On Friday, Mazda officially confirmed it will be discontinuing its 6 sedan and CX-3 crossover for the United States after the 2021 model year. But we don’t want you to get too bent out of shape over this prematurely. Mazda is plotting to evolve its lineup with new engines (including inline-sixes) and rear-drive-dominant architectures designed to deliver the desirable dynamics the brand is known for.
We might end up seeing the sedan returning to our shores before anyone has had a chance to miss it, though perhaps under a different name.
The Mazda6 has existed since 2012 in its current form (generation three) and arrived in North America in 2014, so it’s not surprising to see the manufacturer getting ready to shake things up. But we’re doubting Mazda wants to mimic American brands by scraping off sedans of its heel like a spat-out piece of gum. Japanese brands have held relatively strong on traditional body types and are taking an increasingly large share of the shrinking segment as they continue development on crossovers.
“For more than 100 years, Mazda has successfully navigated shifting consumer needs and an ever-changing industry with beautifully designed vehicles that are fun to drive,” the company explained in a short release. “As consumer interests continue to evolve, Mazda will discontinue CX-3 and Mazda6 for the 2022 model year. Although these two vehicles will be leaving our lineup, we are proud of the performance, design, quality, and safety they contributed to our brand.”
While the sedan seems to have a fair chance of coming back in a year or two, the CX-3’s odds are substantially worse. Mazda dealers will probably direct customers seeking a small crossover to the newer CX-30 (below), as its larger 2.5-liter engine (186-hp/186-lb-ft) and the more-spacious cabin are better suited to North American tastes. Considering it’s only about a grand dearer than the outgoing CX-3, Mazda is probably is making the right call here.