In a sea of beige midsize competitors, the Mazda 6 stands out with its sharp design and keen handling. Although the formula really didn't need tweaking, Mazda engineers haven't rested on their laurels. Instead, the facelifted midsizer from Hiroshima comes loaded with clever new chassis technology to keep drivers and passengers alike happy.
Just like the new Mazda 3, the 6 is now fitted with G-Vectoring Control. The system gently reduces torque to the driven wheels when it detects a steering input, putting more weight over the front wheels in the process. Mazda says this makes for better grip on corner entry and fewer steering corrections, which is more fun for the driver and smoother for the passengers. The system then feeds torque back to the wheels, shifting weight to the rear for greater stability.
As is currently the case, there will be four engines available on the refreshed Mazda 6. Gasoline power is provided by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine, available in 143 hp (106 kW) or 163 hp (122 kW) tune. On the other side of the gas station, diesel power comes from two versions of a 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D motors, making 148 hp (110 kW) or 173 hp (129 kW).
They're no more powerful than before, but the updated diesel engines have still been given a working over. For a long time, Mazda has been criticized for its poor in-cabin noise, vibration and harshness. That means some serious effort has been put into making the diesels feel smoother and more responsive.
Both diesels are fitted with a new transient control system designed to improve throttle response, and a natural sound smoother uses a dynamic damper in the piston pin to suppress three common frequencies at which engine components usually make the most noise. On top of the engine modifications, refinement should be improved by upgraded door seals, tighter panel gaps, thicker front glass and extra sound deadening spread around the cabin and underbody.
On the equipment front, range-topping models now come with a heated steering wheel and an improved heads-up display. This new HUD features Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and automatically adjusts based on the position of the electric memory seat. Also fresh is an updated version of Mazda's auto-emergency braking system, which is now able to detect pedestrians. Working with auto-emergency braking is a new blind-spot warning system, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
Pricing for the updated Mazda 6 will kick off at £19,795 in the UK and $21,945 in the US. The car will be in dealerships before the end of the year.