Though the 6 wagon sits on a slightly shorter wheelbase than the sedan (in deference to the wagon’s European market focus), the menu of upgrades will be largely the same. New body plastics see the front bumper’s grille opening grow and fog-light recesses disappear, while reshaped headlamps and the addition of a chrome bar beneath them result in a more upmarket ‘face’.
Inside, the dashboard has been completely reworked to sport a bolder, more horizontally-oriented layout with a suede-clad trim panel running almost its entire width, interrupted only by the steering column. The design is also complimented by Japanese-style wood trim in high grade variants.
Ventilation controls, air vents and door cards have all been restyled to suit, though the centre console carries over with only minor changes to its side panels. According to Mazda, the 6’s front seats are entirely new for the 2018 update.
As with the sedan (pictured below), Mazda will also give the 6 a comprehensive under-bonnet rejig for 2018. The 2.5-litre atmo option gains a cylinder deactivation capability to boost fuel efficiency while cruising, by shutting down two cylinders, while GT and Atenza models will be available with the 170kW/420Nm 2.5-litre turbo petrol from the CX-9.
The latter engine is the one that might excite the most, however Mazda isn’t posturing it as a performance model. The days of the Mazda 6 MPS are long gone.
Retuned suspension and a new rigidly-mounted steering rack are also expected for the updated 6, given their presence on its sedan-shaped counterpart, with both claimed to improve sound and vibration suppression while boosting agility and steering response
The refreshed Mazda 6 range is set to go on sale locally around the middle of this year. Full specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.