The mid-size sedan segment in Australia is certainly hotting up. The recently released Holden Epica comes with a conditional money back guarantee. Chrysler have just released the new Sebring which is loaded with standard kit and keenly priced. Now it seems that Mazda are coming off the back foot and looking to land a punch or two of their own.
Mazda will be replacing the current model Mazda 6 in 2008 but for the time being the Mazda bean-counters have sharpened their pencils and dropped the price of the current Mazda 6 range while at the same time including added features. No doubt this process is helped by the favourable exchange rates currently being enjoyed in Australia by importers.
Slow sales of the previous entry level â€˜Limitedâ€™ model have resulted in this variant being dropped altogether. The entry level model for the range is now called the â€˜Sportsâ€™ and it is effectively the previous second tier variant formerly known as the â€˜Classicâ€™. Sitting above the Sports is the Classic Sportsâ€¦of course.
Both the Sports and Classic Sports are available in sedan, hatch or wagon configurations and are powered by a 2.4-litre 122Kw/207Nm engine. A six-speed manual or five-speed automatic with a manual selection mode are available. Pricing and specifications for the AWD Mazda MPS remain unchanged.
The entry level Sports is now priced from $28,990 (down from$31,980) for the six-speed manual sedan. The Sports already comprehensive list of standard equipment includes six air-bags, six-stack CD player, air-conditioning and central locking and to this Mazda have added the following additional features:
â€¢ new cloth trim
â€¢ black brush centre console and door switch trim panels
â€¢ chrome door handles
â€¢ 16â€ alloy wheels
â€¢ rear spoiler on sedan and hatch
Pricing for the Classic Sports now starts at $39,990 (down from $40,995) and now features dynamic stability control and chrome door handles in addition to the following standard features:
â€¢ 17-inch alloys
â€¢ power sunroof
â€¢ leather seats
â€¢ Bose sound system with seven speakers
â€¢ power-operated driverâ€™s seat with three position memory
â€¢ full body kit
â€¢ alloy pedals
The turbocharged Diesel wagon and hatch have similar equipment levels to the Sports and will sell from $35,205. The diesel is powered by a 2.0-litre direct injection engine with 105Kw/360Nm, which means it has more torque than the current 3.6-litre engine used in the VE Commodore.
Of course the big reason for buying a diesel is fuel consumption and Mazda claim their diesel achieves 5.9-litres per 100km giving the Mazda 6 diesel a potential range of over 1000km on a tank of fuel.