New Model News

2021 Mazda Mazda6 gets Apple CarPlay, Carbon Edition options

Mazda has made few changes to the Mazda6 for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda Mazda6 will get a few tweaks for the 2021 model year but mostly remain unchanged. It will start at $24,325 and arrive at dealerships in September. That price is a few hundred dollars more than the 2020 price.

The Mazda6 will continue to be offered in five trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. There is also a new Carbon Edition.

The base model Mazda6 Sport is powered by a standard 2.5-liter engine that delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift and Sport modes. Front-wheel drive is standard.

2021 Mazda Mazda6 The Mazda6 Carbon Edition is new for 2021.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The Mazda6 Sport comes standard with a host of safety features including adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Mazda6 will now come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, displayed on an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Inside the cabin are also a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, two USB inputs, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, push button start, remote keyless entry, and electronic parking brake.

LED headlights with auto-leveling, LED taillights, and 17-inch gun metal aluminum alloy wheels are also standard.

Upgrading to the Mazda6 Touring ($26,925) adds leatherette-trimmed seats, heated front seats, six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, power moonroof, 19-inch gun metallic aluminum alloy wheels, two rear seat USB charging ports and rear air conditioning vents.

Bumping up to the Mazda6 Grand Touring ($30,025) installs a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that generates a robust 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. In addition to a new badge on the tail indicating the turbocharged engine, this trim level model gets wireless Apple CarPlay, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, headed side mirrors with driver's side auto-dimming functionality, and paddle shifters.

The Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve gets even more premium ($32,525). It comes with a head-up display, adaptive front lighting system, black or Parchment leather-trimmed seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic power folding door mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, eight-way power and memory driver's seat with power lumbar support, and six-way power passenger's seat. Traffic Sign Recognition is available with the optional navigation system. This model rides on 19-inch bright silver finish aluminum alloy wheels and has a rear lip spoiler.

The Mazda6 Carbon Edition ($32,800) special edition builds on the Grand Touring Reserve model adding Polymetal Gray exterior paint, gloss black rear lip spoiler, gloss black door mirrors, and 19-inch black metallic aluminum alloy wheels. The interior has red leather seats with black cross stitching and black hairline interior accents on the dash and door panels. The dash and center console armrest add red stitching.

The top-trim Mazda6 Signature has a gunmetal grille. Inside there is Parchment or Deep Chestnut Nappa leather upholstery, adorned with authentic Japanese Sen wood and gilded UltraSuede interior accents. A 360-degree monitor with front and rear parking sensors, 7.0-inch reconfigurable driver's information display, navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link subscription, a black headliner, auto-dimming frameless rearview mirror with Homelink, and LED ambient lights are standard in this trim level.

Buyers will pay a premium for some of the available paint colors in any trim level. The Soul Red Crystal Metallic costs $595. Machine Gray Metallic is $495 and Snowflake White Pearl Mica is $395.

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The CX-50 is surpsingly capable off-road.

Mazda

I have driven all of the Mazda vehicles that have been sold in the US market over the past three decades. On everyday roads and on racetracks. I’ve appreciated their “zoom-zoom”. Good power. Punchy torque just where it was needed. Well-balanced and sporty handling. A bit of growl for the versions that called for it. Plus, tasteful-but-modest styling and more or less elbow room, depending on the model. Mazda’s have been made for sports-car enthusiasts and to ferry families. But, I had never known a Mazda called an “overlander”. Until now.

2023 Mazda CX-50Towing capacity extends to 2,000 pounds.Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 moves this traction-sophisticated automaker into the lands where the pavement ends and now takes the brand ‘off-track’. Although it’s not a new thing for many of today’s carmakers to add a backcountry model or two to their lineup, it’s new for Mazda. I traveled to Santa Barbara, California to check out this all-new crossover built on Mazda’s seventh-generation small SUV platform that is shared with the smaller CX-30. This 5-passenger utility is longer, lower and wider than the CX-5 that rides on the previous generation’s underpinnings. The CX-50 has been crafted with a roomier second row and more cargo room for the goods and gear that weekend warriors and adventurers want to carry.

The CX-50 comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation that gets 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo-charged powerplant with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque; both shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport ute can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with the naturally aspirated motor and up to 3,500 lbs. with the turbo-charged mill and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) that brings a tow mode as well as Normal, Sport and Off-Road. The newest Mazda model has been made for North America only and is built in Alabama. It is the first Mazda vehicle with auto start/stop that can be deactivated.

2023 Mazda CX-50Mazda is a master of upscale interiors. Mazda

The new crossover starts at $26,800 and comes in S, S Select, S Preferred, S Preferred Plus, S Premium, and S Premium Plus with the base motor. Turb-charged versions come in Turbo, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus that tops out at close to $42,000. A long list of technology and safety features are standard or available. Mazda says that Meridian, a fourth turbo trim will arrive soon with even more off-road cred; it will be set up with 18-inch black wheels AT, hood graphics and other backcountry goodies.

When you look at the CX-50, the first thing you’ll notice is exterior styling that speaks to its adventure-ready mission. Muscular bodywork, such as extra cladding, wide fender flairs and larger, more aggressive tires mean that this crossover has been designed not only to give a nod to the looks of a rugged crossover but to provide enhanced traction and a tad more suspension stretch for motoring over uneven terrain and along bumpy dirt roads. Planted on its haunches with functional air vents, it eschews minivan styling with a low and wide footprint that allows owners to have easy access to high-strength roof rails for loading gear on top; the roof has been made stronger than other Mazda crossovers to accommodate heavier loads, such as a roof-top tent. A panoramic moonroof- a first for Mazda- and attractive antiglare hood graphics and are tasteful additions.

The interior is attractive and roomy, with horizontal lines and “cleanable” surfaces as a nod to outdoor endeavors. Our Turbo Premium Plus model had bright orange reverse stitching that popped the cabin that has been crafted with uplevel trims and materials and brought heads-up display. A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard, while the top models get a 10.25-inch version. A wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. Of note, is the rear power and programmable liftgate to the wide and deep rear cargo compartment, with a load floor that flush with the liftgate opening to help slide heavy items in and out of the back. An available line of cargo accessories makes stowage easier.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is family roadtrip ready.Mazda

How did it handle over the 200-plus miles of our ride and drive? The Turbo Premium Plus CX-50 offers a lot like; many of its driving attributes are consistent with Mazda’s tuning and handling priorities across its product line. Traveling along coastal highways, carving mountainous twisties with tight turns and accelerating on flat and straight well-graded pavement, it has great Mazda manners: i.e., there is enough power and torque in the right bandwidth to move it well; precise steering with a slightly heavily-weighted leather-wrapped steering wheel and well-modulated brakes, especially with towing a 3,500-lb. load. We enjoyed using Sport mode for carving corners, as it brings elongated shifts from the six-speed automatic; a crisp response comes when sport shifting in “manual mode” and provides a quick throttle response.

We tried out the Off-Road mode on a course that included flat and uneven dirt roads, as well as hill climb and descent. Although there is no downhill descent control system, the brakes worked well, along with manual gearing. Of note, Mazda would be wide to add downhill descent engineering for steeper and slicker terrain. We were able to test the difference between Normal and Off-Road over a special section of the course with sandy corners and a winding track at a speed of 30 mph showing the improved traction in the Off-Road programming and the aid of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that brings a bit of magic to transfer torque to the wheels where it is needed to keep the intended track-think of it like an enhanced traction control program that helps with steering and yaw control.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 comes with off-road driving modes. Mazda

Other aids for off-road and backcountry travel are: the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system that is standard equipment on all CX-50s, with a 50/50ish power transfer front to back; 8.6 inches of ground clearance; an 18-degree approach angle and a 24-degree departure angle; and an optional 360-degree camera system.

*EPA reports: base motor fuel economy 24 city/30 highway mpg, while the turbo option gets 23/29 mpg and can run on regular or premium fuel.

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Pricing for the new SUV starts at under $30,000.

Mazda

Mazda is known for building high quality, engaging vehicles, and its SUVs are no exception. All of the automaker's utility vehicles are stylish, and offer a solid driving experience that not many can at their price points. A brand-new Mazda SUV is on its way soon that will feature a more rugged personality and styling aimed at active outdoors enthusiasts. The 2023 CX-50 entered production earlier this year, and Mazda recently announced pricing for the new vehicle.

The CX-50 will hit dealers' lots in March as the first Mazda built in the automaker's joint production facility, which it shares with Toyota in Huntsville, AL. It's similar to the CX-5 crossover, but is larger and features a more rugged outdoor-oriented personality. Mazda wills sell both for the time being, as the CX-5 is a best seller for the automaker, with almost 170,000 units sold last year. The popular crossover also got a refresh for 2022.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is intended for people that want to take it off the beaten path.Mazda

The CX-50 comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Mazda offers a turbo version with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when running premium fuel. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 will go on sale this year. Its starting price lands at $28,025, including a $1,225 destination fee. The top 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus starts at $42,775 after destination.

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