2018 Mazda6 rises above the class with new Signature trim level
Mazda recently sent us their newest Mazda6, a top-of-the-line 2018 Mazda6 Signature for our evaluation. Re-engineered for 2018 and updated with lots of refinement added, we found – to our surprise – the Signature trim level to be premium-like in design, styling, technology and performance.
Best yet, without the price of other similarly equipped vehicles we have driven in the mid-size segment.
We found the Mazda6 Signature to be fun to drive with snappy performance from its new turbocharged engine, good handling and ride characteristics from re-engineered underpinnings plus new premium styling, technology, with ample room and comfort inside.
It should be on everyone’s list for consideration when looking for value in mid-size sedan offerings.
The Mazda6 Signature is equipped with a redesigned bumper with LED Headlamps and Integrated Fog Lamps and a new Front Grille design in a refined Gunmetal finish. Other new or updated features include front and rear LED turn lamps, front and rear Parking Sensors, Windshield Wiper De-Icer and new design 19-inch Brilliant Silver Alloy Wheels.
On the inside you find redesigned seating that is wider and more comfortable due to the new high-density vibration-absorbing high-density foam structural padding. The front seats are bucket-type with a recline feature and are heated (3-level) and ventilated front row with a heated outboard second row.
Other interior elements of note include a refined Frameless Rear-View Mirror, Heated leather wrapped heated steering wheel with hand sewn Chidori stitching, Dual Automatic Climate Control with pollen filters and rear vents and a more premium black headliner.
Technology improvements on our Signature included the updated Mazda Connect System with Mazda Navigation and 8-inch full-color touchscreen display, reconfigurable 7.0-inch TFT Driver Information Display, 360-degree View Monitor and Active Driving Head-Up display (now windshield projected) with new Traffic Sign Recognition.
Taking cues from the success of the CX-9, Mazda reworked nearly every structural element of the chassis and suspension on the Mazda6 line to deliver comparable Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics for 2018.
Integrated with the standard Mazda G-Vectoring Control system, the Signature adjusts steering and powertrain response when cornering to further improve performance and stability around town and on the highway.
2018 Mazda6 Lineup
The 2018 Mazda6 comes in five trim levels with a range of features value priced across the line.
The base Sport (MSRP $21,950) comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission – the only model so equipped. A 6-speed automatic is available for $1,050 more. Both the Sport and the Touring (MSRP $25,700) are powered by the 2.5L Direct Injection 4-cylinder equipped with their exclusive Cylinder Deactivation that allows it to run on just two cylinders at speed. It delivers 187 horsepower with 186 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Grand Touring (MSRP $29,700), Grand Touring Reserve (MSRP $31,700) – new for 2018 – plus the also new Signature (MSRP $34,750) are all powered by the 2.5L SkyActiv-G Turbocharged engine. Using their new Dynamic Pressure Turbo technology, it produces 227 horsepower with 310 lb.-ft.of torque on regular gasoline. Fuel up with premium gas and the horsepower climbs to 250.
All three use the same 6-speed automatic transmission, uniquely tuned for the turbocharged engine, include paddle shifters and a Sport Mode.
The Sport trim level runs on 17-inch wheels. All other trims run on 19-inch alloy wheels in Gun Metal or Brilliant Silver.
Since you asked, the estimated highway fuel economy on Direct Injection equipped models is 35 mpg with 31 mpg (95 octane) on the Turbo models.
2018 Mazda6 Signature as tested
Our Mazda6 Signature test vehicle came in a refined Machine Gray Metallic with the new – luscious – Deep Chestnut interior. At first sit down inside, we were impressed with the simple elegance of the linear horizontally stretched dash design. When complimented by the Nappa Leather seating in the Chestnut color, matching Ultrasuede NU soft touch surfaces and the elegant Japanese Sen Wood accents all framed in rich satin chrome trims and highlighted with Power Moonroof – this interior is far above its class in appeal.
When you add the 8-way Power Driver and 6-way Power Passenger Seats, Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, Push-Button Start, LED interior courtesy lamps and a host of other convenience features, the Mazda6 Signature is a very nice driver’s car inside.
The Mazda Connect infotainment system in the Signature is anchored by a Bose 11-speaker audio surround sound system featuring AM/FM/HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio connectivity, Pandora, Stitcher and Aha compatibility, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone and Audio with USB inputs front and rear plus a 12-volt power outlet.
On the road, the front-wheel drive Mazda6 Signature delivers solid handling performance with its monocoque unibody and front and rear suspension subframes design. Up front is an independent MacPherson Strut type coil spring with twin tube shocks and stabilizer bar. The rear features a Multi-link type coil spring and stabilizer bar setup.
Steering is engine speed sensing Electric Power Assisted Rack and Pinion. Brakes are single piston ventilated disc front and solid disc rear with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Performance control elements include Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control System and Hill Launch Assist.
With just a couple of accessory items and an upcharge for the Machine Gray exterior, our 2018 Mazda6 Signature priced at $36,140. In our book, an exceptional value.
IIHS Top Safety Pick
Just in – the 2018 Mazda6 Signature – loaded with safety features and technology – was just awarded an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation for 2018.
Some of the standard features on our Signature were RearView Camera, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Smart Brake Support with Automatic Emergency Braking, Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go Function, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Adaptive Front-Lighting System, Automatic Headlights with High Beam Control, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and the bright Head-Up Display with Traffic Sign Recognition.
Learn more about the features of the various trims here: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/mazda6.