2018 Mazda MAZDA6 Review


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2018 Mazda MAZDA6 Overview

Now more so than ever, buyers in the market for a midsize sedan are spoiled for choice. The Mazda6 may not have the name recognition of competitors, but it is one of the best looking cars in its class. For 2018, things largely stay the same on the outside, but buyers now have the choice of a new hotter engine under the hood. Currently in its third generation that came out for 2012, the Mazda6 is available in base Sport trim as well as Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature, which range from $21,950 to $34,750.

The base powertrain for the 2018 Mazda6 is still the tried and true SKYACTIV naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque and can be had with a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. New for 2018, buyers can choose a turbocharged 2.5-liter that makes 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s a lot more grunt to have fun with, but real enthusiasts will be disappointed to learn that the turbo engine can only be had with a 6-speed automatic. The Mazda6 is also still front-wheel drive (FWD) only. Turbocharged models are rated at 23 mpg city, 31 highway, and 26 combined, while the naturally-aspirated versions will do 26, 35, and 29 with an automatic and 24, 33, and 27 with a manual.

In addition to the extra powerful engine, Mazda has tightened up the suspension and chassis and extra sound deadening has been added. Last year, Mazda also added G-Vectoring Control, a trail braking system operated electronically to keep the Mazda6 poised during hard cornering. In general, the Mazda6 has been praised for its direct steering and lively characteristics on a winding roads.

Inside, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen is in the center of the dash. It’s two-tiered and the instrument panel is sporty with a large tachometer. The 2018 Mazda6 upholstery is available inbrown Nappa leather with synthetic suede inserts. Subtle wood trim is also optional. Higher-end versions get ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a 7.0-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster. Dual-zone climate control, power driver’s seat, and rear seat climate control vents come on the Touring model. The Grand Touring model, gets genuine leather, laminated glass, navigation, a memory driver’s seat, power adjust for the passenger’s seat, and several active safety features. Other optional extras include a Bose stereo, moonroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Lower tier models come with cloth and leatherette upholstery, HD Radio, Bluetooth compatibility, and a USB port. Space in the trunk measures nearly 15 cubic feet.

Most cars in this segment are a pretty good bet when it comes to safety, and the Mazda6 has earned Top Safety Pick+ status. Standard features include automatic emergency braking, while optional safety extras include adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beam headlights.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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