All-wheel drive could spur sales for Mazda’s midsize sedan but may be linked to availability of diesel engine in N.A.
Mazda customers in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to order a Mazda6 wagon with all-wheel drive, reports WorldCarFans. In fact, Mazda6 will be sold in Europe and Japan with all-wheel drive in sedan and wagon variants, but only with the diesel engine.
Does that mean Canada could follow suit?
When posed with the all-wheel drive question, Chuck Reimer, Senior Specialist, Public Relations for Mazda Canada stated, “We are studying the possibility of adding all-wheel drive to the Mazda6 in Canada in the future.”
The future does not mean later this year, however.
“At this point there is no plan to offer AWD on the refreshed 2016 Mazda6 sedan here,” Reimer said. “I suppose you could say that it’s not out of the realm of possibility [for 2017 or later], but at this point there are no plans.”
With all-wheel drive being the defacto driveline for at least one higher-end sedan — Mercedes-Benz C-Class — and take rates for all-wheel drive on other models quite high, an all-wheel drive Mazda6 may spur sales in Canada where competitors like Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200, Subaru Legacy, and Buick Regal offer all-wheel drive.
“In theory, we are able to get any product that is produced globally,” Reimer explained.
None of those midsize cars are offered as a wagon though, and there’s a reason for that: demand (or lack thereof).
“When we launched the Mazda6 in Canada, we studied the feasibility of adding the wagon, but it was determined the demand wasn’t high enough to warrant offering it here.
“There are many factors that weigh into our decision, such as regulations, duties/costs, market equations, etc. So, it’s not that cut and dry.”
Those market equations may be shifting. Volkswagen Canada will introduce two new long-roofed Golf models in the nearterm — the Golf Alltrack and Sportwagon. Both models will be available with gasoline and diesel engines along with all-wheel drive, though the Sportwagon won’t receive all-wheel drive until a year or two after launch.
As for a Mazda6 with a diesel engine in Canada, Mazda Canada hasn’t changed its tune.
“We are still planning to offer a diesel engine in our Mazda6 in Canada, but timing is currently to-be-determined,” said Reimer.
An official announcement in January 2014 from Mazda Canada stated “the launch of [Mazda’s] SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine in North America was being further delayed from its previously announced Spring 2014 debut timing.
“While Mazda understands that its SKYACTIV-D engine can meet North American emission regulation requirements without the use of a NOx after-treatment system, it has decided that further development is required to deliver the right balance between fuel economy and Mazda-appropriate driving performance.”