2018 Mazda6 Gets A New Face And 250HP Turbo Four

Toyota has Lexus. Nissan has Infiniti. Honda has Acura. But for Mazda, this is as high-end as it gets.

Feast your eyes on the updated Mazda6, revealed today at the LA Auto Show – where it may not be the most exciting vehicle on display, but we dare say one of the best-looking.

The Zoom-Zoom brand’s rival to the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (to name just two), the Mazda6 competes in one of the most hotly contested segments in the industry. And the revisions ought to go a long way towards increasing Mazda’s share of that pie.

An extensive facelift of the existing model, the new 6 adopts Mazda’s latest design language, foreshadowed by the Vision Coupe concept unveiled in Tokyo – which is a good thing, especially in the automaker’s signature Soul Red Crystal paint. But what Mazda is touting most about its new flagship sedan is its upscale accoutrements.

Citing the popularity of the higher-spec versions of the new CX-9 – 55 percent of which are sold in Grand Touring or Signature trims in the US – Mazda is offering the new 6 with upscale equipment like Nappa leather, UltraSuede, and Sen wood trim. The (optionally ventilated) seats have been redesigned for better ergonomics in a cabin packed with an 8.0-inch infotainment display, an available 7.0-inch instrument display, and head-up display on the windshield.

Power comes from Mazda;s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four, in either naturally aspirated or turbocharged forms. With as much as 250 horsepower (on premium fuel, 227 on regular) and 310 lb-ft of torque, Mazda describes the forced-induction engine (transplanted from the CX-9) as packing “torque on par with a 4.0-liter V-8 engine” thanks to its variable-pressure turbocharger. The new Mazda6 is available, once again, with a manual transmission – but only with the lower-spec engine, while the turbo comes mated to a six-speed automatic.

The chassis has also been retuned to better optimize the balance between handling, ride, and NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness). The rigid-mounted steering rack promises improved feel and response. And better sound deadening offers a quieter ride.

Look for the heavily revised Mazda6 to reach showrooms in the spring. By that time we should have a better idea of how much all these upgrades will cost over the $21,945 at which the outgoing version starts.

Photo Gallery

  • Elitist Snob

    [tearful lament]

    Why won’t Mazda please bring this 2.5l turbo to the CX-5? Why?!! Is it because Mazda hates me? They do, don’t they?

    • Matthijs

      lol like many people would buy a CX-5 with such a engine…?

      • Able

        That’s a joke, right? It’s got a brilliant chassis that really is crying out for more power.

        • Matt

          So soccer moms buy the CX-5 for its chassis dynamics do they?

        • Matthijs

          lol its a family car. Do you need to do traffic light sprints with a SUV?

    • Bill Nguyen

      Seems like overkill for such a small car…

      • Andrewthecarguy

        Mazda6 is a small car. OK.

        • Bill Nguyen

          I was replying to the guy who said he wanted the engine in the CX-5.

    • Taegon Lewis

      Don’t worry, Mazda won’t bring the 2.5L turbo in the CX-5 because, all they care about is baby-proofing and stupid premium styling. Mazda doesn’t care about what their customers want; like, extra horsepower in most of their models and exiting variants, for their diverse fans (old-school fans, Hot Hatch enthusiasts, Off-Roaders, etc.)

      So, what I’m saying is; Mazda doesn’t hate you, they only love their customers, who treat their cars like an weak appliance/ or a overrated/really-cliche luxury car. (But, I digress…)

  • mick

    Which suede salesman made the rounds of all the manufacturers? That stuff is showing up all over the place now. Car looks great, Mazda really is the crown jewel of Japanese automotive design right now.

    • Victor Ferreira

      They really are the only Japanese manufacturer that makes interiors that feel habitable and not covered in cheap-looking plastic.

      • jsz00

        too bad it looks great, but not as durable. If you own the latest gen Mazdas, you’ll understand.

    • pcurve

      this is 3rd interior design on Mazda 6. Huge thumbs up to them for keeping their products competitive and up to date.

  • disqus_83g6mJmr6l

    this is a perfect looking sedan! (which is no easy task to perform…)

  • Six_Tymes

    love the new details, nice work Mazda.

    • Eythan Aldrich

      waiting for a wagon version #LONGLIVEWAGONS

  • mccarluvr123

    One the one hand, I wish Mazda could sell more of these. More people need to appreciate the beauty of a practical yet sporty (not to mention beautiful) car. Plus, more profits for Mazda to keep developing awesome products. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t want it to turn into something I see ten times a day on the way to work. Although to be honest, it’s so damn good looking I STILL think I would stare every time one went past.

  • willhaven

    It’s ok. The rear end is the biggest issue with this car and the odd proportions of the wheel arches (arch to wheel ratio?).

    Interior looks fantastic, but I’m worried that Mazda doesn’t have a real differential. What sets them apart? Fun to drive? Premium? They don’t seem to do any one thing very well.

    • LJ

      Mazda does a lot of things very well: Sportiness, premium build, tremendous styling, quality materials and they’re affordable to boot.

      • willhaven

        Doing things well doesn’t mean much when the market can’t create a clear and compelling reason to purchase your product. Subaru doesn’t have tremendous styling or a premium build, but they offer standard AWD on all of their cars – that’s their BIGGEST differential (pun intended lol). If AWD disappeared, the value proposition of Subaru would disappear.

        The same can be asked about Mitsubishi and the now defunct (in N. America) Suzuki or Isuzu.

        • Jorge Acosta

          So what exactly would be the differential of Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Honda??? If any brand makes something fairly different than all those other is Mazda… the rest are all cast out of the same mold.

          • willhaven

            Hyundai – Maximum standard offerings at competitive pricing
            Toyota – High reliability
            Honda – Japanese engineering/reliability (most cars are still designed and engineered in Japan unlike their competitors)
            Nissan – who knows? They have a value problem as well which is why they have to discount their vehicles to move them off the lots.

            The only definable quality I can associate with Mazda is sporty driving which is ok, but their cars feel sporty, they aren’t actually sporty (MX-5 being the exception).

    • Matthijs

      are you kidding? Mazda is well known for their drive dynamics and also the CX-9 interior leaves a huge impressions compered to most other crossovers in its class.

      • willhaven

        When people compare Mazdas against other cars, they don’t drive that much differently and they’re never any faster. The previous-gen Accord Sport handled just as well with similar build quality (and lower depreciation).

        So ok – premium interior. Is that the only differential?

        • Matthijs

          Isn’t that a big differential then?

    • Able

      For one, it’s way more premium than anything else it competes with – the materials are better quality, the design more bespoke, the overall ambience more luxurious. They’re also definitely sportier (the driver’s choice in the segment) than the cars they compete with – a last gen Accord? LOL – and don’t confuse speed with sportiness. A Mazda 6’s steering is easily best in class – better weighted and with more feel. Yet they’re also as reliable as Toyota (thankfully the post-Ford era is over) and at least here in Australia where they’re the number two selling brand, cheap to run. That the 6 now has the 2.5 turbo makes it even better, as well as ventilated front seats and the larger MZD screen too. All of this from a much smaller manufacturer than anything else from Japan.

      • willhaven

        I know that Mazda has a big footprint in Australia. People tend to prefer sporting dynamics over comfort and poise – is this the general consensus?

        • Paddy

          Looks like you simply hate Mazda for no reason…. I’m sure you haven’t owned any… probably driving a Holden or something similar… poor guy…must be feeling really awful that Mazda is producing sweet cars… a sedan at the this price range with an engine that produces excellent results, and some of the best driving dynamics… you are still no convinced….. difficult to argue with people who keep their eyes shut and claim to be blind…

          • willhaven

            Says the guy who thinks I live in Australia.

            “Still not convinced” Yeah me and just about every other consumer.

  • LJ

    This makes my 2014 Mazda 6 look like a real piece of shit.

    • Nordschleife

      Well it would be a great time to upgrade if possible.

      • LJ

        I’d love to, but I still have a year of payments left and then my ’06 Mazda 6 needs to be replaced.

        • Nordschleife

          I completely understand. I should have said if possible but I feel you.

    • pcurve

      this is 2nd update to interior design, and a pretty significant one. I’m amazed.

  • Nordschleife

    It is better late than never but I wish Mazda would have come out this extensively from the beginning when the design was fresh. I however respect their continual improvements to this beautiful sedan.

  • MP4-12C

    It’s incredible to think that this is a car which is already 5 years on the market. Plus the great, minimalistic design on the inside.

  • Matthijs

    Nose still looks good, rear a bit more bland but that interior looks stunning! Almost premium

  • LJ

    Looks great. My only complaint would be the rear bumper redesign. They should’ve left the portion of matte black plastic between the tailpipes. That extra detailing always adds a feeling of the substance to cars.

  • Ishliss

    I think i prefer the old front facia. Not a fan of the chrome strips in place of the air intakes.

  • G82FS

    /Yawn

  • Dennis Scipio

    oh, i did notice the changes on the interior compared to the 2017 model.

  • Craig

    The interior reminded me of some other car. An older Alfa-Romeo or something. It’s interesting. Very nice. I especially like the front fenders.

    • DARE I SAY SEXY FENDER?

  • Kyle Newberry

    I really think this would of looked even better had they kept the dark wheels from the prior models and like they have on the Mazda3 currently!

  • alexxx

    Now I know why other car manufacturers make such ugly cars lately… Cause best designers work for Mazda 😂

  • jsz00

    It looks more and more like the pre-face lift Lexus ES350 …. lol

  • Jason Panamera

    I’d pick this well equipped Mazda 6 instead of premium cars like a4 or c class. It’s my car on a list to buy. Like skoda showed us that you don’t need big money for good, spacious car, mazda has proved that you don’t have to overpay for nice design and ,,premium like” feel.

  • Taegon Lewis

    I’m glad, the rear is non-violated; but, the rest of the car (mostly, the new fascia and interior…) is horrifically awful to me. The previous facelift’s design was perfect enough, for me.

    Well, at least it has a Turbo; but, it’s not enough to impress me. And, sadly, I can’t think of anymore insults towards Mazda, until they unveil another concept/facelifted, updated vehicle/new from-the-ground-up vehicle, in another Auto Show.

  • Mark S

    Nice updates Mazda, that engine should help sales some.

  • ctk4949

    This and the Giulia are the best looking sedans!!

  • klowik

    Disappointed Mazda only change the front not the body.. but it’s good to have the turbo engine which should have been there when they introduced the model. I think the wagon model should be popular with the new engine.

  • Jeremytallman

    Dang it Mazda! Where is my SportWagon with AWD and Manual in Top-Line Engine and Trim?! My trusty Loaded 2004 is getting older and older! :-{

  • john1168

    It’s nice for the most part. The front looks good but the rest looks the same. They still have the black spacer in the c pillar??? So, this is just a refresh with a more powerful engine and a REALLY NICE interior.

  • REALLY SHARP LOOKING.
    PLUS A STICK SHIFT, BUTTONS AND KNOBS TO PLAY WITH.
    THEY SHOULD BRING BACK THE COUPE.

    • Eythan Aldrich

      along with the wagon……I’m down with that too…..and a mazdaspeed model as well

  • Missed the mark Mazda. Honda will happily sell manual enthusiasts the turbo…

  • Way to go, Mazda!

  • Needs AWD to complete the package…hopefully soon…love the interior and exterior design…very high-quality and premium looking…

    • john1168

      I thought awd should at least be an option as well.

  • :/ Yurr

    They might finally get the sales they deserve…with that new turbo engine..!

  • RDS Alphard

    I’d happy to have a Mazda6 with 2.5L Turbo & 6MT, lol

  • MrP

    I like it .. It’ll be interesting to see what it costs when it lands here in Australia. Likely AUD$59,990 perhaps.

    Those wheels though do look oddly familiar, say circa first gen Mazdaspeed 3.. They’re not identical, but they’re close!

  • getoffme

    Pre-facelift looks better outside.

  • SteersUright

    Beautiful car, much more so than any Camry. But, cant help but be disappointed by the 6-speed instead of 8 and the low hp rating of the engine in a quasi-sport sedan like this.

    • Vassilis

      250 hp is not bad at all man.

      • SteersUright

        You’re right. But this is Mazda, not Toyota. In general I’d say, yes, its adequate. But this is supposed to be the enthusiast’s brand and as such, I can’t help but wish they’d make a MazdaSpeed 6, or a true sport sedan offering with 300hp and rear-biased AWD.

        • Vassilis

          It’s a start. Maybe something more potent will follow 😉

  • Smilegarden

    If they bring the 2,5 turbo engined one to Europe I’m going to buy it. If the peak petrol engine still remains 192 HP in Europe, I am going to by an Audi.

  • DM

    Just make the damn car RWD already! If Mazda is serious about becoming a premium brand RWD is in order. The car looks beautiful as it is, but that front overhang is killing it. Sexy interior though, good job Mazda. A CX9 is on my list.

  • Larry Qualls

    Keep it up Mazda!

  • dtd

    I wonder why new cars nowadays don’t have CD player anymore. Look at the 2018 Toyota Camry and this 2018 Mazda 6.

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