The 2023 Mazda6 is a Stunner and the U.S. Still Can’t Have It
With midsize sedans like the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata showing off stylish updates, it’s easy to remember an old favorite. Before it left us in 2021, the Mazda6 was perhaps the most attractive midsize sedan on the market. However, it hasn’t died everywhere, and the 2023 Mazda6 is turning heads overseas. It’s just a shame that we can’t have it here.
Those same head-turning looks
From the outside, not much in the 2023 Mazda6 is vastly different from the last cars sold in America. But frankly, that’s not a problem. The sweeping fender drives and narrowed LED headlights ushered in a new generation of vehicle design. The Mazda6 hasn’t changed much in a decade because it didn’t have to. When you set the curve, you can rest on your laurels while your peers try to catch up.
The ‘23 Mazda midsize car comes in both sedan and wagon flavors, which makes its absence in America sting even more. There aren’t nearly enough attractive, longroof models available in U.S. showrooms, and the Mazda6 would sit alongside Volvo’s wagons as an attractive alternative.
A luxurious interior
Mazda isn’t shy about encroaching on luxury car territory. There’s no shortage of Nappa leather, multi-zone climate controls, and premium trim tucked into even the entry-level Mazda3 compact sedan.
So it’s no surprise that the 2023 Mazda6 has the kind of cabin that’s easy to enjoy. Once again, Nappa leather upholstery adorns the seats, dash, and door cards. The perforated seats feature hand-style stitching that shows true attention to detail. And with features like heated and ventilated seats, it has all the touches of a luxury sedan, despite the emblem on the steering wheel.
A stunning 20th Anniversary Edition Mazda6 for 2023
Perhaps the most crushing loss in not having the 2023 Mazda6 here in the U.S. is the 20th Anniversary Edition. I’m a sucker for jewel-toned metallic paint, and the ruby red paintwork on the 2023 Mazda6 20th Anniversary Edition immediately grabbed my attention. It’s rich, complex, deep, and evocative. And thanks to the metallic flake and dark lowlights, it accentuates the compelling curves that are already baked into the Mazda6 formula.
Inside, the cognac leather upholstery keeps the theme of luxury warmth going. Special 20th Anniversary emblems are debossed into the headrests. And special exterior badges add another special touch to this celebratory model.
Impressive power in the 2023 Mazda6
Fast sedans are typically reserved for the near-luxury segment, but not here. The 2023 Mazda6 sold in Australia uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine developing 235 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. In addition, new shift logic is said to improve shift times and throttle response to make the 6 feel more sprightly.
Where’s the rear-drive Mazda6 replacement?
When the 2022 Mazda6 got the axe from the U.S. market, not all hope was lost. At the time, Mazda execs stated that a rear-wheel drive sports sedan was coming to replace it. Unfortunately, those plans went away not long after they were announced.
In speaking to Autocar, Mazda’s Joachim Kunz effectively ruled out a rear-drive Mazda6, citing changes in the market. That quote, in the print version of the U.K.-based magazine, was first picked up by CarBuzz.
Instead, the car brand has focused on expanding its SUV assortment and now features seven total models within that segment. That leaves just the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback alongside the Miata as the brand’s lone American market cars.
Will the Mazda6 ever come back to America?
Sadly, there is little chance we’ll see a new Mazda6 in America anytime soon. Mazda brass seems content to keep adding SUVs to the lineup rather than sedans, despite the success of the Mazda3 compact car. When looking at the 2023 Mazda6, it’s hard not to question that decision.