SEATTLE — I’ll just say it from the start. The 2018 Mazda6 is easily the best 6 ever made. Not only is it one of the most stylish sedans in its segment, it has a level of refinement and added power to it that take it to the head of the pack.
Under the hood, there’s a new turbocharged Skyactive 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, turbo-charged engine. It’s good for 250 horsepower with 310 lb-ft of torque. If you use regular unleaded, it drops to 227 horsepower. This is a highly welcomed addition to the 6 and keeps it more on-pace with some of the V6 options found in the competition.
The only transmission option with this engine is a six-speed automatic – which happens to shift through the gears with smoothness. Even in Sport Mode, the transmission remains smooth, albeit it waits a bit longer between shift points.
Stellar looks inside and out:
Outside of the striking body lines on the exterior of the Mazda6, is the marvelous interior decor with above-shelf fit and finish. The combination of materials used give the 6 a much more upper-scale look that belies its price. Additionally, the way all the controls are laid out, from the climate control to the center-console dial to work the infotainment system, is very Audi-like.
We loved the interior quality of the last few years and the 2018 model kicks it up a few notches. Nothing too drastic — just a bit more refined. In fact, you’d have to go to a German car to find a better looking interior.
There’s a lot of front and rear legroom for those passengers there. Since it’s front wheel drive, there’s ample legroom in the rear middle seat for someone about the size of an early teenager. For two rear passengers, there is a comfortable fold-down middle armrest with cup-holders as well.
For audio performance, Mazda turns to a high-powered BOSE, multi-speaker system. Its performance is quite solid, however, still pales in comparison to the likes of the Infiniti/HK systems in Hyundai/KIA. Its built-in navigation system can operate with voice commands and is very intuitive to use.
Mazda includes a heads-up display on the windshield that reports relevant data to the driver and is height-adjustable. Adaptive cruise control is also included and works great, even in stop and go traffic. Safety features include multiple air-bags around the cabin, front collision detection, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, auto-high beams, anti-locking brakes with traction control
One of the more irritating things is that the adaptive cruise control will not work with traction control disabled, there’s no way to force the mode stay on.
If there’s one element that resounds throughout the entire Mazda lineup, it’s the way they handle and the 6 is no exception. It behaves around corners like sedans 2-3 times its price. Very flat around corners with solid braking and a great balance to the steering is all here. Sure, it has a bit of under steer due to its front-wheel-drive system but it still feels great.
Lay your foot into the accelerator and you’ll feel the torque kick-in, quickly. Mazda has done an incredible job of negating the feeling of turbo-lag and the 6 launches off the line with ease.
Although some of the competition have a more powerful V6 engine, the 6 holds its own with a very capable engine and more importantly, just feels great to drive. The overall balance and sense of control in the 6 is easily one of the best experiences anywhere – especially in its price range.
Fuel economy is pretty good as well at 23 miles per gallon around town and up to 33 mpg on the highway with the Turbo 4.
Really the only drawback we can find with the 6 is that there is a bit more road noise than some competing sedans, however, the 6 remains our editorial favorite in this class.
The bottom line is that the Mazda6 is a quality sedan that acts like it should be priced like a luxury sedan. Test drive one, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Check out more at: www.mazdausa.com