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. And the loss of one of these cars, the Mazda 6 sedan, leaves the brand with a limited supply of non-SUV models.
After 2021, the Mazda 6 and CX-3 are discontinued in the US
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.
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.
The Mazda 3 is now the brand’s only sedan in the US
As mentioned earlier, Mazda’s SUV lineup in the US is extensive enough that the CX-3’s death isn’t significant. But the loss of the Mazda 6 means the brand now only has two non-SUV cars here. And only one of them, the compact Mazda 3, is available as a sedan. However, cutting the 6 might not be as big of a loss in terms of Mazda’s sales figures.
Comparing Mazda 3 and 6 sales figures directly is complicated because the 3 is also available as a hatchback. Nevertheless, according to Good Car Bad Car, the 3 out-sold the 6 every year in the 2005-2020 period. To be sure, the disparity is likely partially due to the 3’s lower base price. But it’s also worth noting the range-topping Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Premium Pus costs roughly the same as a 6 Grand Touring Reserve.
So, why has the 3 been out-selling the 6? Besides the hatchback option, it could be due to the Mazda 6’s relative age compared to the 3. The 6 was last redesigned in 2014, Car and Driver reports, and hasn’t been refreshed as significantly as the 3. And while Mazda has been trying to move upmarket, many still think of it as a more ‘value-based’ brand. In that regard, a compact car–which is often bought for fuel-efficiency/economical reasons–arguably fits the public image better.
Is it a sedan worth considering?
All that being said, the 2021 Mazda 3 sedan can stand on its own merits. Car and Driver named it an Editor’s Choice winner and found it not far off from an Audi A4. And while the 3 isn’t precisely a luxury car, it offers several features competitors like the 2021 Civic and Corolla lack, such as a heads-up display and 360-degree camera system.
Unfortunately, the Mazda 3 Sedan doesn’t offer an optional manual transmission like the Hatchback model. But, unlike the 6, the 3 Sedan does have optional AWD.
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