Review: 2018 Mazda6 Signature – Part 2

The Mazda6 in the recent past has only come with a Skyactiv 2.5L normally aspirated four cylinder engine that put out 187 horsepower and 186 pound feet of torque. While those don’t sound like big numbers, none of the Mazda6 models that I’ve driven ever felt lacking in any way when it came to power. And quite frankly I saw no need for them to change anything. Now that engine is still available in the 2018 model year (and as a bonus it comes with Cylinder Deactivation technology). But for the first time, you have a second option if you need more power:

IMG_1551.jpg

This is the Skyactiv 2.5L turbo engine that puts out 227 horsepower (250 if you use premium gas instead of regular) and 310 pound feet of torque. If this engine and those numbers sound familiar, it’s because a similar engine is in the Mazda CX-9 7 passenger crossover. In this application, this takes a car that is already fun to drive, and amps it up by several orders of magnitude. If you put your foot down, it will leap off the line (in fact, I chirped the tires accelerating off the line from a light). Turbo lag exists if you look hard for it, but it is minimal and you blow by it in a blink of an eye. While it’s not quite “pin your back to the seat” acceleration, its acceleration is very authoritative and you will have lots of power for any situation that you find yourself in. Be it passing trucks or merging onto the highway. Plus it sounds great when you put your foot down.But if you want something closer to that “pin your back to the seat experience”, hit the sport switch and hang on. Though I will note that whether it is in normal mode or sport mode, it’s also one of those cars that has enough power and enough smoothness that it can get you to license suspension country in a hurry if you are not careful. It’s paired to a six speed automatic that in the Signature trim level has paddle shifters for those who like to shift gears themselves. But this is a well sorted transmission that really doesn’t require any human intervention at all. Thus I would leave it alone and let it do its thing. For those of you who want a real manual with a clutch pedal, that option is not available anymore. Likely because like many other car makers have discovered, the take-up on manuals was likely low.

#SaveTheManuals

The accelerator is easy to modulate. Ditto for the brakes. Noise, harshness and vibration is approaching luxury car low. The only times I heard anything was when I put my foot down to accelerate was the growl of the engine. Body roll is minimal and the suspension is firm without being so firm that it shakes you to bits unless you are on really rough roads. It’s also extremely agile and moniker of “sports sedan” fits it very well. What helps with that is G-Vectoring Control which responds to driver inputs with fewer steering adjustments, so your vehicle behaves as you intend and you enjoy a more enjoyable drive. It has a great amount of road feel which makes it very easy to figure out what the car is doing beneath you and the steering is well weighted at all speeds. Finally, visibility is excellent in all directions.

In terms of fuel economy, I am currently getting 9L per 100 KMs which is quite good as I am driving in city and highway traffic, and I am making no attempt to drive in any way that saves fuel.

Tomorrow I will discuss the interior which can be described in two words: “Class Above.” Tune in tomorrow to find out why.

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