Restyled 2018 Mazda6 Gains Luxury, Turbo Torque

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

The Mazda6 is a perennial favorite in the midsize sedan segment thanks to its driver-focused dynamics. But to continue improving the breed, this car has been thoroughly reworked for 2018.

The attractive family sedan just debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Engineers improved this four-door’s performance, refinement, and efficiency, while designers burnished its exterior styling and made it even more premium inside.

Mazda is aiming for a higher class of vehicle than normal with this car, not your typical Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Upping the premiumness (our word, not theirs) factor, this family sedan is now available in a new Signature trim, which features things like Nappa leather, wood trim, and UltraSuede NU accents.

Surprisingly, the car’s interior has been totally reworked. Only the steering wheel and a few small accent pieces carry over from today’s model. This dramatic revamp also applies to the front seats, which are also all new. They’re a bit wider and padded with higher-density foam for enhanced support on long trips. Ventilation – a boon for drivers residing in balmier climates – is now available, a first for this brand.

When it comes to tech, the new Mazda6 has what it takes to compete. Higher-end models feature a reconfigurable seven-inch instrument cluster. There’s also a new Mazda Connect infotainment screen that spans eight inches. Other goodies include available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, windshield-wiper de-icing and a head-up display.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Adding over-the-road refinement, the 2018 Mazda6’s underlying structure has been reinforced in strategic areas. Additionally, the steering rack is now directly mounted to the body for a more direct feel, plus the suspension geometry has been revised. For greater comfort, the ride has been made more supple and unwanted noise quelled.

Outside, one of the first things you’ll notice about this car is the glittery new grille, which is flanked by standard LED headlamps. There are also fresh wheels, spanning both 17 and 19 inches. Sumptuous Soul Red Crystal paint also debuts on this sedan

But perhaps the biggest news about this refreshed midsizer is the availability of a turbocharged engine. Pilfered from the company’s CX-9 crossover, the Mazda6 can now be had with a turbo 2.5-liter unit that can roast the tires with 310 pound-feet of torque, which comes on at a paltry 2,000 rpm. Fill the tank with 93-octane gasoline and you’re rewarded with 250 horsepower. Cheap out and go for 87 instead and you still get 227 ponies to play with. This engine comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission.

For customers that are more concerned about efficiency, a familiar naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-banger is also offered. With reduced internal friction and the addition of cylinder deactivation, which shuts off the outboard two cylinders at steady speeds between 25 and 50 miles an hour, it should be more economical than ever. But perhaps best of all, this base engine can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox for maximum driver involvement.

Although pricing and not been revealed, the reworked 2018 Mazda6 is slated to start arriving at dealerships next spring.

Discuss this story on our Mazda6 Forum

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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4 of 13 comments
  • Perry F. Bruns Perry F. Bruns on Nov 29, 2017

    Other than the nicely carved front fenders and character lines, this new Mazda6, especially the C-pillar treatment, answers a question I've never heard asked: "What if someone made a Chrysler 200 with rear headroom and good driving dynamics?"

    • See 1 previous
    • Perry F. Bruns Perry F. Bruns on Nov 30, 2017

      I can see that. That gentle slope looks great (to me), but it comes at a cost. Then again, I'm a driver. Anyone who rides with me will accept the flaws of my ride or find their own. (Of course, I say this while driving a Scion xB, so there's a lot of headroom. There should really be more head(s).) ;)

  • Diwa Alejandro Galvez Diwa Alejandro Galvez on Nov 29, 2017

    What's up with Toyota and Mazda ditching Apple Carplay and Android Auto?