars and pretty thin D pillars?

    I call for a Vellum Venom article on this car immediately. Failing that, could somebody explain why auto manufacturers are having this massive boner for flattening fender flares into this odd, flat shaped fender semi circle? God it looks terrible no matter what car you put it on. Impreza, I’m looking at you.

  • avatar

    Only if they can get it to like $20k, which should be easy if they offer a stripper model with all the unnecessary crap removed, right?

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I have the cash, I’d call up the local Mazda dealer right now and put down the deposit if this car were actually coming here. Seriously.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I bought a wagon from Acura, best car buying decision I ever made.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    What happened to “zoom-zoom” and the unique product positioning that Mazda touted? This makes perfect sense for the enthusiast owners that Mazda covets in the US.

  • avatar

    Derek’s right… Mazda is getting burnt trying to appeal to people who get more of what they’re looking for for less money in the used market. Hell, they know it, it’s no secret:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/mazdas-enthusiast-howl/

    Given the rave reviews the CX-5 received here and elsewhere, why would Mazda cannibalize it? Especially when the upside is little more than poaching all those Acura TSX SW intenders.

    As for the diesel, I’m about to start giving up on that. Haven’t had the chance to read the final CAFE rules, but with CARB leading the way and Ze Germans unhappy with the preliminary rule, I wouldn’t bank on a big diesel comeback anytime soon.

    I could never bring myself to start a Mazda Deathwatch (Bias Enforcement agents: please note subtle admission of guilt), but the firm is definitely in a struggle for survival. The truth is simply that it’s too small to remain independent forever, and right now it doesn’t have the margin of error (scale) to bring risky products to market.

    All that said, I would totally buy one. If I, um, needed one. And had the money. And couldn’t find anything cooler on the used market. And, and, and…

    • 0 avatar
      hriehl1

      From the same observations I draw totally different conclusions.

      Mazda cannot afford NOT to do something drastic to REALLY distinguish themselves with some signature architecture, or feature set, or whatever. To succeed here, they only need to click, really click, with 5% of the buyers and close half of them. While the big boys pursue sameness, they should seek differentiation.

      Otherwise they’re just 10 years behind Isuzu and 5 behind Mitsubishi and Suzuki… dead men walking all.

      An earlier poster cited the rotary engine strategy… it was the right kind of bold move needed today, but was simply a poor choice for their signature differentiator.

      • 0 avatar

        As far as I’m concerned, Jack and Brendan’s reactions to the CX-5 do distinguish themselves fairly drastically from typical CUV reviews. It’s now the number two selling Mazda after the 3, and Mazda’s US exports are up almost 50% YTD (YoY). If the new 6 and forthcoming Kodo-look 3 are as well-received, Mazda may well turn things around, at least in the US.

        In other words, a 6 wagon won’t really change the equation for this market. Really, if you want a 6 Wagon badly enough, buy a loaded 6 sedan and then harass Mazda on social media. Industry types flatter journos into thinking their opinion on product decisions matter, but owners and serious intenders are who really matter (at least they should).

        At the end of the day, Mazda is revamping its core lineup with much better design and improved efficiency… its two great weaknesses. Hyundai didn’t need a Wankel or Wagons to effect its turnaround, it just improved its core offerings. That’s the sustainable approach, and I’m glad Mazda’s taking it.

  • avatar
    indyb6

    I understand the points Derek and others tried to raise to show how economies of scale makes a case against such vehicles, coupled with additional fee for EPA, crash-tests and what not.

    Does the same hold true for Canada? Will this be available in Canada? Reading the articles and comments on this and some other websites gives me an impression that Canadians are still willing to buy wagons and hatchbacks, unlike Americans. Is that true?

    Are the costs to get appropriate certifications and checks to be able to sell a vehicle in Canada comparable to that in the USA?

    The green card queue in the United States is backed up so much (10 years in certain categories) that I am seriously considering moving to Canada. Canadian provinces actively looking for skilled workers doesn’t hurt either. Now, if I could buy manual, RWD, diesel wagons and hatchbacks from more than one manufacturer, my interest would increase tenfold. Or at least that is what this site has lead me to believe. I have never driven a vehicle with this forbidden fruit combination. Not have I driven a Panther, but I have been drooling over them for a while. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Sadly, for the most part, whether or not we’d buy it, the Canadian market is dictated by the American market. The regulations are close enough that, unless a manufacturer can justify federalizing a car for the American market, we aren’t likely to see it (the profit from our collective ~1.5 million cars a year just isn’t worth it).

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Out of everyone who begs for this car, probably only 0.2% of them would actually buy it new if it came, there would be no market and it would go away.

  • avatar
    Georgewilliamherbert

    Ok, as one of the few people with a legitimate medical issue with my left leg (no, really…), I am insulted and offended by the suggestion that my desire for a paddle shifted version of this…. Ooooh, Pretty.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    It won’t…because it also needs to weigh 2500-2700 lbs, and be AWD or RWD. Either way, the new design language is fantastic.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Almost ALL of VW’s Jetta Sportwagons sold in the US are diesels. Mazda has taken note of this, yet they are still too timid to give VW a run for their money?

    If they DID bring the diesel wagon here, I bet they could sell 10s of thousands/year, maybe half of them with manual transmissions. Imagine, a diesel wagon with a better reputation for reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      IF they don’t renege on Skyactive-D, and IF it is a sales success, maybe they’ll reconsider. But I’m still doubtful the Sky-D is going to show up in the US, ever. Hope I’m wrong.

  • avatar
    indyb6

    Sincere request to the TTAC staff – Please review a manual Jetta Sportwagen TDI. The last JSW review I saw on this site was from September 2008 (http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/09/2009-vw-jetta-sportwagen-se-review/).

    Being the face of the interweb’s manual diesel wagon enthusiast community, please do our minority-group justice by reviewing the one piece of forbidden fruit that is available on the market.

    PS: I checked the VW configurator. The JSW TDI manual is available in Brown. TTAC will be able to garner support from the Brown Car Appreciation Society as well ;)

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I watched Jeremy Clarkson rip the BMW X3 a new asrehole and then said what I’ve said for years,”what’s the point of these things? when a proper estate (wagan to us) can do as much and ride/drive better!

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    You know -such a car did existed- the Peugeot 504 station wagon. It was diesel, available with a stick-shift, and rear wheel drive. And available in brown too!
    It sold in droves …. in Botswana.


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