2018 Mazda 6 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Nov 30, 2017
  • Midsize sedan gets thorough freshening for 2018
  • Revised exterior styling, redesigned interior
  • New front seats, now with available ventilation
  • More efficient standard engine
  • New turbocharged engine in upscale Signature trim
  • Enhanced technology offerings
  • On sale in spring of 2018


Though the current Mazda 6 is four years old, it does not get a redesign for 2018. Instead, Mazda has “re-engineered” the car, which makes sense, since people are increasingly choosing crossover SUVs instead of traditional family sedans like this one. Besides, in spite of its advancing age, the Mazda 6 remains one of the more appealing cars in its class.

Exterior Features

Styling updates to the Mazda 6’s existing “Soul of Motion” design philosophy adhere to what the company calls a “Mature Elegance” theme. Given the massive gaggle of Millennials that might find the 2018 Mazda 6 an appealing alternative to what everyone else is driving, the use of “mature” here is a questionable one.

2018 Mazda 6 rear quarter left photoNevertheless, Mazda has tried hard not to screw up a good thing while at the same time putting some visual distance between the updated 2018 model and the 2014-2017 version.

Designers have installed a new grille with greater visual depth, new LED headlights with integrated fog lights, and new 17-inch and 19-inch aluminum wheel designs. Mazda’s Soul Red Crystal paint is a new color choice for 2018.

Interior Features

Mazda says the car’s interior is all-new with the exception of the steering wheel and a handful of small trim pieces.

The front seats are completely redesigned, too, wider than before and padded with new vibration-absorbing, high-density foam. Additionally, the frames are shaped to keep your spine in its natural S-curve position, such as when you are standing. The result is a firm and supportive seat, but one that proves comfortable on longer drives, according to Mazda. The new foam is also used for the rear seat.

In Signature trim, the cabin features a decidedly upscale environment. Brown Nappa premium leather covers the seats, simulated suede is spread across the dashboard and door panels, and genuine Sen wood commonly used in taiko drums and Japanese furniture accents the interior.

Optional Features

In addition to technology upgrades listed below, the 2018 Mazda 6 is available with a new windshield wiper de-icer system. Ventilated seats also debut, a first for a Mazda.

Under the Hood

As standard equipment for Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine carries over from the previous car but gains refinement and efficiency improvements. Mazda also installs a new cylinder deactivation system, which shuts off two cylinders when the car is cruising or coasting at speeds between 25 and 50 mph. This engine is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Choose the new Mazda 6 Signature and it features the turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that first debuted in the Mazda CX-9 SUV. This engine makes 250 horsepower on 93-octane fuel (227 hp on lower-grade fuel) as well as 310 lb.-ft. of torque that is available from 2,000 rpm. The engine’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo design aims to immediately build boost in order to eliminate a feeling of delayed response, commonly referred to as turbo lag. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda has also made the Mazda 6 stiffer than before thanks to chassis bracing, body reinforcements, and other revisions aimed at reducing noise, vibration, and harshness while at the same time improving driving dynamics. Additional enhancements include retuned suspension geometry for a smoother ride and better handling, and an upgraded steering system for improved feel and response.

Safety and Technology

With the arrival of the 2018 Mazda 6, the midsize sedan will be available with several technology improvements. A new 8-inch Mazda Connect infotainment display features sharper graphics, a configurable 7-inch driver information display is available for the instrument cluster, and the Active Driving Display head-up unit projects information onto the windshield.

Additionally, the Mazda 6 offers a new 360-degree surround view camera system, and the adaptive cruise control system gains stop-and-go capability for when the driver is traveling in heavy traffic.

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