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The Mazda 6 was already facelifted nearly two years ago, but that hasn’t stopped Hiroshima from improving its D-segment contender for the 2017 model year. The updates consist of some interior revisions, minor tweaks to the powertrain, improved refinement and added technologies, many of which were derived from the facelifted Mazda 3.

You won’t find any changes to the outside of the car, bar new wing mirror indicator strips and a new premium Machine Grey paint option from the new CX-9 SUV. The revamp is more apparent inside, with the biggest change being the new three-spoke steering wheel, also taken from the CX-9.

Also revised is the Active Driving Display – the head-up display is now full-colour and has increased brightness, contrast and definition for improved legibility, while the angle, brightness and content settings for each driver can now be saved in the memory buttons on the powered driver’s seat.

The multi-information display in the instrument cluster has also been upgraded to a full-colour screen and includes added functionality such as a redesigned water temperature gauge and a graphic compass. Other more subtle revisions include a steering wheel heater, a revised rear centre armrest with stitching and plating around the rear seat heater controls, as well as a new overhead console with LED downlights.

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Introduced on the update is a high-quality interior package, adding Nappa leather upholstery, black headlining with the black or almond leather options, titanium-coloured trim on the dashboard, power window switch panels and transmission tunnel, titanium-coloured seat piping, extra leather trim on the steering wheel with special chidori stitching and additional satin chrome-plated switches and trim.

Under the skin, the throttle response has been made more linear on models equipped with the six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission, thanks to more refined torque rise characteristics. The updated 6 also sees the introduction of the new G-Vectoring Control system which modulates engine torque to optimise vertical load on each wheel, improving steering response and stability.

The 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D diesel engine, on the other hand, receives refinements such as High-Precision DE Boost Control to sharpen throttle response, as well as a Natural Sound Smoother piston pin damper and more finely-controlled fuel injection timing (Natural Sound Frequency Control) to reduce knock and engine vibration, improving refinement.

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Meanwhile, rolling refinement has been improved, with noise entry through gaps reduced via the use of weather strip terminals around doors, improved sealing around the rear door trims and between the seaming welts and body flanges in the front and rear doors. There’s also thicker front door glass and wider application of sound insulation in the headliner, while top models receive acoustic glass on the front side windows.

Safety-wise, the i-Activsense suite of driver assistance systems has been bolstered by the new Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR) – this feature detects speed limit, no entry and stop signs, and will warn drivers visually and acoustically if they exceed that signposted limit.

Additionally, there’s now an Advanced Smart City Brake Support (Advanced SCBS) which switches from the previous infrared laser sensor to a forward-facing camera, widening the operating speed range and making it easier for the system to detect pedestrians. The higher-speed Smart Brake Support (SBS) also benefits from the new camera, and now works at speeds of up to 160 km/h, 15 km/h higher than before.