The Atenza Is Dead in Japan

A replacement isn’t planned because Mazda thinks the CX models can fill the void. The Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-60 are both noteworthy mentions in the highly competitive midsize SUV segment and have received lots of love globally owing to the ever-growing trend of consumer preference towards SUVs.

Regrettably, Mazda has decided to discontinue its midsize sedan in Japan. The aging Mazda Atenza is reaching the end of its production in its domestic market, with the final assembly scheduled for mid-April. For those interested, there is still a limited window to place orders before it’s too late. Over its 22-year lifespan since its introduction, the Atenza/6 model has garnered a total of 226,437 sales.

The current generation of the 6 sedan/wagon duo, in existence since 2012, is showing signs of aging. Following its withdrawal from the United States and the United Kingdom in 2021 and 2023, respectively, the retirement of the Atenza from the Japanese market marks another step in the phasing out of this model.

Equally disheartening is Mazda’s apparent lack of plans to fill the void left by the discontinuation of the Atenza – a void that, according to the succinct press release on the car’s exit from Japan, will remain unfilled. The statement indicates that the CX lineup of crossovers is expected to assume the role previously held by the 6. For enthusiasts who appreciate traditional sedans and wagons, the absence of a direct replacement is a notable disappointment. This sentiment is amplified by the fact that the Mazda 3, while available, is deemed too compact, and there is a lack of a more practical wagon variant.

Despite early 2022 declarations from Mazda ruling out a next-generation Atenza on its new rear-wheel-drive platform, Japanese magazines continued to speculate about a potential fourth-generation model. Last year, Best Car suggested that Mazda might have reconsidered after positive feedback on the CX-60 and CX-90, even going so far as to claim that a rear-wheel-drive-based Atenza had received the green light for production.

Contrary to these speculations, the tone of Mazda’s latest press release seems to suggest otherwise. It is important to note, however, that the Atenza is not completely discontinued, as production continues at factories outside of Japan. Nevertheless, with assembly concluding in the Land of the Rising Sun, it implies that the vehicle will likely be phased out from numerous international markets that were receiving the Japan-built version.