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2018 Mazda Mazda6 Review

The 2018 Mazda6 finishes in the middle third of our midsize car rankings. This sedan is one of the most athletic and upscale cars in the class, but its below-average predicted reliability rating keeps it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile and fun to drive
  • Powerful available turbocharged engine
  • Upscale interior
  • Comfortable, supportive seats
  • Rivals have roomier seats
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2018

  • Available turbocharged engine
  • Base engine gained cylinder deactivation technology
  • Revamped trim lineup
  • Redesigned dashboard and improved interior materials

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Mazda Mazda6 Overview

Is the 2018 Mazda6 a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2018 Mazda6 is a good used midsize car that will appeal to a range of buyers. The Mazda6 is a good daily commuter vehicle, and it delivers an engaging performance that should satisfy drivers who want a little more of a thrill behind the wheel.

Check out the 2018 Mazda6's strengths:

  • More fun to drive than most other midsize sedans
  • Optional turbocharged engine feels powerful in all situations
  • High-quality interior materials
  • Seats are comfortable and supportive
  • Infotainment system is easy to use

But pay attention to its weaknesses:

  • Seats aren't as spacious as in some competitors
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mazda6 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 44 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Mazda6?

Based on listings for the 2018 Mazda6 on our site, the average price is $23,200, which is above average for the class. Prices range from $18,300 to $29,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Mazda6 Cost to Own?

At the time of writing, five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are not available for the 2018 Mazda6.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mazda6?

Prices for the 2019 Mazda6 start at $23,800. For 2019, Mazda introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto availability and made a few driver aids standard, such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. Additionally, the six-speed manual transmission was discontinued. You can find used 2018 models equipped with the active safety features, so unless you must have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, save some money and buy used.

Read about the new Mazda6 »

The 2018 Mazda6 is part of a generation that began with the 2014 model year. In years past, each new Mazda6 model gained a few new features. For example, the 2016 model got standard Bluetooth and a larger infotainment screen, while the 2017 model added the MazdaConnect infotainment system and a rearview camera to the standard features list.

For 2018, the Mazda6 gained several substantial updates as part of a refresh. Mazda introduced two new trims and a new engine to the lineup (a 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder), upgraded the interior materials, and added many new standard and available features, including heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, an 8-inch touch screen, and more. If you buy used, we recommend sticking with the 2018 model.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mazda6 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Mazda6?

The 2018 Mazda6 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Mazda6 reliability »

2018 Mazda6 Recalls

There are no recalls for the 2018 Mazda6 as of this writing.

See more information on Mazda6 safety recalls »

Which Used Mazda6 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Mazda6 comes in five trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. The Grand Touring and Grand Touring Reserve are the two best choices. Each features the new-for-2018 turbo-four engine, as well as a great array of infotainment features.

  • Mazda6 Sport: The Sport comes with a 187-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include the MazdaConnect infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. 
  • Mazda6 Touring: The Touring trim swaps out the manual transmission for a six-speed automatic and gains a moonroof, synthetic leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, two additional USB ports, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.
  • Mazda6 Grand Touring: The Grand Touring, and all higher trims, comes with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It also gains an 11-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, and navigation.
  • Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve: The Grand Touring Reserve comes with leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive headlights.
  • Mazda6 Signature: The Signature adds Nappa leather upholstery and a surround-view camera.

See 2018 Mazda6 trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and 24-hour roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

According to our research, Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer. Honda, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Mazda6?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Mazda6 the highest rating of Good in all six crashworthiness tests. Headlights in the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well they illuminate the road ahead. All other trims received the second-lowest score of Marginal. Mazda6s equipped with the Advanced Smart City Brake Support system earned the highest rating of Superior for front-crash prevention, while models with the standard Smart City Brake Support system received the second-highest rating of Advanced.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Mazda6 a five-out-of-five-star overall crash test rating. It earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • Smart City Brake Support (a low-speed automatic braking system)

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support (adds pedestrian detection to the low-speed automatic braking system)
  • head-up display
  • traffic sign recognition
  • surround-view camera
  • rear parking sensors

See Mazda6 safety scores »

2018 Mazda6 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Mazda6 or 2018 Toyota Camry?

The 2018 Toyota Camry finishes much higher than the Mazda6 in our midsize car rankings, and with good reason. It's just as fun to drive as the Mazda6, but it has stronger engines and gets better gas mileage. The Camry has an attractive interior, two rows of spacious seats, and slightly more trunk space than the Mazda6. The Camry also has more standard driver assistance features than the Mazda and a much higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2018 Mazda6 or 2018 Honda Accord?

The 2018 Honda Accord may not match the Mazda's performance chops, but it's in the conversation. It also gets better gas mileage. Inside, the Accord is quiet and comfortable. The rear seats are more spacious than almost every rival, and the Accord has roughly 2 more cubic feet of cargo space. The Honda offers a lengthy list of standard and available features, including things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which you can't get in the 2018 Mazda6.

Compare the Mazda6, Camry, and Accord »

2018 Mazda6 Performance

How Does the 2018 Mazda6 Drive?

The Mazda6's base engine gets the job done when driving around town, but it can feel underpowered in demanding situations like highway passing and climbing hills. It also makes a fair bit of noise at higher rpm. The turbocharged engine delivers superior acceleration and never feels overmatched, making it a much more enjoyable power plant.

Speaking of enjoyment, few midsize cars can match this Mazda's sporty feel, making it one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. It's agile and stays planted around turns, and it has sharp steering. It also rides smoothly over most road surfaces.

  • Base engine: 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engine: 227-250-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder (horsepower depends on what grade of gasoline you use)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available six-speed automatic (standard with the turbo-four engine)
Does the 2018 Mazda6 Get Good Gas Mileage?

With the base engine and the automatic transmission, the Mazda6 gets average fuel economy for a midsize sedan. Rivals like the 2018 Toyota Camry and 2018 Honda Accord earn better ratings.

  • Base four-cylinder, manual transmission: 24/33 mpg city/highway
  • Base four-cylinder, automatic transmission: 26/35 mpg
  • Turbo-four: 23/31 mpg

Read more about Mazda6 performance »

2018 Mazda6 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Mazda6 Seat?

The 2018 Mazda6 seats five people in two rows. Its cabin looks great, and the materials quality stands out in the class, coming in at near-luxury levels. The front seats are spacious and supportive. The rear seats are comfortable, but they aren't as roomy as some rivals' rear seats. You also have to duck a bit to climb into the back because of the sloped roofline.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • genuine leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Mazda6?

The 2018 Mazda6 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Mazda6's LATCH system the highest ease-of-use rating of Good+.

2018 Mazda6 Features

The MazdaConnect infotainment system comes with a touch screen, but the display only responds to touch inputs when the car is parked. You must use a rotary dial controller to adjust settings while on the go. Beyond that quirk, the system works well. It has a user-friendly interface, and the screen is easy to see. You have to go through multiple steps for some functions, however, and it lacks support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

  • Standard infotainment features: a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an 8-inch touch screen
  • Available infotainment features: two additional USB ports, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, and navigation
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start
  • Other available features: a moonroof

See 2018 Mazda6 specs »

Read more about Mazda6 interior »

2018 Mazda6 Dimensions

Mazda6 Cargo Space

The Mazda6 has 14.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about average for a midsize sedan. You have some flexibility if you need to haul larger items because the rear seats fold down. The wide trunk opening makes it easy to load cargo.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Mazda6 Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Curb weight: 3,326 to 3,560 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Mazda6 Built?

Mazda built the 2016 Mazda6 in Japan.

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