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.
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 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.
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.