2017.5 Mazda6 To Offer Mid-Year Updates In Safety, Tech

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - September 15, 2017

The Mazda6 continues to be a favorite among driving enthusiasts, with a more lively experience behind the wheel than most cars without sacrificing efficiency. That said, Mazda is gearing up to make some mild changes to offer more value amid a string of updates from competitors.

Spec sheets obtained by CarsDirect reveal that the car will soon be getting mid-year updates in what will be called the 2017.5 Mazda6. When released, the car will offer more standard tech and safety equipment at the same price as before.

So what will the changes include? And what will it cost?

Here's what you need to know.

Mid-Year Changes

Based on our analysis, Sport and Touring versions of the Mazda6 will see the most notable changes. The Sport is set to gain a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert at no extra charge. Previously, buyers had to upgrade to the more expensive Touring to get this feature.

Next up, the mid-level Touring will be getting a standard navigation system and heated seats. In the past, these haven't been available outside of the Grand Touring. This reminds us of a similar change we observed in late 2015 with the CX-5 ahead of a major redesign.

As before, the Mazda6 will continue to offer Smart City Brake Support in the Touring and Grand Touring trims. It consists of a low-speed automatic emergency braking system that functions at speeds of up to about 19 mph.

A full-speed system called Smart Brake Support comes standard in the Grand Touring and enables the car to achieve an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Sadly, there are no signs yet that either will become standard in the entry-level Sport, at least before the arrival of the 2018 Mazda6.

A Better Value?

Despite offering added value in the form of more standard equipment, the 2017.5 Mazda6 may not command much of a premium over the version that's been on sale for over a year. Documents show the car will receive no subsequent increase in base price.

For reference, the current car starts at $22,820 including destination with a manual transmission and ranges up to $31,570. Current promotions are extremely attractive with as much as $3,000 in customer cash incentives here in Los Angeles.

But will the new version be eligible for the same deals? It's too early to say. Unfortunately, a Mazda spokesperson declined to comment and we don't yet have an ETA as to when the car is slated to begin arriving at dealers.

Based on what we saw with the CX-5, we have a suspicion that the two versions may end up being eligible for different discounts. Since old and new versions of essentially the same vehicle will end up being sold side-by-side, that certainly seems logical. But not everyone else has been taking that route.

Earlier this year, Nissan quietly introduced 2017.5 versions of the popular Altima and Rogue with standard emergency braking. In each case, there was only about a $300-400 increase in price with no subsequent change in offers. Most buyers may not have even noticed that dealers were selling two different versions of the same vehicle.

Shoppers will soon have a revamped range of midsize cars from which to choose. The 2018 Camry has been on sale since July with more standard safety equipment while Honda's 2018 Accord is due to go on sale this fall with an exciting choice of turbocharged engines. Nissan's Altima is due for a redesign soon, while the Hyundai Sonata recently received a refresh.

Learn about the current Mazda6 on sale now »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website