2016 Mazda6 conceals tech upgrades beneath subtly-tweaked styling

It may have just received a thorough redesign for the 2014 model year, but the Mazda6 midsize sedan is already getting a refresh.

The 2016 Mazda6 debuted at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show with numerous small changes, but does that add up to more zoom-zoom?

Exterior changes include a new grille, LED lighting, and 19-inch aluminum wheels, but we only know that because it says so in Mazda’s press release.

Only those familiar with the current car will be able to spot the difference, but since the Mazda6 wasn’t exactly ugly to begin with, that’s not really a problem.

The interior gets a more substantial makeover. The dashboard has been redesigned with a slimmer, more elegant look. Unfortunately, this means that there’s no longer room for an integrated central display screen, so it now sits awkwardly on top.

Unlike some of Mazda’s other models, the 2016 Mazda6 sticks with an analog speedometer and tachometer, with a third gauge pod displaying secondary information, but the hand brake has been replaced with an electronic parking brake.

So much for parking lot shenanigans, then.

For 2016, the Mazda6 also gets the latest version of the Mazda Connect infotainment system with smartphone-pairable apps.

Mechanically, things are unchanged. The only available engine is still a 2.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder, with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Automatic-equipped models also get Drive Selection with multiple driving modes, and Mazda’s i-ELOOP regenerative braking is still available as an efficiency-boosting option.

It may not dramatically different, but there wasn’t a lot about the Mazda6 that needed changing in the first place. The newly-added tech options should help this midsize sedan keep its appeal.

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