The Mazda 6 has always been the mid size sedan to buy if you like to have fun on the back roads. It was by far the best handling in this segment, and now for 2019 Mazda has transplanted a new heart and given it a new trim level. Have these changes allowed Mazda to steal some customers away from Honda and Toyota?
Obviously, this is not an all-new car for Mazda, but instead some styling updates and the aforementioned engine change. The engine is rated at 227 horsepower, 250 if you can find 93 octane, and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same turbocharged motor launched in the latest CX-9. This is a substantial difference compared to the last Mazda 6 that we tested. Torque is your friend here, and really helps get the car off the line spiritedly. The six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice and it is showing its age. Competitors have eight, nine, and even ten speed automatics now. Mazda could have gone a step further and added a couple of gears. That being said, we still managed 28mpg in over 500 miles of combined driving.
The new Signature trim is the new pinnacle of the Mazda 6 lineup. It features nappa leather that stretches throughout, a new digital screen in the gauge cluster, and graphite wheels. This year’s updated fascia with tweaked headlight and grille design keep the 6 feeling fresh. Unfortunately, Mazda’s infotainment system is still not the greatest. It does not allow touchscreen usability when the car is in motion. This becomes a problem because the various sub-menus are difficult to navigate when driving, often resulting in taking your eyes off the road. The seats now feature a cooling setting which actually sucks the hot air off of you rather than blowing cooling air onto you. It is a noticeable change, and they worked phenomenally. There are lots of safety features as well which are all standard on the Signature trim level.
The Mazda 6 is definitely a comfortable car. The suspension was re-tuned this year allowing for some more give. The larger wheels do contribute to some tire noise, but the trade-off was that the grip was fairly substantial when driving on our favorite backroads and even some twisty highway entry ramps. The steering felt unnecessarily heavy off center, but provided a reasonable amount of feel. But the new engine has brought more life back into the 6. Mazda hasn’t missed the mark with this new Mazda 6. It is still the most dynamic in the segment, and is still a great value if you can get past that infotainment screen.
|2018 Mazda 6 Signature
|Soul Red Crystal Metallic||$595|
|As Tested MSRP||$36,240|
Simple Things: 2014 Mazda 6