2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

With a slogan of “Driving Matters”, Mazda has produced a juggernaut sedan that’s a leader in its class. While most North American consumers are leaning towards SUV’s and Crossovers, it hasn’t stopped Mazda from quietly outperforming its competition in the sedan market.

While it may not get the recognition it deserves, the secret is out that Mazda isn’t going to be taken lightly. The all-new Mazda6 has been loaded with upgrades from its previous year, as well as continuing with previously unmatched features throughout.

Mazda6 has been given some improved chassis refinement to enhance its already superb drivability. Complimenting the handling with a slight increase in power. New to the Mazda6 is a 250 horsepower-2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Paired with its automatic six-speed transmission, with seamless shifting capability and virtual zero turbo lag; the Mazda 6’s power is more than adequate.

Already possessing one of the more elegant cabins compared to its counterparts. It was shocking to know that, aside from the steering wheel and minor trim pieces; the cabin of the Mazda6 is completely remodeled. Whoever said “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” obviously didn’t design this Mazda. However, this does follow the strategy Mazda outlined of pursuing constant updates and improvements on a much more frequent basis compared to the standard refresh and remodel schedule. The new horizontal dashboard provides a more sophisticated look and is easier on the eyes. A thin strip of satin chrome cascades around the cabin elevating the look even further. None of that cheap plastic on the dashboard downgrading its luxury feel. The entertainment module is also less clunky than most, but the rotary controller can take some getting used to, leading to many frustrating involuntary actions by mis-selecting through overshooting the appropriate icon. A seating upgrade is also a new addition for 2018 as well as gaining an inch of display on the navigation screen (previously 7 inches). Which every man can agree upon, you have to make every inch count.

The 2018 Mazda6 introduces various trim levels to satisfy everyone’s price range. Starting with the standard GS model at $27,000. The 187 horsepower 2.5L engine in the GS is partnered with standard features and a fabric interior. Stepping up from there we have the $31,600 GS-L. The GS-L has the same engine configuration but gains premium features such as; leather seating, moonroof, and iActivsense safety controls. The iActivsense safety gives the driver increased safety functions like collision warning, lane departure, and pedestrian alert sensors. I personally recommend the $2000 powertrain upgrade which will grant you a turbocharged boost to the 2.5L engine. Conversely, at $35,800, the GT model will come with the turbocharged, 250 horsepower engine, as well as features like premium Bose audio system, heads-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, and some signature lighting for the cabin. Dipping into the more luxurious credential is a new thing for this Mazda Sedan, with the all-new signature passage for the Mazda6. Special trims for the interior and exterior come with the signature package like; A luxurious Nappa leather upgrade for the seats, a beautiful real satin wood trim, ultra-suede dashboard, a 360-degree monitor, and parking sensors come with the $38,800 top of the line Mazda6.

Changes to the suspension geometry have improved the dynamic handling of the Mazda6’s drivability. Electric steering which has been growing in popularity has been added to assist in maneuvering. I found that the power and acceleration were adequate and it didn’t suffer any of the turbo lag that can easily ruin any driving experience. The transmission automatically responds smoothly and seamlessly. However, the manual six-speed transmission was removed from production in Canada, leaving some drivers slightly disappointed.

For those willing to appreciate innovative design, affordable luxury, and comfortable drivability the Mazda6 delivers on all fronts. These Japanese automakers have made aggressive steps towards putting the competition in its rearview mirror. When you are looking for your next sedan, Mazda has to be included on your list.

Key Features

  • Starting at $27,000 CND
  • Third update to the Mazda6
  • SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with optional Dynamic turbo
    • 187hp @ 6,000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 9.1L/100Km City & 6.7L/100Km Highway
  • Cargo volume 416L
  • Full Color 8” touchscreen display
  • Mazda’s unlimited mileage warranty