By on November 12, 2014

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While the styling upgrades for the facelifted Mazda6 are modest, the changes to the interior are the more significant news.

The 6 will ditch the antiquated infotainment system currently employed, in favor of the HMI Commander system used in the new Mazda3, featuring an iDrive-like knob and a large LCD screen. The Mazada6 only debuted 18 months ago, which should give you an indication of how competitive the mid-size market is right now – and how intent Mazda is on staying on top of product changes.

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55 Comments on “Mazda6 Facelift Leaks Prior To Los Angeles Auto Show...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Good move, the old infotainment system had to go. The dashboard is dour, uninspired, and conservative to a fault, but the materials were decent enough that the style wasn’t a big deal on its own. The undersized screen in the big dash cutout was what really brought the interior down for me.

    This car also needs an uplevel motor option. For those who care, putting a 185 hp four as the only engine in your “zoom-zoom” labelled car is about as laughable as advertising the Camry as “grounded to the ground”.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The 6 performs surprisingly well with that four thanks to low weight and good gearing, but I agree something more is needed. Would love to see a version of the 6 with the 2.5 Skyactiv turbo that is rumored to be coming to the 3. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of money to be made from hi-po FWD sedans these days.

      • 0 avatar
        SatelliteView

        None-sense. I have a 6 that dearly loved, has 2 stages of structural reinforcements on it from AutoExe. While adequate overall, it’s definitely breathless whenever flexibility is required

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      “For those who care, putting a 185 hp four as the only engine in your “zoom-zoom” labelled car is about as laughable as advertising the Camry as “grounded to the ground”.”

      What’s worse, Mazda’s USA website used to list the car as a “sports sedan.” The site was revamped recently though, so that designation seems to be gone.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        185 hp is not laughable.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Agreed – anyone dismissing 185 HP from a 4-banger didn’t lewrn to drive in the malaise era where if you had 85 HP from a 4-banger you had a stout engine.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          It is 5 more horsepower than you could get in a 1990 Cutlass Calais!

          In all seriousness, the Skyactiv I4 is fine but after offering the Speed6 and 3.7 in the past generations, I do think it is disappointing that the current North American 6 will likely be 2.5L only.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Nick & APaGtth, where did I write that 185 hp was insufficient for a base 4 cylinder?

          I wrote that 185 hp is laughable when it is the most hp you can get in the midsize entrant from a brand that uses Zoom-Zoom as its marketing identity. When others offer optional turbo 4s and V6 engines with 240-300hp.

          They still handle well, so perhaps “Zig-zag” would be the more appropriate slogan.

          edit: Hey! I just noticed Hubcap suggested Zig Zag as well! I think we have a winner, maybe we should write to Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      The 2.5 is a bit underpowered compared to the other automakers like Chevy with 195 hp. Unfortunately, the 6 isn’t designed for a V6. An inline 5 would make a good choice as the new engine upgrade. Keeps weight down and doesn’t complicate things with turbocharging, I’m not sure why other makers haven’t used it.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Agree that the infotainment system had to be binned. Alex Dykes was correct – the old system was awful. It was one of the reasons keeping me away from a 6 when I was in the market.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Mazda can make all the changes they want to the 6, but if they only have one or two cars on the lot it is meaningless. I sort of understand their strategy of not overproducing cars to avoid rebates and low interest deals, but the competition has plenty of cars on their lots.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The lack of on-the-lot 6s is really an issue.

      Mazda needs to get dealers to stock way more 6s. I’ve never seen such a dearth of availability of a highly competitive product.

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      In addition, the lack of interior color choices (other than Black) is also noted. To get a 6 with a manual, there was only one “Sand” interior out of about 50 units within 250 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        They do offer sand and black as options (whether they are stock is another issue). Other manufacturers only offer black (Accord Sport for example).

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Yeah the all black interiors are my personal deal killer for any car.
        And the only non-black are only on the top line trim which of course the dealers don’t stock and the pricing is tough.
        Came close to buying one but couldn’t get past that.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          Too bad. Down from three colors on all trims when the first 6 came out.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @snavehtrebor I blame myself a little bit; my ’05 is an (V6) automatic sedan with a black interior. I still regret not getting the hatch or wagon.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          The white and black interiors are available on all 3 trim levels and with most colors. Seems like choice to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Snavehtrebor

            I agree dtremit, Mazda’s trim level packaging has made it impossible to get everything I wanted. My first gen 6 had the V6, manual, sunroof, and tan interior. You can’t get all that in either the 3 or the 6, which is why I had to go elsewhere. It’s a shame because I’m a big Mazda fan and have owned 4 of them. Mazda chases buyers who would ordinarily shop other brands, and alienates their true base.

        • 0 avatar
          This Is Dawg

          @ indi500fan, that must be why I have a base trim with sand interior, and only found 7 of the exact same trim and options I wanted within 30 miles in the one weekend I looked.

  • avatar
    EAS34

    Loved everything about it except the lack of AWD and the infotainment system. I came very close to buying a 2014 CX-5 Grand Touring but couldn’t live with the navigation unit. That thing was so antiquated and counterintuitive. The Germans won me over with the iDrive though.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    is that divorce from ford starting to hurt?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Mazda may not be on fire in terms of market share, but in plain speak, Ford can’t touch Mazda’s reliability, interior design or overall goodness with a 100 foot pole.

      The only Ford that can approach Mazda goodness in any of these areas is the Coyote equipped Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I would strongly disagree with you. I sat in both the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6 at a display at the Rolex 24 hour race, and the interior design of both cars turned me off badly enough that when I went car shopping, I didn’t even bother to stop at a Mazda dealership.

        I shopped Ford, Audi, and BMW, and bought a Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          What Ford has a better interior than a price equivalent (even approximately) Mazda 3 or 6?

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            I bought a Fusion.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            There may be many reasons of the car and/or financial reasons to buy a Fusion, but a better interior is not one of them.

            Anyone slamming the interior aesthetics or build quality of a Mazda 6 who then uses that criticism to buy a Fusion is suffering cognitive dissonance.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Under way, all of them. There’s nothing premium at all about Mazda levels of road noise.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            He’s very specifically referring to interior design/quality, not road noise.

          • 0 avatar
            johnhowington

            “There may be many reasons of the car and/or financial reasons to buy a Fusion, but a better interior is not one of them.

            Anyone slamming the interior aesthetics or build quality of a Mazda 6 who then uses that criticism to buy a Fusion is suffering cognitive dissonance.”

            You are just gonna have to live the rest of your life knowing that was his reason. Sorry friend.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Different strokes for special folks.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            De gustibus non est disputandum.

            Arrogant much?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m not the one who took the time to highlight the 6 as having a “turn off” interior and who then bought a Fusion.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            You’ll have to accept that judgements like “better interior” are often very subjective.

            Though, I realize that people on the internet tend to have a hard time understanding how others might have preferences that are different than their own.

          • 0 avatar
            johnhowington

            “Different strokes for special folks.”

            Ever feel like a dog chasing his own tail?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Mazda goodness? Does that include the rust?

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      Replacing all the broken parts stamped FoMoCo on my mazda is starting to hurt…

  • avatar

    Is the CX-5 also going to get this new infotainment system?

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      KW, from what I can tell yes. This is Mazda’s way of spreading out the cost..The interior quality of both the 3 and 6 are top notch and this will only help the 6 overall.
      The CX9 will get the same interior treatment in two years with its redo..
      I do wish they would make a Mazda9 that would competes with the Avalon however I do realize that the full size segment is a bust right now. Can you imagine the shape of the 3/6 on a full size car..yummy

  • avatar
    stuki

    Considering how short, uneventful and unrevealing the average test drive has gotten, and how similar cars really are by now, secondaries like a $100 infotainment system may well be what sways the purchase decision of a $25K car….

  • avatar
    EX35

    Who cares about the infotainment crap, where is the diesel, the only real reason to consider the 6?

  • avatar
    redav

    Exterior: I prefer the current 6.
    Interior: The new infotainment is truly a step up. They should have had it ready to go for the ’15 MY–even if they had to shove that screen into the existing 6’s dash.

  • avatar

    Mazdas sell so poorly they are not even worth commenting on. Let them rot.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Does anyone know if there is a reason why the new Mazda Connect software cannot be uploaded onto the current 5.8 inch screens? I know the new system has a bigger screen but surely the updated software could run on the smaller screen.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Will this coincide will Mazda dropping Zoom Zoom as their tagline? After all they really don’t have anything that fits the bill. I’m not saying the cars aren’t nice, I am saying they’re not the performance brand that they claim to be.

    Maybe Zig Zag, or Flim Flam would fit better.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Don’t understand the obsession with Mazda here. I have owned two Mazdas that were OK cars but not great ones. Loved the 929 but that was the only one. Can’t find that much to be obsessed about the cars since then. OK cars but nothing to get excited about.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. Used mid-00s are no better than any other low-end car from the era, to wit: tinny and problematic.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      How about because they make (arguably) some of the best looking economy cars that also handle like my 95 and 03 base model 3 series and can be had for under $20k? Not to mention my commute MPG has gone up by 10.

      Maybe the best average of “boring” needs doesn’t excite you, but I’m certainly happy.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I have had 3 Mazdas since graduating from high school. 2001 Mazda Protégé5, 2006 Mazdaspeed6 and 2014 Mazda6, (mixed with a few other makes and models for myself and my wife. All bought new, all great cars (for the money) I add that qualifier in there because that is one of the things that makes Mazda special. For the price, you get a pretty tossable, fairly efficient, reasonably priced, decent to good looking car. For the less affluent auto enthusiast, they are building the cars we ask for that are for the most part, great daily drivers and every day cars. Living in Michigan I have never had a rust issue in approximately 250k miles of driving my Mazdas. I beat the hell of the Mazdaspeed6 on a daily basis shredding a set of 4 tires every 15-20k miles. For the most part it took the beating with a few nagging issues but miles and miles of fun. I have never had a break down that left me stranded and the totally cost of all three cars was around $60k total. I think that is why people like Mazda. I can understand why they are not for everyone, we all have different needs, Mazda’s aren’t particularly fast, they are not prestigious…..I get it. But the have a lot to offer that is unique in the mainstream automotive world especially throwing in the rotary powered vehicles and Miata.


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