Thursday, July 26, 2018

2018 Mazda6 Signature: More Power And An Upscale Trim

Highlight: The Japanese automaker offers both a two in one cruise control system in the higher Mazda6. Drivers can toggle between the traditional cruise control system and the radar-activated cruise control system.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $36,140 (base model $22,820)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a hill launch assist system; ABS; electronic brake distribution; and electronic parking brake

Standard Equipment: 17-inch wheels; a manual transmission; cloth seats; manually adjusted front seats; leather-like door panels/armrests; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a remote keyless entry system and trunk access; and a push button keyless ignition system

Standard Equipment Signature: a 250-horsepower engine; 19-inch wheels; a forward collision braking system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a lane keep assist system; a blind spot monitoring system; a multi information instrument cluster with traffic sign recognition; a Bose 11-speaker system with satellite radio; a navigation system; heated/ventilated front seats; Nappa leather seats; power front seats; paddle shifters with steering wheel; power moonroof; a radar-activated cruise control system; high beam headlight; an auto dimming interior mirror; an automatic a/c with rear vents and pollen control; rain sensing wipers; a rear spoiler sip; heated outside mirrors; and an adaptive cornering headlight system; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; LED headlights; a rear spoiler lip; a windshield wiper de-icer; a frameless rearview mirror; wood interior insert trims; a leather wrapped steering wheel with unique styling; a black headliner; and a 360-degree camera with sensors

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: cargo mat; scuff plates; and special paint color

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/184-hp

Recommended Fuel: Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: For the 2018 model year, the Mazda6, which is now available with a larger engine, offers and upscale Signature trim.

Why: This is one of the few vehicles in the midsize segment to offer both a manual and an automatic transmission. The front wheel drive family sedan, with a sporty exterior design, is also available in variety of trims.

New for this year is the Signature trim. This trim tops the Grand Touring, costing about $3,000 more. With this new trim, Mazda offers a premium grade of leather/suede, a digital gauge cluster, a 360-degree camera, a frameless rearview mirror and more horsepower.

In the higher trims, Mazda has finally answered our call, adding more horses in the peppier, turbo engine. The four-cylinder engine effortlessly spews out 250 horses from underneath the engine.

And last model year, the Mazda6 became the first vehicle in the line up to tout a new signature GVC (G-Vectoring Contol), which improves the overall driving experience. Mazda engineering teams says that technology helps with the vehicle given a smooth and predictable movement. In fact, Mazda’s engineering team says this GVC is really at its best, when the road conditions are at their worse.  The Mazda6 has been one of the most engaging family sedans in the segment.

Lastly, depending upon the trim, the Mazda6 offers the latest driving safety aids, too. Those features range from a smart brake support system to a radar-activated cruise control system to recognizing traffic signs. 

But: While this vehicle is classified as a midsize sedan, the interior space seems much smaller than most of its competitors. Its quite obvious in the rear seating area. And the vehicles infotainment screen appears to on the small size, too.

Moreover, the design team should consider added a panoramic sunroof, giving the vehicle more of an open cabin.

Furthermore, for those seeking compatibility to use Apple CarPlay and Android smartphones, they'll have to wait until the 2019 model arrives later this fall. 

Lastly, there are no hybrids or plugin hybrid applications as of now in the portfolio.

Verdict: With the entire midsize segment moving toward a more toned down conservative design, these days the Mazda6 and the recently restyled Toyota Camry seems to pop in terms of exterior styling. The Mazda6, which seats five, is available in a variety of trims, with the latest high tech safety driving aids. And, for the first time, Mazda now offers a much needed stronger engine for the 2018 model year in its flagship car.

Competition: Chevy Malibu; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord; Hyundai Sonata; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima; Subaru Legacy; and Toyota Camry

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