The current-generation Mazda 6 has been a great car for enthusiasts, offering lively handling and characterful engines in a practical sedan package. But for the 2019 model year, Mazda is removing one of the key ingredients in that recipe: The manual transmission. The 2019 Mazda 6 will be automatic only, but will get other small tweaks including more standard tech features.
Mazda previously offered a six-speed manual on the base Sport trim level, but even that option disappears for 2019. That leaves the Honda Accord as the only midsize sedan still available with a manual gearbox. A Mazda spokesperson told Car and Driver that demand for the manual had decreased to the point where it was no longer viable, although the automaker hopes to bring the manual back as a “special-order option” in the future. For now, a six-speed automatic is the only transmission option.
While Mazda prides itself on catering to car enthusiasts, it will only offer manual transmissions on two models henceforth. The Mazda 3 gets a manual on the trim level of the hatchback body style, and the MX-5 Miata is available with a manual in all configurations.
The 2019 Mazda 6 will get G-Vectoring Control Plus as standard equipment. First seen on the 2019 CX-5, this feature is designed to make the car turn into corners more easily. It does that by slightly reducing engine torque and lightly applying braking when the driver begins turning the steering wheel. The Mazda 6 also gets more standard driver aids, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, but you will have to upgrade from the base Sport trim level to the Touring.
Engine choices are unchanged from the 2018 model year. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque is standard equipment. A turbocharged version is available on Grand Touring and higher trim levels. It makes 250 hp on 93-octane gasoline (227 hp on 87-octane) and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2019 Mazda 6 hits showrooms this month. The sedan is available in five trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. The Sport base model starts at $24,720, while the range-topping Signature starts at $36,020. Both prices include a mandatory $920 destination charge.