2018 Mazda 6 Signature Second Take: Still An Attractive, Sporty Turbocharged Sedan [Review]

2018 Mazda 6 Signature
[Photo: Arv Voss]
The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature sedan represents the new top-line trim for the model. Beneath that are four other trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Grand Touring Reserve. The feature content leaves little to be desired, and comfortable seating is provided for five passengers. Neither too small, or too big– it is more practical than a smaller sports car. However, it’s not overly bulky, especially when compared to large SUVs. Other factors to consider is that pricing is within the financial reach of the majority of value-minded consumer’s means. Fuel economy ratings also fall within an environmentally sound range. The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature sedan has something else going for it: the styling is emotionally stirring, It exceeds the mostly boring, bland flavor of the majority of its competitors.


The Mazda6 has been re-engineered and refined for 2018, delivering a host of newly available technologies and premium features, including an available turbocharged 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine and materials such as Deep Chestnut Nappa leather and Japanese Sen wood in the top-tier Signature trim level. The all-new interior also includes fully redesigned seats with high-density, vibration-absorbing urethane foam that helps to improve comfort and reduce fatigue.

Beneath its outer skin, the Mazda 6 utilizes thicker steel in the floor for sound abatement. Its suspension has been completely re-engineered, producing a more refined driving experience. The front grille projects a strong impression of horizontal flow, which creates a bold yet elegant front face.

New for 2018, technology highlights include new ventilated front seats, standard dual automatic climate control, a new reconfigurable 7.0-inch TFT gauge display, a new 360-degree camera system with front and rear parking sensors and a windshield-projected heads-up display. Available safety features include Smart City Brake Support, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist and adaptive high beams.

2018 Mazda 6 Signature Review
[Photo: Mazda]


2018 changes inside the Mazda 6 include a new steering wheel design, a new seat back pocket design and enhanced sound insulation. Mazda has also used better-feeling materials, elevating the level of quality. A freestanding seven-inch center display is mounted on the top of the dashboard. For the driver, an Active Driving Display provides speed and other important driving information in real time. The MazdaConnect infotainment system makes it easier to take advantage of functions including internet connectivity and access to social networking services. The Grand Touring models add traffic sign recognition, Lane Keep Assist and a new 4.6-inch full-color TFT display.

The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature offers an impressive slate of advanced safety technologies. Safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Smart Brake Support collision avoidance braking. Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist are also available. Seating is supportive, with bolstered front bucket seats and a spacious rear bench. A 60/40-split fold-down feature is standard for rear seats. A six- or eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is standard on all but the Sport model.


Mazda did not forget about connectivity in the Mazda 6 either. The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature features a 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen that intuitively displays phone, audio and navigation functions. Streamlined steering wheel controls enable an intuitive operation of the infotainment system. The 8.0-inch MazdaConnect infotainment system features a range of streaming apps, but does not support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay at this time.

A six-speaker sound system is standard for Sport and Touring models. Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models feature an 11-speaker Bose system as standard equipment. Navigation is available for the Touring trim, and is standard on Grand Touring and Signature models. The navigation module uses an SD card storing the maps, which owners can regularly update at any computer.

2018 Mazda 6
The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. [Photo: TFLcar]


Base power for the 2018 Mazda 6 still comes from a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine. The six-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions also carry over. However, the big news is the addition of a more powerful turbocharged engine. The turbocharged SkyActiv-G engine, shared with the Mazda CX-9, boosts performance figures to 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel. When running on regular fuel, the horsepower rating stands at 227 horsepower, while torque remains the same.

The powertrain delivers a balance of linear, powerful acceleration, and fuel economy. The Sport trim sees Mazda’s SkyActiv-MT six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. The six-speed automatic is available on the Sport, and its the only transmission option on other trim levels. Fuel economy for the 2018 Mazda 6 Signature model is EPA rated at 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway. Handling attributes are athletic, with a solid ride and minimal body roll. Piloting the Mazda6 Signature sedan delivers a driving experience normally only found in more expensive sports sedans.

2018 Mazda 6 Signature Second Take review
2018 Mazda 6 Signature [Photo: Mazda]


The 2018 Mazda 6 Signature sedan is a worthy flagship sedan in every respect. The 2.5-liter turbocharged engine delivers more than satisfying levels of acceleration. Its six-speed automatic transmission changes gears up and down with silky smoothness, whether in fully automatic mode or when utilizing the responsive paddle shifters.

The base price for the Mazda 6 Signature is around $34,750, while options including the Soul Red Crystal metallic paint and destination charges bumped the final price tag to $36,435.

Adding to the attractiveness of purchase, all Mazda vehicles come with the Mazda Certified Roadside Assistance Program. In addition, Mazda includes a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. The powertrain gets a 5-year/60,000 mile warranty, well the corrosion warranty stands at 5-years with unlimited mileage.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Mazda 6 Signature

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $34,750
Price as Tested:
Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder
Drivetrain (Layout): Transversely mounted front engine, front-wheel drive.
Horsepower: 250 hp @ 5,000 rpm (premium fuel); 227 hp on regular fuel
Torque: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic with Electronic Lockup Torque Converter
Suspension: Front: Independent MacPherson strut type, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar

Rear: Independent Multi-link type, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front)
Tires: Falken Ziex P225/45 R19 99W all-seasons
Fuel capacity: 16.4 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 23 mpg city / 31 mpg highway


Wheelbase: 111.4 inches
Length: 191.5 inches w/o license plate holder.
Width: 72.4 inches
Height: 57.1 inches
Turning Circle: 36.7 feet
Curb Weight: 3,427 pounds