By on April 19, 2019

2018 Mazda 6 Signature front quarter

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.”

2018 Mazda 6 Signature rear quarter

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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22 Comments on “Diesel Engine, All-wheel Drive Coming to Mazda 6; No Word on Suspension Lift, Cladding...”

  • avatar

    It will be a great sales succes, because we all need AWD, fully loaded, $45,000 sedans.

    • 0 avatar

      Not everyone with $45k burning a hole in their pocket needs a tippy, tall, heavy, wallowing crossover either.

      Fun experiment: Give this thing a liftback and 3,000 pounds of towing capacity and call it a Sport Utility Sedan.

      • 0 avatar

        A more fun experiment: Stop selling the Mazda6 sedan completely, federalize the Mazda 6 Wagon, lift it by 2 inches, add black plastic cladding, sell it as the Mazda6 Sport Activity Vehicle and watch sales increase 400% at a significantly higher per unit profit.

        I am not sure how the 6 sells worldwide, but sales are so slim her in the US for what is really a pretty a fantastic car, why does Mazda keep adding sedan variants. They know darn well what will sell to US Consumers in droves.

        Also, the current 6 was new in 2014, curious if there is a revised 6 in the works for the US. That’s the model that should get AWD, not an aged outgoing model.

        But seriously, not selling the wagon in the US in a cross country form (or at all for that matter) is becoming criminal negligence in 2019-2020, the year of our crossover. Subaru and Volvo do brisk business in the Cross Country Wagon space, come to the dark side Mazda!

        • 0 avatar


          how does it feel stealing ideas?

        • 0 avatar

          Dropping the sedan variant (designed specifically for the US market, apparently) and replacing it with the “Outback” variant of the 6 wagon (CX-6 ?) would seem like a no brainer choice.

          Maybe they want to save on the federalization cost for a new body style until the next generation Mazda6 which is widely reported to go RWD, given its limited resources.

          Of course, a lifted up and cladded wagon/hatch variant isn’t always a guaranteed success, looking at the old Infiniti EX/QX50.

    • 0 avatar

      There are tens of people so excited by this announcement, this will surely secure Mazda’s future.

    • 0 avatar

      Lots of recent somewhat glowing reports here on TheTruthAboutMazda detailing the efforts of Mazda to increase interest by shot-gunning stuff against the wall of the market and hoping something, anything, sticks. The Chrysler 300 of Mazda – the Mazda6, with its falling volumes, moves further “up-market” by increasing pricing due to adding features of dubious value to only its top-line trim. The same with the CX-5, a compact-sized SUV with an “up-market” $42k price on tag the Signature AWD with the same anemic diesel being added to the 6 and the CX-5 $37k Signature model with the 2.5 turbo. Mazda sells 1.5M vehicles world-wide but only a paltry 20% of that figure in the US market – they might be wise to focus on the market where that 80% is selling.

    • 0 avatar

      “It will be a great sales succes, because we all need AWD, fully loaded, $45,000 sedans.”

      Do not see problem here. Since Mazda is a prestigious premium brand now customers will lease it instead of buying.

  • avatar

    Wrap it all in the wagon body Europe gets, and you have my attention. You can keep the diesel, however. The 2.5T will do just fine.

  • avatar

    And no one will buy it because it isn’t $10,000 after rebates. So many good cars enthusiasts declare they would buy — that they never buy.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I have actually purchased a 2019 Mazda6 GT-Reserve. As in my own money, in real life, and drive it every day. Made the sacrifice of losing the manual which I loved on my 2006 Acura TSX, but gained the delightful interior, stunning Soul Red color and more space everywhere.

    I would not buy the diesel version of this if it had been available, nor would I have waited to test drive it in person before purchasing the gas version.

    Full disclosure: I was VERY excited for the proposed diesel wagon that was promised years ago. I was disappointing that there isn’t any wagon version of the Mazda6 in the US but it still won’t push me to owning a CUV/SUV.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    CTRL-C/CTRL-V comments about AWD from the Hyundai Venue article.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    No to this lame diesel, and no to AWD.

    Mazda continues to drift, and this is starting to look like desperation.

    • 0 avatar

      Have to disagree with you on that point. Those are two things that enthusiasts always clamor for, that and a stick and a wagon variant and every enthusiast in this country will have the perfect vehicle provided its sold in brown.

      It doesnt look desperate at all, it is dumbfounding is what it is. Why put more money into a vehicle that is nailed to showroom floors in the US. Just to make fanboys and enthusiasts happy? The only thing I can think of is that Mazda is using so many of the same parts and programming across vehicles that the cost to add these features to other models is really negligible, so why not pick up a few sales?

  • avatar

    Why even care about bringing diesel in USA? In any case my next car will be BEV. I still have 7 years of warranty on my current car and yes it has AWD. Do you need AWD? Not really in everyday drive. Can save couple of grands. It is more fun though.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      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.

  • avatar

    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.

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