Mazda is like a woman who goes under the knife to get her body into shape to prevent her man dumping her for young lass. In five model years, the Mazda 6, Mazda’s flagship mid-size sedan has been revised three times as it awaits a comprehensive overhaul once its production life-cycle is complete. The new 2018 Mazda 6 has a refreshed exterior profile, a new cabin styling, and a new turbocharged engine; these new features are meant to keep buyers from being tempted by the new Honda Accord or the revamped Toyota Camry. The redesign includes a new turbo engine and a range-topping trim which will be known as “Signature”.
2018 Mazda 6 Exterior
Mazda has hooked up the sedan with a “Mature Elegance” theme that enhances the model’s current “Soul of Motion” design language. In making the new changes, Mazda was keen not to spoil a good thing as the model has posted impressive sales despite it having gone for long without a new generation.
Among the new changes made to make the model look more stylish and modern is a new grille that adds a visual depth to the front fascia. There are new LED headlights whose clusters integrate fog lights. The grille insert features 3D mesh design rather than the outgoing model’s horizontal slats. The new model will ride on either 17-inch or 19-inch aluminum wheels. In addition, the automaker’s Soul Red Crystal exterior paint finish is now available for the 2018 Mazda 6.
According to Mazda, except for the steering wheel and few small trim bits, everything else in the cabin is new. The dash has been extended. The front seats have been revised; they are now wider and are padded with high-density foam that absorbs vibrations. This foam is also used on the rear seats. The frames of the seats are also revised to ensure one’s spine stays in the normal S-curve position like is the case when a person is standing. This has made the seats firm and supportive but still comfortable even on longer drives. For the first time, ventilation on front seats is available as an option.
The new “Signature” trim which has done quite well with the XC-9 selling more than double what Mazda anticipated will be offered for the sedan (Mazda hopes the Mazda 6 will replicate this fete). The trim features superior materials including Brown Nappa premium leather upholstery for the seats, simulated suede on the door panels and dash as well as genuine Sen wood that is used on Japanese furniture accenting and taiko drums.
The 2018 Mazda 6 also gets improvements in the technology department. There is a new 8.0-inch display for the Mazda Connect infotainment software. A 7.0-inch display for information about the car is mounted on the instrument cluster. There is also an Active Driving Display that projects information on the model’s windshield. The sedan’s cruise control system now features a stop-and-go function. Mazda has also added a new camera system that offers a 380-degree surround view.
Engine and performance
Two engines are available for the 2018 Mazda 6. The base engine which is equipped on the Touring, Sport and Grand Touring trims is a naturally aspirated 2.5 L, Skyactive-G 4-cylinder mill that carries over unchanged except for fuel efficiency improvements. The engine also gets an upgraded cylinder deactivation system that shuts two of the 4 cylinders between the speeds of 25 mph and 50 mph. The engine which mates to a 6-speed manual/automatic gearbox returns 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Power is conveyed to front wheels. It takes 7.6 seconds for the model to reach 60 mph. Fuel economy figures are not out but due to the upgrades including the cylinder-deactivation function, the model will definitely improve on the outgoing model’s fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on highway drives for manual models and 26 mpg and 38 mpg on city and highway drives respectively for automatic models.
If 184 ponies are not good enough, go for the Signature trim which is equipped with a turbocharged 2.5 L, Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder mill that is borrowed from the CX-9. The engine’s good for 350 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque when using 93-octane fuel and 227 hp and when using lower-grade fuel. It has a Dynamic Pressure Turbo system that builds boost which helps eliminate delayed response. The engine is only paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. This mill lowers acceleration from 0-60 mph to below 6 seconds.
Price and release date
When Mazda unveiled the sedan at the just concluded LA Auto Show no prices were released; the automaker, however, said the model will be available next spring. The automaker may hike the price a little compared to the current model whose base Sport trim carries an MSRP of $21,945 exclusive of an $845 destination fee.