Think back to 2002, when the all-new 2003 Mazda6 came onto the market and redefined what a sport sedan could be for families. I still remember the first one in my neighborhood. It was bright red, sleek, and looked nothing like the Accord sedans and Dodge minivans that littered the suburban area. The driver would come in to the neighborhood way too fast while us young parents vocally chastised his reckless driving but secretly wanted to be just like him.
The Mazda6 brought some zoom-zoom to the previously bland sedan segment and changed things forever. Now we’re coming up fast on 2017 and the Mazda6 still has that sporty spirit and has spawned a smaller, equally-as-fun Mazda3.
But there’s a problem in zoom-zoom land.
It’s been about 15 years since the Mazda6 debuted and it remains one of the hottest-looking sedans on the market. Other automakers have taken cues and made their sedans more visually appealing, but none of the non-luxury family sedans ooze the same charisma as the Mazdas.
The new 2017 Mazda6 is visually identical to the 2016 model and carries over its exceptional driving dynamics while adding a new feature called G-Vectoring Control, which Car and Driver calls “an electronic widget that helps the sedan turn into corners with more alacrity.”
For drivers who appreciate the subtle performance aspects of everyday driving, the Mazda6 is the car to have. But will people buy it?
That’s where the trouble starts. There’s an article over at The Truth About Cars that calls the new Mazda3 “the car to have, but not the one you’ll buy.”
The article says,
Eight compact cars — and 20 cars overall — sell more often in America than the Mazda 3. The 3’s 11-percent rate of decline is significantly worse than the compact category average; worse than the overall car market’s 9-percent fade, as well.
Why the lackluster sales for a car that everyone who loves driving should want?
At least part of the problem is a lack of incentives. Mazda has taken the route that preserves the value of its used cars by keeping incentives and rebates on new cars to a minimum. That means someone can go out and get a better deal on a competing car, which they frequently do.
Mazda execs have decided that they’re okay with that for now, even though sales of the company’s sedans are falling. Sales of it’s crossovers and SUVS, on the other hand, are rising fast.
For now, if a Mazda is the only car that will satisfy your needs for driving pleasure, you’ll need to open your wallet and pay what the dealer asks.
The trade-off, though, is that you’ll probably become the talk of the neighborhood.
Would you buy a Mazda sedan instead of a less-expensive alternative?