Sedans

2018 Mazda6 gets a whole lot fancier for not a lot more money

Mazda's mid-size is set to hit showrooms next month but how much will it cost now that it's packed with premium?

When the refreshed Mazda6 got its gentle shove upmarket at last year's LA Auto Show, we were pretty excited. The 6 was already a nice car that was unerringly pleasant to drive, but some of the materials used inside felt like uninspired choices, and sound deadening was lacking. Our big concern, however, was how all this new premium material would affect the Mazda's price. Now we have our answer.

In short, it hasn't. Exciting, right? How often does something get better and end up costing the same or less than the thing it replaced? Here's how the pricing structure breaks down.

Mazda's mid-size has gone upmarket and we still love it.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The entry-level Mazda6 Sport goes up by $5 over the 2017.5 model. That's effectively nothing. That's Starbucks money. And for that extra five greenbacks, you get a whole host of upgrades like standard automatic emergency braking, Mazda Connect infotainment and LED headlights and taillights. Nothing to sneeze at, certainly.

From there you get into the Touring trim level and the price skyrockets by $3,750 (that was a joke by the way). The Touring gets rear-seat HVAC, leatherette seating, 19-inch wheels, keyless entry and the six-speed automatic transmission becomes standard equipment.

The interior benefits from nicer materials and more sound deadening in addition to upgraded tech.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The Grand Touring starts at $29,200, and that money gets you into the Skyactiv-G 2.5T turbocharged engine and its dynamic pressure turbocharger. While the Mazda6 has always been among the best-driving sedans in its class, it always felt a little down on power, but the dynamic pressure turbo found in the 2.5T engine should go a long way towards curing that.

Lastly, there is a new top-trim level called Signature. Previously this level of trim was only available on the CX-9, but for $34,750 of your American dollars, you can get Nappa leather, Japanese Sen wood, and Ultrasuede. You also get a 360-degree camera, a configurable TFT gauge panel, parking sensors and a frameless rear view mirror.

The Skyactiv-G 2.5T uses Mazda's dynamic pressure turbo that increases response at low engine speeds.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

In all, the 2018 Mazda6 still represents a pretty serious value proposition, even at higher trim levels. We're glad to see that premium doesn't mean boring and that the Sport trim will still have the six-speed manual transmission when it hits dealer showrooms next month.