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Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque

Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque

The Mazda6 never needed much. It looked awesome, was a lot of fun to drive and even came with a manual gearbox. It only ever really lacked one thing: power. Now the 2018 Mazda6 is here with the turbocharged 2.5-liter turbo engine from the CX-9, and it may just be the best front-drive midsize sedan on the market now.

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Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque

In addition, it’s more “premium” now. That’s a buzzword that gets thrown around way too much, but Mazda’s doing this for a reason. It’s a tiny company, all things considered. It’s hard for Mazda to compete with giants like Ford and Toyota and Honda. So the answer is to go more upscale, to make cars more profitable by making them nicer and, yes, somewhat more expensive.

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So the result is that the updated Mazda6—as well as the CX-9 and others—occupy a weird space between a mass-market brand and a true luxury one. But there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when the cars look great and cater to enthusiasts.

Here’s what’s new. The updated 6 isn’t a new car, but a heavy update. Improvements include a retuned chassis for a better ride and less noise, vibration and harshness, more tech features and a heavily revised interior with available Nappa leather and wood accents.

Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque

Now, the real goodness is under the hood: a 2.5-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 RPM. Those are the power figures we’ve always craved from the 6, a superb driver’s car in every aspect but its anemic engine—until now. A six-speed automatic is standard there.

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The base engine is still a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four with 184 HP, and that can still be had with a manual. Sadly the more powerful turbo engine cannot. That’s a shame, because this car would be rad as hell with the beefy turbo motor and a stick. Oh well.

The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale in spring 2018 and pricing has not been announced yet, but expect a bump over the outgoing car’s $21,495 base price.

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Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
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Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
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Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
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Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque
Illustration for article titled Behold The Turbocharged 2018 Mazda6 With A Much Nicer Interior And 310 LB-FT Of Torque

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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DISCUSSION

Can anyone enlighten me as to why automakers sometimes only offer the higher output motors with an automatic? I get that power = nice and automatic = nice for a lot of people so it makes sense to group it together from a packaging standpoint for that audience, but surely part of the reason an automaker drops a bigger engine in an existing model is to appeal to people who care about performance? And shouldn’t Mazda, of all companies, understand that the portion of their buyers that cares about a bigger engine cares about having the stick, too - from a performance point of view? Is it so much more expensive to offer the turbo motor with a stick, from a regulatory point of view, that the resulting costs outweigh the benefits of projected sales from turbo/stick variants?