By on May 21, 2021

On Friday, Mazda officially confirmed it will be discontinuing its 6 sedan and CX-3 crossover for the United States after the 2021 model year. But we don’t want you to get too bent out of shape over this prematurely. Mazda is plotting to evolve its lineup with new engines (including inline-sixes) and rear-drive-dominant architectures designed to deliver the desirable dynamics the brand is known for.

We might end up seeing the sedan returning to our shores before anyone has had a chance to miss it, though perhaps under a different name. 

The Mazda6 has existed since 2012 in its current form (generation three) and arrived in North America in 2014, so it’s not surprising to see the manufacturer getting ready to shake things up. But we’re doubting Mazda wants to mimic American brands by scraping off sedans of its heel like a spat-out piece of gum. Japanese brands have held relatively strong on traditional body types and are taking an increasingly large share of the shrinking segment as they continue development on crossovers.

“For more than 100 years, Mazda has successfully navigated shifting consumer needs and an ever-changing industry with beautifully designed vehicles that are fun to drive,” the company explained in a short release. “As consumer interests continue to evolve, Mazda will discontinue CX-3 and Mazda6 for the 2022 model year. Although these two vehicles will be leaving our lineup, we are proud of the performance, design, quality, and safety they contributed to our brand.”

While the sedan seems to have a fair chance of coming back in a year or two, the CX-3’s odds are substantially worse. Mazda dealers will probably direct customers seeking a small crossover to the newer CX-30 (below), as its larger 2.5-liter engine (186-hp/186-lb-ft) and the more-spacious cabin are better suited to North American tastes. Considering it’s only about a grand dearer than the outgoing CX-3, Mazda is probably is making the right call here.

[Images: Mazda]

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39 Comments on “Mazda6 Leaves Our World in 2022, CX-3 Follows...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Not a big shock.

    I tried out a 6 a few weeks ago, with the 2.5T – love the way it looks outside, and feels inside, and the chassis dynamics are good, but it feels far less powerful than it is. Blame a lazy transmission. I’d take an Accord Sport with the bigger engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Mazda6 all day every day over Accord. Why? Prefer 6 speed automatic transmission in the Mazda. No CVT for me. Not while I have a choice.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Accord 2.0T does not use a CVT.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @Art:

          Funny thing, a GLI’s is one of the finalists to replace my A3, along with the GTI. The GLI is cheaper but leases worse (Jettas apparently have worse residuals than Golfs).

          Don’t crap on the automatic version, though – it’s great. Great enough, in fact, that the only reason I’d pick a manual would be “manuals are going away.” The DCT version is quicker and a lot easier to drive quickly than the manual.

          Now, if you could only get the GTI’s sport seats in the GLI…

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The GLI is very good. And, even as someone that doesn’t enjoy manual transmissions the one in the GLI is pretty nice. I’d still get the automatic because that’s just what I do but it isn’t as lights out of a decision as it is on nearly everything else.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            There aren’t really any cars I’d buy for the shifter alone – the Civic Si comes closest at this price point. For a few more bucks, maybe a Mustang 5.0 or Camaro.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            In general, there are only three automakers that do decent manuals: BMW, VAG, and Honda. Don’t bother with anyone else’s, unless it’s one of the domestics with a Tremec T56 derivative.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Mike,

            There’s a lot of reasons to buy a 5.0 Mustang, but the manual transmission is not one of them.

            As dal pointed out, you really want the TR-6060 in the Camaro or Challenger.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’ll keep that in mind! The only Mustang V8 I’ve driven had an automatic, and it was a hoot, but I couldn’t help but think how much I wanted to try out the manual.

            Ah well…in Pandemic Times, auto dealers are letting old farts like me out alone for test drives (cue evil laugh). Might want to take advantage of that little blip while I can!

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I think the Mach 1 (which has the Termec) is the only new vehicle where I’d opt for the manual.
            Well, also the CT5-V BW but that’s way out of my price range.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The TR6060 is a brute and will take whatever you can throw at it, but I wouldn’t call it smooth.

        • 0 avatar
          Oberkanone

          2.0T is 10 speed, right? I forgot.
          What I’m remembering now is pushbutton shifter controls. I hate them.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Jetta GLI. 6 speed, but actuated via one’s right arm and left foot…as God intended. If I had to get a midsized sedan, this is likely the lone option.

        Accord 2.0 T is a 10 speed though…not the CVT.

      • 0 avatar
        ABC-2000

        Sorry, you did not drive Accord 2.0T with the 10 speed, I had it for 2.5 years, amazing car and super fast, way faster than the 6.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      @FreedMike,

      I own a 2018 Grand Touring Reserve. I got it at the same price that the dealers here were willing to sell me a Honda Accord Sport. At that time, I got a bit more content. I also felt that the overall ride quality of the Mazda was a bit better, especially over crappy roads. The road noise was also a bit worse too in the Honda

      As far as shifting, in sport mode the Mazda 6 shifts just as quick, its simply that they didn’t do a good job of keeping the wheels from hopping. Our CX5 with the 2.5T is at least a half a second faster due to AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      You must have got a bad one FreedMike. Mine barks its front tires on the one-two shift at half-throttle. It seems to be more computer-controlled and not so liable to do so under full throttle when the shift is indeed lazier. You have to learn any car’s “foibles” I guess. Had some fun today actually, but I use premium fuel exclusively so perhaps that’s the difference. Also, as I cannot stress enough, the stupid Accord 10 speed doesn’t have a gear-hold feature, the pushbutton gear selector crap is bloody awful, and the interior isn’t up to snuff for the exact same money in my market and models at the same price here in Canada. Here you can get the 6 turbo in base model trim, which isn’t very basic, because it has more features than my old Legacy GT Limited, and gets about 30% better economy for very similar outright performance.

      The manumatic in the 6 is great in our hilly country if you want to kid yourself you’re rowing a manual and want engine braking on downhills. Tried to like the Accord enough to buy it with two long test drives several years ago, but in the end, nah.

      Sedans don’t sell. Except to people who don’t want to join the blobular two-box crossover world and become just another anonym in the crowd, and there apparently aren’t many of us left. I figured the 6 would disappear with the ’20 model year, simply from the tyranny of the majority, so I’m not surprised it’s gone. I got mine,. Mazdas seem very reliable based on people I know, so I took the plunge. I’m happy. Not over the moon knocked out but for $27K US list incl shipping, not bad at all. I could be driving some poor-riding all bells and whistles Hyundai Kona with no elbow-room for the exact same outlay. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Having previously owned two Mazda 6’s, I am disappointed for sure. My first was a 2006 Mazdaspeed6 and then a 2014 Mazda6 touring 6MT. I would have been first in line for it’s new inline 6 so hoping in comes in some form or another.

      The Mazda6 has been an extremely slow seller here in the US in recent years. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled the plug for good on sedans here just like they pulled the plug on the wagon while still selling it many other markets.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The point of the terribly packaged CX-3 disappeared the second the CX-30 went on sale, so no surprise there.

    Looking forward to the upcoming I6 RWD sedan, whatever they call it. Unfortunately my life doesn’t permit a new sedan right now, but there does seem to be life still in the sportier end of the category, at least if you’ve given up on the dream of three pedals.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I went from a stick to an automatic, and honestly, I don’t miss #manuallife all that much.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I felt the same for a while after selling the G8 GXP, but lately I’ve really been missing the manual experience. I made a decision about two years ago that I’d get one more manual car before I die, although I’m not quite sure yet what it will be or how it will fit into my life. I’ve thought about everything from a Civic Si to a used E46 M3. (And right now I’m saving every penny for our house remodel, which makes it a lot harder to just go out and drop money on a toy.)

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Caymans are pretty nice.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            One rule is no two-seaters. I want to be able to bring my boys on drives with me. Otherwise a Boxster S would be at the top of the list.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @dal,

            Consider a 911 then.

            I just picked up a 996 cabrio a couple weeks ago so that my kids can ride in the back seats. It’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever owned before and a fun vehicle for the family (I’ve got several years before my kids will outgrow the back seats though).

            The 996 is still relatively reasonable to acquire, though who knows how long that will last.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Congrats on the 911! They’re a little rich for my blood, even good 996es, but they’re very appealing cars.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I just picked up a 996 cabrio a couple weeks”

            Cool. I got to drive a flat-6 Cayman a few months ago and it was quite great. At least on the sports car side Porsche may be as good as advertised.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Just to be clear, this was not a good 996 by any stretch, but it had the IMS done and the price was right for an infrequently used toy.

            Time will tell if I end up succumbing to the “high mile German car out of warranty” disaster scenario, but I’m a lot more forgiving of that sort of thing in a car I don’t rely on for anything.

            There are deals out there still.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @ajla,

            I had never driven a 911 in my life before test driving this one. I’m not saying I’m a Porsche guy now or anything, but it was so fun and so different from the American muscle cars I’ve driven as my fun cars all my life.

            Even my fairly ratty example has something that feels special about it.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            I drove a base Cayman at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta a few weeks ago. I don’t think there is anything else on the road that changes directions as well. It’s very honest, does exactly what you ask and no more.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Being Mazda, the buzzspec compliant sedan will no doubt be a nice car.

      But at the same time: Seeking cover in niches, as a result of getting soundly beaten out of competitive segments, is never a good sign. For any maker of anything.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr.NotSoGoodWrench

        I am a bit of a Mazda fanboi, but I also have open eyes. Generally speaking, Mazda markets vehicles that tend to have two or three elements that are just a bit “off” as compared to other products in the same class.

        I own a 2015 Mazda6 Touring (mid level trim) w/6-speed manual and have enjoyed it very much over 6 years and 130k miles. That said, I do find ingress and egress awkward to/from front seats, the ride is firmer than most Americans prefer in a family car, and the soundproofing is not as good as Camry.

        I think similar shortcomings can be found in most of the products Mazda markets in USA. The cars are a homerun for certain cohorts of niche buyers, but Mazdas are not successful in the mass market for real reasons!

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    Really looking forward to seeing that inline 6 with RWD. Just hope it’s a little larger on the inside than the Mazda6. I don’t know what it is about Mazda overall but all their cars feel smaller than their counterparts.

  • avatar
    sentience

    That’s a pity. Always had a soft spot for the current Mazda sedans. They have a simple elegance in their design language, which carries from the exterior into the cabin. really well executed. They had AWD as an option – surprised this got dropped.

  • avatar
    DungBeetle62

    Last year the Mazda dealer loaned me a 6 while the Miata was in for some work. If I had a desire for something of that size it’d have been a thought. We’d just rented a Camry a few weeks earlier during a trip and the 6 was absolutely better.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Japanese brands have held relatively strong on traditional body types and are taking an increasingly large share of the shrinking segment as they continue development on crossovers.”

    Is this also true of Mazda? With them, all I see is an increasingly irrelevant mfr stuck at 1.8% market share for the last 20 years.

  • avatar

    Both not-sharing-platform Ford Fusion and Mazda6 arrived in 2013 and both left this world about the same time. Rest in peace Fusion and Mazda6 and may be we will see you again in the new RWD incarnation. Amen.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I’ll bet the replacement RWD that “might” be coming won’t looks nearly as good as the classy 6. Oh well another great sedan gone and another step in the malaise era II direction!!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    You had me at inline-six and RWD.

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