Extended Ride Review: 2018 Mazda6, Week 1
The latest update is the most inclusive yet, offering enhanced quality in almost every detail of Mazda’s flagship.
These days it’s tough to make an objectively “bad” car. That’s why it’s always great when we have an opportunity to take a vehicle on an Extended Ride—providing more time to evaluate the nuances of each main feature, raise constructive observations, and ask more informed questions about the vehicle.
In short, it leads to greater balance.
The 2018 Mazda6 is our second Extended Ride.
It starts at $27,000. We had the opportunity to test the all-new, top-tier Signature model, which starts at $38,800 and brings the Mazda6 into a completely different stratosphere.
The introduction of the Signature trim is perhaps the most noteworthy highlight of the 2018 Mazda6. With an option elevated above the GT—Mazda’s previous top trim—the brand says it’s a “bridge towards the next generation of product.” That sounds like their future might include luxe options to take on the likes of Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and maybe even the lower-tier German models.
Mazda continues to increase the efficiency of their vehicles without moving into hybrids and EVs. The 2018 Mazda6 features Cylinder Deactivation, which shuts off two of the four cylinders at cruising speeds to maximize your fuel.
2018 Mazda6—First Impressions
There was a time when the Mazda6 was one of the only family sedans on the market that could truly be called attractive—sexy, even—excluding all of the high-end options.
These days, however, automakers have upped the level of attractiveness across all segments and styles. Competition is stiff.
Thankfully, Mazda has kept up—and in many ways, stays ahead—with the pack. The subtle rejigging of the front grille, with soft angled lines that flow across the front-end, is absolutely stunning. I’ve received more looks from people on the street in one day than I do throughout a month test-driving most other vehicles. It truly is a head turner.
Initially, the drive quality feels quite enhanced, as if I’m behind the wheel of a higher-end Japanese brand. We’ll see if this level is maintained throughout the next three weeks.
Inside, the cabin is quite serene and calming. They’ve included wood paneling on the doors and dash, which is a nice touch. I am, however, disappointed that Mazda didn’t overhaul the entire layout of the infotainment system. The screen is larger here, but everything remains mostly the same as in past years. I’m not sure if I’ll grow to love it, but I have time to figure that out.
2018 Mazda6—What’s Next
Next week we’ll take a more critical look at the 2018 Mazda6 Signature. This will include a deeper look at its aging infotainment system, and whether they’ve added enough to this model to justify the price point.
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