The Mazda 6 Is Dead in the US, but Maybe Not for Good

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Although there’s now an EV in Mazda’s US lineup, the Japanese brand’s model selection is shrinking rather than growing. For 2022, two models are saying sayonara. But for one of them, the Mazda 6 sedan, this might not be a permanent goodbye.

After 2021, the Mazda 6 is discontinued in the US

2021 Mazda 6 Carbon Edition | Mazda

On May 21st, 2021, Mazda announced the cancellation of two US-market models: the Mazda 6 sedan and the CX-3 crossover. More specifically, both vehicles are being discontinued for the 2022 model year. Once the 2021-MY models sell out at dealers, that’s it. After that, the Mazda 3 will be the only sedan in the company’s US lineup.

Discontinuing the CX-3 makes some sense, MotorTrend muses. With the launch of the roomier, larger, and more powerful CX-30, the CX-3 has arguably become redundant. And MT notes CX-3 sales dropped dramatically after the CX-30 showed up. So, while it’s the cheapest Mazda vehicle on sale today, there’s not enough consumer interest to keep it around.

The rear 3/4 view of a red 2021 Mazda 6
2021 Mazda 6 rear 3/4 | Mazda

Declining consumer interest also explains why the Mazda 6 is being discontinued. For one, its sales figures are dwarfed by Honda Accord sales, MT notes. And even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the sedan’s sales were trending downward, Autoblog reports. Plus, Mazda sells significantly more CX-5s than it does 6s nowadays, MT reports. The Mazda 6 might be fun to drive, but that doesn’t seem to be enough.

However, while the CX-3 has been truly supplanted, this might not be the end of the road for the 6.

But the Mazda 6 could return in RWD form

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Up until now, the Mazda 6 has been a front-wheel-drive sedan. But back in 2019, news broke that the automaker was developing a new RWD platform with optional AWD, Car and Driver reports. A year later, Mazda revealed that this new platform would use a BMW-like longitudinally-mounted inline-six engine. And this new platform and engine would go in the next-generation Mazda 6, Car and Driver explains.

At the time, reports claimed the next-gen 6 would arrive at the end of 2022. Given Mazda’s latest announcement, this suggests the 6’s death is only temporary. Kind of like how the Suzuki discontinued the Hayabusa only to release a revised emissions-legal third-gen model.

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However, this assumes Mazda still plans on making a RWD next-gen 6. When Car and Driver asked about those plans, a company spokesperson said, “‘We cannot share details of future products at this time.'” Autoblog received a similar statement.

There’s still a lot that’s uncertain

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That response also highlights further uncertainties about the 6’s future in the US.

For one, we don’t know if and when a RWD 6 could arrive. Two, there’s no guarantee such a car would be sold in the US. And three, it’s possible the hypothetical RWD Mazda sedan won’t use the ‘Mazda 6’ name. The Drive points out that several recently-released Mazda models—namely, the CX-30 and MX-30—use four-digit monikers. Maybe that RWD sedan will be called ‘MX-60’ instead?

Regardless, for now, the only thing we know for sure is that the 2021 Mazda 6 will be the last version of the current-gen car. So, if you’ve been considering getting one, now’s your last chance.

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