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We drive the Mazda 6

by Ali Arsham
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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The redesigned Mazda 6
The redesigned Mazda 6

If you are looking for a family sedan, chances are you are considering a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry.  After all, those are the two biggest players but maybe you want to consider a smaller but more fun player.  The 2018 Mazda 6 stands out from the crowd by being a bit more fun and luxurious and it is worth checking out.

Thoroughly redesigned for 2018, the Mazda 6’s difference is noticed when you walk up to it.  While everyone else has very boring styling, the Mazda 6 has some nice curves that really shine.  The styling makes the 6 look much more expensive and really emphasizes that the 6 is much more than basic transportation.

Enter the cockpit and you will see that the theme continues.  Adorned with authentic materials like Japanese sen wood and Nappa leather, the 6 elevates its premium positioning above the mainstream fray and into a higher class of competition. The dash has a soft padded feel that feels more like an Audi than a Toyota.

Once on the road, you will notice a very quiet cabin devoid of road and wind noise.  It is more comfortable than before but still has the sporty feel that makes it fun.

Our signature model was the top of the line Mazda 6 and it comes with a new turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5 liter engine. The engine provides 250 hp and is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission.

You can still order a Mazda 6 with a manual transmission but you have to order the Sport model which is not so sporty since it does not come with the turbocharged engine and only provides 187 hp.

You should also know that to get 250 hp from the turbocharged engine, you have to use premium fuel.  With regular grade, your power drops to 227 hp.

The turbocharged engine uses what Mazda calls Dynamic Pressure Turbocharger, which uses a small valve to create high boost pressure, akin to holding your thumb over the end of a garden hose. Once the engine is up to speed, a secondary valve opens up to allow more airflow through the turbocharger.

New front
New front

The engine certainly provides power without having to wait for the turbo to spool up but the power is not enough to make this a sports sedan.  An extra 100 hp would make this car a lot more fun.

Perhaps the reason that the power was disappointing is that the chassis is very good and it feels like it can easily handle the extra power.  The electric power steering is quick and light but provides good feedback and the car feels very planted at higher speeds.

It still understeers at the limit but nothing excessive.  The 6 uses MacPherson struts in the front with an anti-roll bar with a multi-link setup in the back with an anti-roll bar. The Signature model comes with 225/45-19 all season tires on very stylish 19 x 7.5 inch alloy wheels that provide good feedback and grip.

The turbocharged engine is right on the money when it comes to fuel economy. An Accord with the 2.0 turbo engine has 2 more hp and is rated for 1 mpg more which is basically the same.  Our car was rated at 31 mpg on the freeway and we averaged just a bit lower.

Pricing for the Mazda 6 is what really sets it apart.  The entry level Sport model starts out at $23,000 which is an excellent deal for a very well-equipped car.

Upgraded interior
Upgraded interior

Our top of the line Signature model had many high-end features such as leather and wood trim, 360 degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, seven inch center display, adaptive front lighting, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, and an 11 speaker Bose premium audio system.

The signature model will cost you $34,750 which is still a great deal considering the huge list of features.

The Mazda 6 really separates itself from the fray with a long list of features and a fun attitude that allows the driver to enjoy driving but not at the expense of a rough ride or loud interior.

It is a great combination of luxury and sport for the price. It is also one of the most attractive sedans at any price and looks like a million bucks.

Basic Specifications

MSRP: From $21,950
MPG: Up to 26 city / 35 highway
Horsepower: 187 to 227 hp
Engine: 2.5 L 4-cylinder
Dimensions: 193″ L x 72″ W x 57″ H

Configurations
Sport Manual
$21,950
Sport Automatic
$23,000
Touring
$25,700

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