If it has, Mazda isn't saying anything.
Not long ago, the CEO of Mazda North America, Masahiro Moro, acknowledged the growing demand for AWD in the US. Thing is, the flagship Mazda6, despite its recent mid-cycle refresh, remains front-wheel-drive only. Or so we thought. Motor Trend happened to be looking over data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its official website and discovered something interesting: both front- and all-wheel drive version of the sedan each received an overall five-star crash test rating.
And yes, this data is for the 2018 model year. This is quite interesting because of Moro’s previous comments to CarAdvice regarding the technical problem the automaker had with installing AWD in the Mazda6. “I think we are not able to combine four-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter turbo. We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda 3 and 6 so far,” he admitted. “But there is a huge demand, at least what I know is that in the east coast of the USA, 80 or 90 percent of the premium sedans are sold with all-wheel drive.” Has Mazda figured out how to solve this problem? Motor Trend reached out to Mazda but it declined to comment.
Could the NHTSA website be mistaken? It’s possible, but unlikely. In any case, the 2018 Mazda6 is due to arrive in dealerships this spring, and it’ll be interesting to see what ends up rolling off the delivery trucks. Hopefully that AWD issue has been solved.