2018 Mazda6 Signature: Premium Package without a Premium Price

    Posted by Shane Kalicharan about 6 months ago
    Photos and Words by Kevin Wylie

    Life goes in stages. One day, you’re moving out into a condo and starting a new life. Sure, it’s compact, but it suits your needs and fits your budget. Before you know it, you start a family and that condo is suddenly looking a little cramped. It was what you needed at the time, but now you've grown up and life starts to demand a little more. That is what the Mazda6 is to the 3. The Mazda3 is an excellent car and a perfect starting point. As life changes though, it may no longer fit your needs. The Mazda6 steps up to take on the challenge, and it does it quite well.
    The Mazda6's new Signature spec is luxurious and matched with the Soul Red Crystal paint, this car is a visual masterpiece. There are substantial updates to the new model and it's clear that every detail in the car was well thought out; from the way the door trim seamlessly works its way into the door handle, to the front grill extending under the headlight. There’s no getting around it – this is a very good looking car. The newly designed grill also does away with the usual vertical slats which gives it a cleaner, more streamlined look. The Signature’s interior has been updated with the use of Nappa leather, real Sen wood panels and Ultrasuede trim.
    But, we digress. It’s time for the fun stuff. New this year are two powertrain offerings including a 2.5L with Cylinder Deactivation and a 2.5L with Dynamic Pressure Turbo (DPT). Pairing the 2.5L Turbo with Mazda's new G-Vectoring Control, this car is loads of fun. Plenty of torque and superb handling means it can go from calm city car to that classic Mazda sportiness. Cornering in this new Mazda6 gives plenty of confidence and even begs for more speed than you might expect from a car of this size. We found the gearbox to be responsive and crisp. Slap the gear selector into manual mode and the shifts almost instantaneously – a large improvement over Mazda’s prior transmissions. The Mazda6 Signature’s engine and transmission combination truly make it a joy to drive. The optioned adaptive cruise control makes for relaxing drives. When a slower vehicle is in your path, the Mazda gently slows down. And likewise, when the path is clear, the car will smoothly accelerate to your previously set speed.
    The Mazda6, like any car, is not perfect. The infotainment system is a weak spot and not having Apple or Android car play doesn't help either. Mazda say as of 2019, that will be amended and older years can have the smartphone connectivity retrofitted. We also took some issue with the reverse camera. Shift into reverse and the camera provides two views: an ultra wide shot where part of the vehicle’s bumper is visible on each side – but the guide lines don't adjust with steering. You can also select a slightly tighter, less distorted shot with guidelines that adjust to steering input. The latter also includes a 360 degree view, which is fantastic for those tight spots. Having the option is nice, but it always defaults to the worse of the two. We can’t think of a reason why anyone would choose the wider view over the other. Even after briefly taking the car out of reverse, the car goes back to the weaker view, and once again you have to reach to the screen to hit the button. If there is an option to change this, we could not find it – especially after trying to navigate through the sometimes unintuitive infotainment system. The active driving display, however, is a welcome addition. It provided useful information and wasn’t distracting, but we would have liked to see gearing information when the car is shifted to manual mode.
    Pricing on the new Mazda6 starts a $27,000, but the jump to the signature spec pushes that cost to $38,000 before options and any other fees. The price as tested was $41,000, which, considering the options and comfort level, is excellent value for money. Buyers looking for more room and more luxury without breaking the bank would be remiss to not consider a Mazda6 Signature.
    Mazda, Mazda6, 2018 Mazda6 Signature, Skyactive,

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