2018 Mazda 6 Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2018 Mazda 6 aspires to more than mere family-sedan duties. Sure, it has a big interior and competitive fuel economy, but on top of that it adds an upscale design and a focus on driving enjoyment. The Mazda 6 has offered these attributes for some time now, but Mazda is doubling down as other top automakers are trying a similar approach.
For 2018, that means broad improvements to the Mazda, with refinements in how it looks, drives and feels. A new grille and standard LED headlights highlight the changes on the outside, but it's only once you step into the cabin that the breadth of the revisions becomes clear. The restyled dashboard trim and climate controls give the 6 a more luxurious look. The seats have also been redesigned for better comfort and higher-quality materials give this sedan a luxury-like vibe. Under the hood is a newly optional turbocharged engine, which should complement the 6's already sharp handling.
If fuel economy is a concern, you should know that the 6's base engine comes up a few mpg shy of its contemporaries. There is no hybrid variant, and all-wheel drive is not available. Aside from these omissions, though, the 2018 Mazda 6's upmarket style and enjoyable performance make it an excellent option for the family who likes the experience of driving.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Mazda 6 as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize Sedans for this year.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Mazda 6 is a midsize family sedan that's available in five trim levels. The base Sport is fairly bare in terms of features, but it comes in at a reasonable price. The Touring and the Grand Touring have the features most shoppers would want, and the latter includes a more powerful engine. For a more premium experience, consider the Grand Touring Reserve or the Signature, which come with more attractive exterior trimmings, higher-quality materials and even more features.
The entry-level Sport starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (187 horsepower, 186 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed manual transmission. (A six-speed automatic is optional.) Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, push-button start, 60/40-split folding rear seats, non-illuminated vanity mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
An 8-inch entertainment touchscreen includes Bluetooth, one USB port and a six-speaker sound system. Standard safety features include blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Advanced safety and driver assistance features are available in the optional i-Activsense package, which includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
It's worthwhile to step up to the Touring trim, which adds features throughout the vehicle. A six-speed automatic is standard, as are 19-inch wheels, proximity keyless entry, automatic wipers, automatic high-beams, simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver seat, illuminated vanity mirrors and a sunroof. Rear passengers get additional vents in the center console and a center armrest with two USB charging ports. The safety features of the i-Activsense package are standard with the Touring, too.
The Grand Touring starts where the Touring leaves off, but it adds the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (250 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque) and the six-speed automatic. The infotainment system gets more power, too, with the addition of an 11-speaker stereo, satellite radio and navigation.
You can tell the Grand Touring Reserve apart by its upgraded LED lighting and the addition of a rear spoiler. Comfort improvements for the driver include a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and driver-seat memory settings. There's leather seating for everyone else, along with ventilation for the front row and heating for the rear. Above the gauge cluster sits a transparent panel that works like a head-up display, showing information such as traffic signs and your current speed. This trim also has adaptive front lighting, which turns the low beams in conjunction with the steering wheel to improve visibility at night.
Aside from the addition of a gunmetal front grille, the fully loaded Signature trim level primarily improves the look and feel of the interior. You'll find higher-quality materials such as microfiber suede, wood, and upgraded leather, along with the addition of LED interior lighting and a frameless rearview mirror. Other feature additions consist of a digital gauge cluster and a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors.
Noise & vibration7.5
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out8.0
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
Audio & navigation7.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.