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2018 Mazda Mazda6

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 Sport 4dr Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $21,950
2018 Touring 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $25,700
2018 Grand Touring 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $29,200
2018 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $31,700
2018 Signature 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $34,750


The world of midsize sedans is going down the turbocharged path. Mazda, for the most part, has stuck to its guns with its SkyActiv technology for the majority of its models. That, though, changes for the 2018 Mazda6. But the automaker has stuck to what made the midsize offering so popular in the beginning with its gorgeous Kodo design blueprint and athletic handling. The Mazda6, as with other Mazda vehicles, is as sporty as ever, but has benefited from some new luxury features along the way.

What's New for 2018

A lot has changed for the 2018 Mazda6, but we'll try to keep thing simple. The midsize sedan has been refreshed for the new year, bringing an upgraded engine, a new chassis, a refreshed interior, and a slightly altered design. There's also a new range-topping Signature trim in the lineup.

The major news is the addition of a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four that's borrowed from the CX-9 midsize SUV. The naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine, though, also gets an update with cylinder deactivation technology. Mazda has also fitted the Mazda6 with new tech features, including a 360-degree view monitor, a seven-inch reconfigurable gauge display, a new eight-inch infotainment display, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and a head-up display.

Mazda Mazda6

Choosing Your Mazda Mazda6

The new addition of the turbocharged engine complicates things, but not by much. The vehicle is now available with two engines, both of which are 2.5-liter four-cylinders. One is naturally aspirated and puts out 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The other is turbocharged and generates 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. If you’re okay with spending some more money at the pumps for premium 93-octane fuel, power output for the turbocharged motor increases to 250 hp.

The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission, but only in the base trim. Everything else, including the turbocharged offering, gets a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Mazda6 is exclusively sold with front-wheel drive.

The most fuel-efficient model, the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with the automatic transmission, can get up to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Opting for the manual gearbox brings those figures down by two in both the city and on the highway. The turbocharged engine lags behind with a rating of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The Mazda6 is available in five trims:

Mazda Mazda6


The Sport model is the entry-level Mazda6 and costs $22,840 (all prices include destination). It's the only trim that's available with a manual gearbox. Letting the car handle all of the shifting raises the price to $23,890. Standard exterior features for the Sport trim include 17-inch wheels, dual exhaust, LED headlights and running lights, and remote keyless entry.

On the inside, the base model comes with dual-zone auto climate control, a six-speaker audio system, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, cloth seats, an eight-inch touchscreen display, and a rearview camera.

Going with a Sport trim with the manual gearbox means that you can't add any optional features. Choosing to pay extra for the automatic transmission makes the $625 I-Activsense Package as an option. Ticking this box adds forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, high beam control, auto on/off headlights, and rain sensing variable-intermittent windshield wipers.

The Mazda6 Sport is the only trim with optional extras – from here on, the features and powertrains are set.

Mazda Mazda6


The Touring trim is the next step up and is priced at $26,590. It adds 19-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power moonroof, air conditioning vents for the rear sets, leatherette-trimmed sport seats, a six-way power driver’s seat, illuminated vanity mirrors, advanced keyless entry, and heated front seats as standard over the base model.

In terms of safety, the Touring trim comes with all of the safety features from the I-Activesense Package as standard.

Mazda Mazda6

Grand Touring

Stepping up to the Grand Touring trim costs $30,090 and is the most affordable way to get a Mazda6 with the new turbocharged engine – it's standard from this point on. In addition to the 227-hp engine, the Grand Touring trim adds heated exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming exterior driver's side mirror, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, paddle shifters, a Bose 11-speaker audio system, navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Mazda Mazda6

Grand Touring Reserve

The Grand Touring Reserve trim is priced at $32,590 and comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler, LED signature headlights, windshield wiper de-icer, leather-trimmed sport seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a memory system for driver’s seat, a heads-up display, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an adaptive front-lighting system as standard.

Mazda Mazda6


The new Signature model sits at the top of the range and carries a price tag of $35,640. Going with the Mazda6 Signature brings a gunmetal front grille, a frameless rearview mirror, unique stitching for the steering wheel, an overhead console with LED courtesy lamps, Nappa leather seats, bright power seat switches, a black headliner, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, Sen Wood details, and ultra suede trim as standard over lower models. In terms of safety features, the Mazda6 Signature gets a 360-degree camera rig with front and rear sensors as standard.

CarsDirect Tip

We’ve been waiting a long time for Mazda to put a turbocharged engine into the Mazda6 and the specs behind the new engine don’t disappoint. We were hoping to see Mazda offer a manual transmission option on the new engine, but we get it, people don’t like to shift gears themselves anymore. The Grand Touring trim is the cheapest way to get the new engine, but the trim also comes with a good mix of upscale amenities and safety features to be the sweet spot in the lineup.

Get your price on a Mazda Mazda6 »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Contributing Writer

With updated styling touches and a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine borrowed from the CX-9, the 2018 Mazda6 retains its slick design, upscale interior, and lofty position in the mid-size class. But the new turbo-four is mated exclusively to an automatic transmission, while the clumsy infotainment system still lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Best Value

The 2018 Mazda6 starts at $22,845 for the base Sport trim with a six-speed manual transmission. At the opposite end of the spectrum are models like our tester: the new top trim Signature model. It's replete with heated and cooled Nappa leather seats, Bose sound, navigation, a head-up display, and Japanese Sen Wood trim. Finished in an optional Machine Grey hue and equipped with a cargo mat and stainless scuff plates, it had a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $36,140.

For 2018, two engines are offered. Sport owners can pair a 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder to either a slick six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while the Touring trim is limited to the automatic. Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature models feature the 250-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder – also found in the CX-9 – matched with a six-speed automatic.

Moving further upmarket for 2018, the Sport trim receives new LED headlights and front and rear turn signals, dual zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth audio and phone capability, keyless push-button start, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and low speed automatic emergency braking. All trims but the Sport are mono-spec, with the Sport's i-Activesense Package for automatic-equipped models adding rain-sensing wipers and Mazda's suite of active safety features.

We'd pick the Grand Touring trim because it marks the entry model for the turbo-four. Upgrades include larger 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated outside mirrors (driver's auto dimming), rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, steering wheel paddle shifters, a Bose sound system, navigation, satellite radio, heated front seats, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and advanced low-speed automatic emergency braking.

Here's what it looks like:

  • Model: 2018 Mazda Mazda6 Grand Touring
  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 250 hp / 310 lb-ft (227 hp with regular fuel)
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 23 City / 31 Hwy23 City / 31 Hwy
  • Options: None
  • Base Price:$30,095 (including an $895 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $30,095


Mazda Mazda6

The big news for 2018 is the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that offers plenty of punch off the line as well as effortless passing at highway speeds. In Sport mode, the transmission holds gears longer and downshifts energetically. The base 2.5-liter normally-aspirated engine is no slouch, either, although this year Mazda chose to drop its i-Eloop regenerative engine braking system from the lineup in favor of the first wide application of cylinder deactivation in a four-pot – to the tune of an EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 29 combined on automatic-equipped models. We managed a vehicle-measured 28.2 mpg in combined, spirited, city and highway driving.

Moreover, the Mazda6's combination of light weight (3,200 pounds in base trim), excellent steering feel, and balanced, sporty ride make it the most entertaining sedan in the mid-size class, while the engine management system (G-Vectoring Control) is a boon not only to confidence during cornering, but also to straight-line acceleration and stability. The result is a ride that's compliant and well damped. Potholes and other road imperfections are handled with ease. The steering is direct with great feedback to the driver, while braking is also excellent with very short stops and a pedal that's easy to modulate. Point the Mazda6 into a corner and it tracks flawlessly with no body lean.

At freeway speeds, the Mazda6 feels extremely stable and is unaffected by crosswinds or grooved pavement. The combination of suspension tuning and precise steering means you always know exactly where you are on the road. There's also plenty of power under the hood, making merging into traffic and passing effortless.

But all is not perfect, as the base engine can feel gruff, the turbo-four is only available with an automatic, while the Mazda's firm, sporty ride – even on the Sport model's more forgiving 17-inch wheels – isn't for everyone, and may turn off drivers accustomed to something softer and plusher.


Despite assaults from newer competitors, the Mazda6's design remains at the top of the mid-size class. For 2018, the front fascia was cleaned up with a new grille pattern and bolder wing-shaped chrome trim. The fog lights are now integrated into the headlights, LED headlights and taillights are now standard on all models, while the flat black lower trim on the rear fascia has been tossed, with the entire fascia now body-colored.

Inside, Mazda has added more soft-touch materials, with Nappa leather, synthetic suede, and Japanese Sen wood included in the repertoire of upscale trims. Pricier models also receive a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster, while an eight-inch touchscreen is standard across the board.

Occupants in the spectacularly comfortable new front seats will find plenty of knee, leg, and head room. The cooling function on Signature models that sucks heat away rather than blowing cool air on your backside works better than advertised, while the trunk's wide maw, larger-than-average pass-through, and split and fold back seats add to its cargo-hauling versatility. With the rear seats flipped forward, we were easily able to load a 52cm road bike without having to remove the wheels.

Although Mazda continues to add sound-deadening materials to its flagship sedan, interior sound levels surprisingly still aren't class leading. And while the infotainment system shows both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on the applications menu list, even after pairing an iPhone and plugging it into a USB port, we were unable to activate this feature (Mazda has noted in the past that it'll be available sometime in the future). The infotainment system's controller unit is also both cumbersome to use and distracting. Finally, the most luxurious models come with a sizeable price premium, while the rearview camera image is grainy with poor resolution.

The Best and Worst Things

Mazda's interior treatments are now the best in their respective segments, and the Mazda6 is no different. In particular, the Signature's supple Nappa leather offers a class-above feel.

Conversely, Mazda's infotainment system continues to frustrate. Setting station presets requires multiple menu steps, while using the controller, itself, is cumbersome at best, and distracting at worst.

Right For? Wrong For?

Mazda Mazda6

With a stunning design and stellar handling, the Mazda6 will surely attract style-conscious enthusiasts.

At the same time, Mazda's outdated infotainment system is sure to exasperate tech-savvy buyers.

The Bottom Line

As we've previously noted, Mazda's flagship sedan isn't for everyone (even though we adore it). Its sporty ride is far from plush, the infotainment system is difficult to use, and the slick new turbo isn't available with a manual transmission. But like everything else the brand offers, the 2018 Mazda6 is a top choice in its class thanks to its stunning exterior, agile handling, and pair of entertaining and fuel efficient engines.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L I-4 / 187 HP / 186 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
24 / 33 / 28 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L I-4 / 187 HP / 186 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
24 / 33 / 28 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
16.4 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
14.7 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
100 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
192.7 "
Exterior Width
72.4 "
Exterior Height
57.1 "
Front Headroom
38.4 "
Rear Headroom
37.1 "
Front Legroom
42.2 "
Rear Legroom
38.7 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.9 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.1 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,326 Lbs. / 3,397 Lbs.
Wheel Base
111 "
Turning Radius
18.3 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
17.0 " Gray Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm/hd, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Smart City Brake Support Forward Collision Mitigation / Smart Brake Support Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitoring Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist System Lane Departure / Lane Departure Warning System (ldws) Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

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