Diesel Engine, All-wheel Drive Coming to Mazda 6; No Word on Suspension Lift, Cladding

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
diesel engine all wheel drive coming to mazda 6 no word on suspension lift

It seems the idea of a sport-utility sedan just doesn’t resonate, despite automakers’ best efforts. Oh well, at least there’s still the prospect of greater traction and somewhat improved fuel economy coming to Mazda’s slinky 6 sedan.

During this week’s New York reveal of the much-delayed CX-5 diesel, the automaker mentioned that the 2.2-liter oil burner would also find a home in the company’s midsize sedan. More interestingly, Mazda confirmed that all-wheel drive will become available.

Want to take a guess on which feature Mazda fans actually want?

If you’ll recall, a Mazda 6 diesel was supposed to appear five years ago, but emissions-wary regulators intervened. The past couple of years brought hints that the automaker was attempting to get a reworked 2.2-liter certified in the United States.

“Mazda has worked tirelessly with federal and state agencies to ensure that this diesel engine has passed each and every regulation,” Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations, said during the CX-5 diesel’s unveiling.

“What makes Mazda’s diesel technology so remarkable, is that we designed the combustion process itself to produce very few harmful emissions in the first place, which means we need to rely less on after-treatment catalysts.”

Guyton then told the assembled media that Mazda is “working to bring diesel with all-wheel drive also to our beautiful Mazda 6,” asking everyone to “stay tuned” for that announcement. It’s worth noting that the company’s website has a page for the yet-unavailable Mazda 6 Signature Skyactiv-D. As with the CX-5, it seems diesel availability will be relegated to the top-tier trim.

In the CX-5, the 2.2-liter generates 168 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, but delivers a very mediocre 28 mpg combined. It’s assumed that in a sedan, even one with AWD, the engine would crest the 30 mpg combined mark. It has to, as a basic 2.5-liter Mazda 6 delivers 29 mpg combined.

An unanswered question is whether a long-rumored AWD option will come to non-diesel sedans. Of course, it would be foolish not to pair the model’s new turbocharged 2.5-liter with four-wheel motivation, as Mazda’s midsizer is already viewed as one of the most engaging mainstream sedans on the market. Anything that might attract more buyers is key.

In the first three months of 2019, Mazda 6 sales slipped 8.1 percent, coming on the heels of a 7.4 percent volume drop in 2018.

[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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3 of 22 comments
  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Apr 20, 2019

    The idea of putting AWD under everything on the road baffles me. Why add weight, complexity and cost when 95% of people who say they 'need' AWD really don't.

    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 20, 2019

      Adding AWD increases the price. It is a profit generator even though no one really needs AWD other than for performance or off-roading. Even in slippery situation FWD is more predictable and driver uses more caution compared with AWD.

  • Stevelovescars Stevelovescars on Apr 22, 2019

    How is the “outbacked” wagon working for Buick? Last I saw, my local dealer was offering $10k off of his. These seem like nice cars, too. Are they selling in other parts of the country? I am in Northern Michigan, AKA Subaru’s target market. I do think they should offer the Mazda 6 wagon, but leave the jacked suspension and body cladding at home and offer an alternative to sporty European wagons. Mazda is already such a niche player in the US they have little to lose and going somewhere nobody else is seems like a better game plan.

  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.
  • Akear Lets be honest, Lucid will not be around in five years. It does not matter that it is probably the world's best EV sedan. Lucid's manufacturing and marketing is a complete mess. The truth is most EV companies are going under within the decade.