Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
Upon hearing that Mazda revealed an updated version of its Mazda6 midsize sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The Mazda6 Signature comes complete with a new SKYACTIVE-G2.5T turbocharged engine, revised look and a brand new elegant interior. I was fortunate enough to test out two beautiful models. One being Soul Red Crystal and the other in a gleaming Snowflake White Pearl color.
The Mazda6 is also known as the Mazda Atenza in China and Japan and has been produced since 2002. It replaced the Mazda Capella and was also commonly known in other major markets as the Mazda 626. This has always been considered one of Mazda’s best vehicles to drive as well as being budget friendly.
I love the redesign of the 2018 Mazda6 Signature. Upon first look I was immediately drawn to the larger gunmetal front grille, with standard LED running lamps. The rear also had new taillights and a wing. The new tailpipe is setup nicely alongside a fresh set of 19-inch alloy wheels. The general profile and wheel design show off a cleaner shape. The new sporty look is a definite upgrade to the previous model with a luxury feel to it.
The interior screamed elegance and comfort. The new Signature dashboard is put together with Nappa leather and Japanese Sen Wood trim. The Signature trim level is also along the doors. The Nappa leather-trimmed sports seats are wider than before and are heated and ventilated. I feel the seats are very comfortable and made my commute delightful. The rear-seat passengers receive all the trim, soft materials, and accent stitching too.
The 2018 Mazda6 Signature has upgraded the tech too. The interior has a few discreet buttons, the infotainment controller, and a steering wheel and standard instrument cluster. The Signature package has navigation, a head-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, a heated steering wheel, rear-seat USB ports and AC vents, heated rear seats, an 11-speaker Bose sound system, adaptive front lighting system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic capability, collision warning, lane keeping, a rearview camera, and blind-spot monitoring. The redesign also includes a Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, as is the 8.0-inch infotainment screen, a 7.0-inch configurable LCD instrument cluster display and a 360-degree camera system.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both offered in the 2018 Mazda6 Signature. Both are a restricted version of your phone’s system, that runs on the Mazda’s infotainment interface. Drivers and passengers can control music, navigate commands and communicate by way of voice commands or the car’s manual controls. Android Auto does not look as similar as the app layout, on the phone, as Apple CarPlay does. The voice recognition is more difficult as well with Android Auto because the microphone button must be held down. With Apple CarPlay, just say “Hey, Siri” and hope that she can make out your commands. It can become tedious at times. Overall, I prefer connecting to Mazda’s Bluetooth feature but I understand the Android Auto and CarPlay systems are intended to be used while driving and hands free.
With two road trips ahead of me, I knew that I was going to get a thorough feel for how the Mazda6 Signature rides. Let’s start off by addressing that the Mazda6 Signature comes with a 2.5-liter, turbocharged, inline-4 engine with 227 hp and a whopping 310 lb-ft of torque. This comes in automatic only and not a 6-speed manual. You will need the Sport model for that. The engine/transmission combination drives excellently, with strong pull in almost every condition. It has paddle shifters and a race-orientation manual shifter slot, which all respond quickly, as well as a speedy Sport mode.
The ride is smooth, handles corners beautifully and brakes with tremendous force. The suspension includes new shocks with internal rebound springs, new geometry, and a hard-mounted steering rack. It soaked up the bumps in the road, the ride was calm. The steering is quick and precise. The six-speed auto cruises on that turbo torque and is just enough to get off the line and just as vigorous when passing a slow driver on the highway. I get pleasure of out driving, and Mazda met my expectations.
The Mazda6 is extremely competitive in gas mileage to the Accord or Camry. With 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg combined, I felt that Mazda truly made this a priority. My wallet highly enjoyed the time spent with the Mazda6. I would recommend the 2018 Mazda6 Signature for those in the market. After experiencing this vehicle on the highway, in the city, in the mountains and on winding curvy roads, it solidified my respect and admiration to the redesigned 2018 Mazda6 Signature. Enjoy the photo gallery.