Mazda Brings the 6 Just a Little Further Upscale

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mazda brings the 6 just a little further upscale

In the world of mainstream, front-drive midsize sedans, the Mazda 6 stands out. Not in terms of sales (no midsizer’s adding volume these days), but in terms of style. Despite not being the freshest face on the block, the 6 remains a serious looker.

The recent addition of a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder to the 6’s roster of niceties only boosted the sedan’s appeal, but buyers remain a fickle bunch. For 2021, Mazda keeps the model’s recipe more or less the same, but tosses a bit of additional power to the uplevel engine while slotting a new trim at the top end.

Forget about Signature. While that trim remains the pinnacle of the 6 line, buyers can now source a Carbon Edition priced just north of the second-rung Grand Touring Reserve ($33,745, after destination). With the latter trim as its starting point, the Carbon Edition dons Polymetal Gray paint, a black lip spoiler, and glossy 19-inch aluminum wheels painted the color of night.

Dark red leather with black sticking covers the Carbon Edition’s seats, with red stitching on the dash and console armrest tying it all together. It’s a good look. And because it’s an uplevel trim, the Carbon Edition enjoys the same 2.5L turbo found in the Grand Touring and Signature.

Unsure about what lurks under the 2021 6’s hood? A new “Turbo” badge on the trunklid sets these models apart from those motivated by the unchanged 2.5L base engine. Spring for the turbo, and you’ll notice an additional 10 lb-ft of torque (when drinking 93 octane fuel). Output stands at 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft, or 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on basic regular-octane pump fare.

For ’21, the 6 sees Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity added as standard kit, with uplevel trims earning a wireless version of the former. The base Sport model grows in price by $245.

All told, not a huge amount of change, but Mazda’s not content to leave its midsizer alone. What remains to be seen is what happens after the current model runs its course. Could we really see a rear-drive, inline-six Mazda 6?

Will more than 17 people buy it?

Stay tuned.

[Images: Mazda]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Daniel J Daniel J on Sep 02, 2020

    Honestly if they are going to black out the wheels, I'd wish they'd black out all the chrome. I've seen this and it looks good on certain colors.

  • MorrisGray MorrisGray on Sep 02, 2020

    I don't care which engine they offer, I want a manual transmission sedan. Yes I would prefer a naturally aspirated 6 cylinder but a 4 cylinder would work for me. Currently I am still driving the 2006 Mazda3 5sp sedan I bought new. I still enjoy driving it but want something newer.

  • VoGhost Five years ago, Tesla was ten years ahead of the competition. I haven't seen anything to suggest that's changed.
  • Varezhka They cheapened out on the hardware side too, so we'll see how much they can improve with the software updates. I know they're using faster processors with some of their newer vehicles, but not sure how much faster.
  • Varezhka I mentioned yesterday that I wasn't a fan of Mazda Connect v1.0 in MX-5. Now I count Mazda Connect v2.0 in Mazda3 as among my favorites. Clean, fast, and intuitive without being a distraction to driving.I also don't mind the v7 BMW i-Drive, though BMW also seem to go back and forth between quite good and quite messy between updates. I also liked the screen position better before they incorporated touch.
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