Mazda took the wraps off a thoroughly revamped Mazda 6 at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The revisions to Mazda’s midsize sedan are emblematic of the brand’s recent focus on positioning itself as an upscale automaker with “class-above” refinement levels compared to other mainstream makes.
To that end, the 2018 Mazda 6 gains a top-line Signature model that’s positioned above the Grand Touring trim level—this follows the trim-level strategy of the recently redesigned CX-9 midsize SUV. Also borrowed from the CX-9 is the 6’s new engine option: a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 250 horsepower on premium gasoline and 227 horsepower when running on regular. The turbo 2.5 is available in higher trim levels, and complements the 6’s existing naturally aspirated 184-hp 2.5-liter four, which is updated this year with cylinder-deactivation technology and revisions for better refinement.
The 6’s interior is virtually all-new—the only carryover elements are the steering wheel and a few minor trim pieces. The new Signature model receives Japanese-inspired high-end touches such as Nappa leather, Sen wood, and UltraSuede trim. Newly available features include ventilated front seats, 360-degree View Monitor, 8.0-inch MAZDA CONNECT infotainment display, full speed adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, windshield-wiper de-icer, and a windshield-projected head-up display.
Mazda says the 6’s chassis has undergone significant improvements—such as body reinforcements and revised suspension geometry—to improve ride quality, dynamic performance, and overall NVH levels. Exterior styling has been freshened; the focal point is a new grille and LED headlamps with integral fog lamps. The facelift puts the 6 in sync with the latest Mazda KODO—Soul of Motion design motif.
The 2018 Mazda 6 is slated to arrive in dealerships in spring 2018.
The Mazda 6 has been one of our favorite midsize sedans ever since the redesigned-for-2014 model debuted—it offers a uniquely athletic driving character without compromising on practicality and daily-commuting comfort. However, despite a steady flow of minor revisions and improvements over the last few years, the 6 never seemed to sell as well as it should. One reason was the lack of more-powerful engine option than the base 2.5—a shortcoming Mazda has finally addressed by making its turbo 2.5 available. The long list of other improvements and enhancements should help the 2018 Mazda 6 shore up its standing against formidable competitors such as the redesigned Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Also, enthusiast shoppers will be pleased to note that the 2018 Mazda 6 continues to offer a 6-speed manual transmission—a rare option in the midsize-sedan class—on the base 2.5 engine.