The Mazda6 Signature might be the sportiest midsize sedan on the market. If you like to drive, Mazda knows how to entertain your passion for taking the curves a bit faster than the average commuter. This sedan also looks the part on the outside. Mazda designers cranked up their styling juices and have given the car a good dose of sleek.
This vehicle is not all show either – it will also go!
The Mazda 6 receives a variety of updates for 2018. The most significant is the revised interior, which is quieter with a new dashboard design and higher-quality cabin materials. An available 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo – which we had on our Signature tester – joins the lineup. The base 2.5-liter engine now has cylinder deactivation technology to improve fuel economy.
Additional trim levels and new safety technologies round out the changes for 2018.
Features & Options
The 2018 Mazda6 Signature ($34,750) comes standard with LED headlights, push-button start, 60/40-split folding rear seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. An eight-inch entertainment touchscreen includes Bluetooth, one USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. Standard safety features include blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and rear cross-traffic alert.
A six-speed automatic is standard, as are 19-inch wheels, keyless entry, automatic wipers, automatic high-beams, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, illuminated vanity mirrors, and a sunroof. Rear passengers get additional vents in the center console and a center armrest with two USB charging ports. The safety features of the i-Activsense package are standard with the Signature too.
The fully-loaded Signature trim gets higher-quality materials such as microfiber suede, wood, and upgraded leather, along with the addition of LED interior lighting and a frameless rearview mirror. Other additions consist of a digital gauge cluster and a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors.
The i-Activsense package is also included, which features forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.
Total MSRP including destination: $36,140.
The material quality is high and the improved styling inside sets this Mazda6 Signature trim apart. The Chestnut Nappa leather interior on our tester looked rich and upscale. The first thing we noticed was a sweeping dash crowned by a bright new seven-inch infotainment display screen. The Mazda Connect infotainment system is quick enough, but the control device is somewhat uncooperative and the mapping isn’t as good as some rivals.
The sport seats offer excellent support for spirited driving, and the leather gives the sedan a luxurious feel. The ventilated front seats and heads-up display made this sedan feel like a more expensive model. There’s impressive interior space up front, and there’s good leg and knee room in the rear, even for taller adults. The sporty styling does cut down on rear passenger headroom with the raked roofline, however.
The cabin is quiet on the road at highway speeds, and visibility is improved with the use of high-strength steel in the roof pillars, allowing them to be a bit narrower. The split rear seats fold forward for additional cargo room, and the trunk offers 14.8 cubic feet of space with a wide opening.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Mazda6 Signature is powered by a new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. It comes paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
EPA fuel mileage estimates are 23/31 city/highway and 26 combined mpg.
True to Mazda vehicles being known for their good balance and handling, the Mazda6 maintains that standard, and even ups the game a few notches on the fun-to-drive meter. The new 2.5-liter turbo engine makes quite a difference when compared to the standard, naturally-aspired powerplant.
Overall, the 2.5-liter turbo is smooth and powerful, and it’s a joy to drive with the six-speed automatic and steering wheel paddle shifters. This engine likes to rev and the paddle shifters give you the ability to get the most from this engine. The Mazda6 came alive on the curvy roads we tested it on near Evergreen, Colorado. The steering felt solid and communicative, and the ride was firm and planted with the 19-inch wheels on the Signature trim.
If you are looking for a plush sedan ride, the Mazda6 is probably not for you. If you like to drive, it’s the best in this segment. With the new G-Vectoring Control, the Mazda6 now applies braking to separate front wheels in the corners, shifting weight forward and increasing grip so the turn-in is more secure. When it releases, weight shifts to the rear for improved balance.
The 2018 Mazda6 Signature ups the comfort and luxury level a few notches, and the new 2.5-liter turbo feels even better when you get behind the wheel. The sedan handles exceptionally well, the ride is firm and sporty, and the response from the steering and automatic transmission is what driving enthusiasts will enjoy on the commute.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy