Home » The Mazda 6 Has Been Reborn As A RWD EV

The Mazda 6 Has Been Reborn As A RWD EV

Mazda Ez 6 Ts
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Remember all the rumors about Mazda building a rear-wheel-drive sedan with a turbocharged inline-six? Well, we’re still holding our breath for that, but Chinese consumers are getting an interesting consolation prize. The Mazda EZ-6 made its debut at Auto China this week, and it’s a rear-wheel-drive midsize sedan with some interesting sheet metal. However, instead of being an inline-six-equipped global product, it’s an EV and we can’t have it. Still, it’s worth a deeper look, right?

The Mazda EZ-6 is actually a Changan-Mazda product developed and produced with Chinese automaker Changan Automobile using the platform from the Deepal SL03. Yep, this seemingly Japanese sedan is actually a Chinese EV, although given the limited range offered by Mazda’s MX-30 battery electric vehicle, leaning on Chinese expertise might not be such a bad thing.

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Speaking of range, let’s talk about what lies beneath the sheet metal of the EZ-6. Launching as a rear-wheel-drive single-motor EV, it claims a CLTC range of 373 miles which is optimistic. For reference, the current standard range Tesla Model 3 carries a CLTC range rating of 377 miles but an EPA range rating of 272 miles, so take CLTC ratings with a grain of salt. There’s no word on battery sizing yet, but expect 50:50 weight distribution for the EV and a plug-in hybrid variant to also be available.

2025 Mazda Ez 6 (1)

If you’re looking for the biggest differentiator between the Deepal SL03 and the Mazda EZ-6, just take a gander at the exterior styling. Mazda’s signature down-the-road graphic is on full display here with a broad shield-like grille and thin headlights, while softer surfacing down the flanks recalls models like the CX-30. Around back, Mazda’s identifiable round taillight elements are set into a nifty full-width lightbar, while a classy wordmark assumes the role of a Mazda badge on the trunk. Sure, there are some hard points on this platform that can only be styled around so much, but Mazda’s done a good job on the exterior, all things considered.

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2025 Mazda Ez 6 (3)

However, the cabin of the EZ-6 isn’t like any other Mazda we’re used to in the West, and that would be a bit of a problem if it were ever sold here. There are no physical climate control switches, there’s no landscape screen far atop the dashboard, no split console armrest, and no artfully sculpted metallic trim on the door cards. Sure, the stitched dashboard surfaces and quilted leather seats are nice, but it largely looks like a thin veneer of Mazda over someone else’s product. Remove the steering wheel, and this cabin is rather anonymous.

2025 Mazda Ez 6 (2)

Disappointing cabin aside, the Mazda EZ-6 is proof that elsewhere in the world, sedans are still important. There’s still a solid business case for them in the Chinese market, and in the electric age, the body style’s traditionally smaller frontal area than that of a crossover utility vehicle should boost range.

(Photo credits: Mazda)

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Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
1 month ago

Interesting how the trend is to make everything more angular and slap heckblende on it. I thought Mazda and Alfa nailed their styling in around 2017 and have been chasing trends away from perfection ever since.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Cmon I have over 34 people commenting on my views and I can’t respond? Why is this site blocking me?

Marteau
Marteau
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Because you’re so fucking toxic since the start and people are fed up ?

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
1 month ago

I, for one, love the interior. If it was a wagon, I’d wish I had enough money to buy it

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Man the design of this Mazda makes my netherregions come alive.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

I’ve seen far, far worse.
This is a pretty clean design – and if the fixed icons at the bottom of the screen are set up similarly to the Polestar – I don’t have issues with them.
Seems a good move forward to me.

Derj
Derj
1 month ago

True story: I know you *think* that bronze colour is automotive paint, but it’s actually just rust that Mazda has thrown a clearcoat on. They’re not even bothering to hide it any more.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 month ago
Reply to  Derj

I haven’t heard of any Mazda rust issues since like 2005. Your comment is like 20 years too late. And I’ve owned 2 90s Mazda products, both of which were completely rust free even after 25 years. I know some had issues but it’s overblown

Derj
Derj
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Looks like Big Rust got to you, too, Forbestheweirdo 🙁 🙁 🙁

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
24 days ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Depending on the model, I think 2007 was the last year of Mazdas rusting out early. Even then it was mostly in rust-prone areas. I had a 2006 from 2007-2012, mostly in areas with little to no winter, and never had any issues. But that generation (2002ish-2007ish) definitely fell apart in the rust belt.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Derj

It’s not rust it’s damn what is it the artsy people call rust? It is that.

Alex W
Alex W
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Patina?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex W

Yes thank you. It just was stuck in my head. I almost couldn’t keep drinking. You sir are a good guy.

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Build a car from Corten steel, you cowards!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_steel

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex W

I don’t understand why 30 plus people ask me questions and autopian blocks my ability to comment

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
1 month ago

Concept car looks on a production vehicle. Pretty impressive, especially on somebody else’s platform.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

This would be a beautiful wagon.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago

If you plot my progress through this article on the x-axis and my excitement about this car on the y-axis, you get a perfect line going down and to the right.

That went from Mazda6 rebirth to anonymous Chinese EV sedan in like 3 minutes.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 month ago

Damn you for reminding me how much I’ve been wanting / waiting for a rear wheel drive straight six powered mazda 6 wagon to get released. It would be like my RX8 and is300 had a baby…

TheNewt
TheNewt
1 month ago

I like the look of this. Modern without being extreme. I don’t think the interior looks BAD per se, I don’t understand the center console. I really don’t understand how they are being developed for any EV to be honest. It seems that consoles were developed around bucket seats and the driveshaft hump of RWD vehicles. I understand that. I also get that the hump may be used for exhaust components. An EV has neither. Manufacturers should provide options for this. I can’t bee too hard to develop two or three console types that can swapped out or just removed when needed.

Der Foo
Der Foo
1 month ago
Reply to  TheNewt

If there is still an actual driveshaft tunnel, then maybe there is still hope that the platform will come to the US with a straight six, RWD.

The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
1 month ago
Reply to  TheNewt

most likely the tunnel is still used for rigidity of the unibody. I am not sure how the battery downlow is affecting things, but i know that for Honda the 7th generation civic, the one with the flat floor in the back it felt very soft.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

They need to get rid of that stupid grille in favor of better aero streamlining. Tesla had the right idea with the Model 3. It’s an EV, and the grille is as useless as tits on a boar hog.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

It’s not a grille? Do you really need it body colored in order to accept it?

First Last
First Last
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

The Mazda grill is the best part of their current design language. But take my star for the analogy!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Its not a grill. Its a patterned panel designed to look like a grill.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

What are acceptable reasons to deviate from strict practicality in design?

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
1 month ago

That there’s even a chance for a new Mazda6 is good news. Seeing the Mazda6 discontinued was disappointing.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago

If Mazda brings a similar looking body to the US, with a better interior I would seriously consider this. I may prefer a I-6 Turbo PHEV, if that’s even something Mazda is considering, but either I-6 turbo or BEV would have me interested. Mazda is the one brand I have seriously wanted to get back into, but currently don’t have something that has me pining for it in the line up (mx-5 is closest). I want a quick sedan(or hatch/wagon) that allows some fun in the turns, and I miss how my Mazda3 used to handle all daily responsibilities thrown at it.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

Why an I6 turbo PHEV? That seems like a lot of ICE overkill.

Der Foo
Der Foo
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Hey you Cheap Bastard!! Are you using “overkill” as a negative connotation?

There is nothing wrong with nICE overkill when talking about a possible Mazda6 I6 Turbo in any flavor.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Der Foo

I agree with that from a NHV and vroom! vroom! perspective; however from a weight and fuel efficiency perspective I think it’d be a waste. In a PHEV the electric motors should do the lion’s share of the zoom zoom while the ICE is more suited for range extending and highway base power.

OTOH if you’re talking about a mild hybrid the roles are reversed.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I figured they developed the I6 turbo, so need to use it, and at the same time why sell an ICE only sedan in America anymore? The Camry is hybrid only, and most Accords are hybrid also. Mazda has tried to go up-market and compete as a luxury company, so would be putting this up against BMW, Acura, and Lexus, that all have BEV, and ICE options.

Mazda is very far behind on the BEV only, so it would make sense to take the newly developed I6 and raise those fuel efficiency numbers quite a bit.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

Sure. My point was only that a PHEVwith a slippery sedan body shouldn’t need that much ICE. A mild hybrid with a smaller assist/regen electric motor would be more suitable I think.

behindTheTimes
behindTheTimes
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Hellcat has entered the chat… :^)

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
1 month ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Right, and given how long it takes Mazda to develop powertrains, it will end up being the same 4cyl PHEV in the CX70/90, hopefully with the transmission issues sorted out.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

If so it’d be nice to see them to add a few more tricks to squeeze out more miles per drops of fuel.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

It looks like somebody ran into the side with world’s heaviest shopping cart.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

I think we all know the Mazda6 coming back as an EV or PHEV based on a 4 cylinder is more realistic than the I6 they teased us with. Even that assumes Mazda sees a viable market to reintroduce a midsize sedan in the US. I think it’s more likely Americans will accept paying more for an SUV with a massive battery pack to cover the inherent range disadvantage a taller and less aerodynamic vehicle has versus a sedan.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 month ago

Mazda’s styling is weird to me now. Some of their vehicles, like the Miata and CX-50 look fantastic to me. The CX5 is also very nice looking. The rest looked better in their previous generations. That’s not to call them ugly, they aren’t. But I throw this in with the latter. It’s not a bad looking car, but something about it just seems off.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

It’s a really nice looking car. And I would consider that driving range to be ‘acceptable’. Not fantastic, but way better than the joke that was the MX-30.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago

Don’t dog the MX-30 too hard. It was a compliance car, nothing more.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Even as a compliance car, it sucked ass and was a joke. Consider as well that Hyundai/Kia were able to release BEVs such as the Kona EV and those got more than double the range the MX30 got in spite of them also not being on a dedicated BEV chassis like the newer EV6 and Ioniq 5 are.

I shit on the MX-30 because I think Mazda has the engineering and technical know-how to come out with something much better than they did.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago

The Kona wasn’t a compliance car. Not sure that’s a fair comparison. And Mazda did come out with something better: the MX-30 R-EV. They just didn’t bring it stateside.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

It’s a fair comparison. Both are based on ICE vehicles. How is it that Hyundai could make a decently competitive BEV and Mazda couldn’t in the same time frame?

Nah… The reason Mazda didn’t was due to bad design decisions, bad tech decisions and bad investment choices (wasting money on dead-end tech like the rotary).

Hyundai got serious and made a serious investment and set out to make a competitive BEV.

Mazda didn’t.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago

I’m starting to wonder if you know what a compliance vehicle is. It’s not intended to be competitive, and it was never intended to sell in huge numbers. It’s just there to satisfy some government regulations or fleet fuel efficiency standards. The Honda CR-V EV is another good example of this.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

I’m starting to wonder if you know what a compliance vehicle is”

I know what a compliance vehicle is. They made a compliance vehicle yeah… but were charging ‘should-be-better-than-a-compliance-vehicle’ money for it.

Saying “oh it’s a compliance vehicle” is not a valid excuse.

And deciding to make a vehicle that wouldn’t be competitive from the start is just stupid… and I’m certain Mazda is capable of better.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
1 month ago

I’m surprised Mazda haven’t tried to bring the rotary range extender version of the MX-30 to the US. The reviews on that aren’t brilliant either but it is at least quirky.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

That would have had at least a better chance on the market, instead of being a preordained failure out of the gate

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

The rotary is dead. It’s not coming back for emissions reasons alone. Given that the rotary basically operates like a 2 stroke, that means there is always some oil being consumed in the combustion chamber to keep those apex seals healthy.

But burning oil in the combustion chamber also means you have a lot of the same emissions problems a diesel engine has.

And emissions reasons and many other problems (such as excess amounts of diesel fuel getting into the engine oil) are why Mazda’s diesel never made it to North America.

Plus, unlike diesel, the rotary has a fundamental efficiency disadvantage.

And that’s my guess why their rotary range extender STILL hasn’t gone on sale and likely never will. Or if it does by some miracle, it will be a low-volume sales failure.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
1 month ago

The Range extender rotary is on sale in most markets other than North America. presumably it is Mazda North America who have decided not to bring it here.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

And I’m telling you the reason why they “decided” not to bring it here is due to emissions and the cost of the aftertreatment system you’d have to have to meet the emissions in ALL states… same as the diesel.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

The cabin makes me not-sad to be missing out. I love me some Mazdas, and would have bought one last year if you could spec the AWD trim with a stick, but some iPad-on-the-dash badge engineering is not hard to say no to.

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago

I think the exterior vs interior disparity shows how good Mazda is at design, both aesthetic and ergonomic. The exterior is leagues better than the SL03 it’s based on, while the interior doesn’t even hold a candle to Mazda’s current design language because architecture limitations means it isn’t their design. All we can hope is that should a RWD I6 Mazda6 make it the US, that it looks like this on the outside, and like the CX-30/50/90 inside.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 month ago

It’ll never be sold here, best America can hope for is a new CX-80 which will be just like the CX-90 and CX-70, but with fold down jump seats for a 3rd row.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

How long will it take to rust? 😛

D-dub
D-dub
1 month ago

Lovely exterior, but that buttonless interior can fuck all the way off to China.

That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
1 month ago

I like it. It’ll never come here, but I like it. Still driving my 2016 Mazda6 now. Just 80,000 miles now and still fine. Paid off, too – which is key in this weirdo economy.

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