Posts Tagged ‘mazda’

First Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Review

2018 mazda6 review


2018 Mazda6 Trims & Prices

USA Trims & MSRP:

  • Sport – US$21,950
  • Touring – US$25,700
  • Grand Touring – US$29,200
  • Grand Touring Reserve – US$31,700
  • Signature – US$34,750

More specs, pricing info: Mazda6 USA

Canada Trims & MSRP:

  • GS – C$27,000
  • GS-L – C$31,600
  • GT – C$35,800
  • Signature – C$38,800

More specs, pricing info: Mazda6 Canada

New Mazda6 Sedan Review

Vernon, B.C. — The 2018 Mazda6 has a two-cylinder motor. Some of the time, that is. Launching a somewhat radical refresh of a car that first hit the roads in 2012, Mazda’s changes go more than skin deep. 

2 New Mazda6 Engines

Two new motors are on tap, a 2.5-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder with cylinder deactivation, and a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder delivering more than 300 foot-pounds of torque.

2.5L Engine – as tested

The motors are the big news here, one for fuel economy and one for added power (and not bad fuel economy). For our drive, the normally aspirated 2.5-litre motor, when cruising on the highway and running on two cylinders, dropped down to five litres per 100 kilometres on the instant fuel-economy display. For a midsize sedan, that’s hybrid territory without being a hybrid.

2.5L Turbo

The second motor, a variant of the 2.5-litre dynamic pressure turbo in the CX-9 crossover (read the review here), has peak horsepower of 250 and peak torque of 310 pound-feet. The nice flat torque curve transforms the Mazda6 from a capable family cruiser to a legitimate sports sedan that still only burns 10 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 7.5 on the highway.

There are about 75 changes —  to the car’s glass, wipers, acoustic sealing, floor pan, window channels and door seals, among others — that drastically cut interior noise.

There are new chassis and suspension changes to improve noise, handling and reduce weight.

2018 mazda6 review rear side view red
There are enough changes it really qualifies as a redesign rather than a refresh, but it will take a knowledgeable observer to notice the changes from the outside. Pic: Kelly Taylor

Mazda6 Interior

There are tweaks to the exterior design and a radical revision to the interior.

“Here’s a photo showing the changes to the interior in red,” said Mark Peyman, Mazda Canada’s national manager of product planning and strategy. The entire photo was red.

There’s a new dash design, new infotainment screen that’s an inch larger, new instrument panel display that declutters the gauges and uses a different font to improve readability. New seats, new centre console, new door panels and new air vents.

The new instrument panel replaces the speedometer with a seven-inch LCD screen that digitally mimics a conventional analog speedo. The change allows the speedometer to display only one measurement standard at a time, eliminating the clutter of a metric and Imperial set of numbers. (You can switch it between standards when crossing the border.)

2018 mazda6 review interior
There’s a new dash design, new infotainment screen that’s an inch larger, new instrument panel display that declutters the gauges and uses a different font to improve readability. New seats, new centre console, new door panels and new air vents. Pic: Kelly Taylor

Exterior Updates

There are enough changes it really qualifies as a redesign rather than a refresh, but it will take a knowledgeable observer to notice the changes from the outside. Peyman said the overall shape has held up well the last six years, so only minor changes were implemented, including a new rear fascia, new front, new headlights that integrate the fog lamps into the headlight housing, a larger grille, as well as a new grille design that has gone from horizontal bars to a crosshatch design.

New 2018 Mazda6 Signature: Premium Offering

The Mazda6 also gets a top-line Signature trim level, which first appeared on the CX-9 crossover. Signature loads the 6 to the rafters with technology, Nappa leather, ultrasuede accent panels on the dash and door panels, Sen wood accents. There are no options.

It includes high-speed autonomous braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, the turbo motor and a gunmetal finish on the grille designed to catch the light and add a sense of depth to its appearance.

2018 mazda6 review front sideview red
the overall shape has held up well the last six years, so only minor changes were implemented, including a new rear fascia, new front, new headlights that integrate the fog lamps into the headlight housing, a larger grille, as well as a new grille design that has gone from horizontal bars to a crosshatch design. Pic: Kelly Taylor

Mazda Premium

It is, interestingly enough, part of Mazda’s plan to expand the reach of its cars into the lower strata of premium brands, a strategy the company calls Mazda Premium. Peyman said the push is paying off, with increasing numbers of premium-brand shoppers including Mazda in their searches.

“It’s an exciting time for us in the brand, it’s a good transformation to be going through,” he said. “At the same time, we have to be careful to not say we’re becoming a premium brand.”

Instead, Mazda — which toyed with but dismissed the idea of creating a luxury brand (Amati) at the same time Honda, Toyota and Nissan launched Acura, Lexus and Infiniti — is maintaining a focus on the mainstream buyers, while offering the Signature model trim to draw in luxury-brand shoppers with a loaded, premium vehicle selling for less than the base price of its luxury competitors.

Sadly, the previous generation’s six-speed manual transmission has been sent packing. Starting with the 2018 model, only a six-speed Skyactiv automatic is available.

For example, a well-equipped base model Mazda6 begins at US$21,950 (Sport trim in US) or C$27,000 (GS in Canada). The Signature series sells for US$34,750 or C$38,800. Peyman said the company expects the majority of buyers to opt for GT or Signature models.

The 2.5-litre normally aspirated motor is the only motor offered on the base-model GS in Canada. For C$2,000, buyers of the GS-L model can upgrade to the 2.5-litre turbo. On GT and Signature, the turbo is the only offering.

Sadly, the previous generation’s six-speed manual transmission has been sent packing. Starting with the 2018 model, only a six-speed Skyactiv automatic is available.

2018 mazda6 review rear view red
Pic: Kelly Taylor

2018 Mazda6 Driving Impressions

The ride and handling of the Mazda6 are exemplary, thanks to some revisions to front and rear suspensions. Bushings have been eliminated from the mounting points for the steering rack, improving steering feel and eliminating play. As well, changes to the rear multilink suspension reduce noise transfer to the cabin.

The car tracks around corners exceptionally well, with little lean and balanced handling that almost feels like a rear-wheel driver. The lightly sprung and well-damped suspension soaks up bumps, which also do not faze the car’s handling when you hit a bump in a faze.


The midsize sedan segment is going through a period of decline, with sales down throughout the segment, yet the Mazda6 has been growing, with the 2017 model gaining 23.8 per cent in sales to 2,541 units. Only the Volkswagen Passat, at three per cent, grew in 2017 in a segment down overall by 13.5 per cent.

With the new changes, with the addition of the Signature series, it appears Mazda is set to grow the Mazda6 even more.

2018 Mazda6 Specs

Engines: 2.5-litre four-cylinder with cylinder deactivation; 2.5-litre turbo

Power: 187 hp @ 6,000 r.p.m. (2.5); 250 hp @ 5,000 r.p.m. (2.5 turbo)

Torque: 186 lb-ft. @ 6,500 r.p.m. (2.5); 310 lb-ft. @ 2,000 r.p.m. (2.5 turbo)

Transmission: six-speed automatic

Steering: electric power rack-and-pinion

Brakes: four-wheel discs

Suspension: MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar, front; multilink with coil springs and stabilizer bar, rear.

Fuel economy (l/100 km, city/highway): 9.1/6.7 (2.5); 10/7.5 (2.5 turbo)

This post First Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Review appeared first on by Kelly Taylor.

Return of Mazda’s RX Supercar


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!! The long awaited car of redemption from Mazda may finally be coming. For those of us who loved the RX7 from the 90’s but loathed its predecessor the RX8, here comes the RX9 to totally redeem things for Mazda. News is starting to surface that Mazda executives have greenlighted the designs and production of the next generation RX.

Although the name is not official, the RX9 moniker follows suit to what Mazda used as a naming convention for their last generation replacement to the RX7. At this point, there is not much information to share about the RX9 as everything is still in the design phase. To stay competitive in the market place, it’ll likely push out somewhere in the vicinity of 400hp. Power, of course, will come from a rotary engine. However, displacement and forced induction details are unknown. What will be interesting to see is whether Mazda can somehow integrate their rotary technology with EV technology just as many other manufacturers are doing today.

More information about the car will slowly start to come about. We know that prototypes will likely start surfacing in 2017 and production date sometime in 2019. Regardless of the little information we have, what we do have now is hope and that’s enough to hold us over.

Mazda to Continue Selling Diesels in US


Mazda has always been a company that veers away from trend and sometimes likes to go against the grain to make themselves stand apart. Take their rotary engines that were the mainstay in the RX7 lineup and eventually made its way into the RX8. So it probably doesn’t come to anyone surprise that Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s top dog in the US, stated that the company will continue to focus energy in putting out a diesel powered vehicle for the US market.

With the fall out of diesel due to the emission scandal at Volkswagen last year, the diesel market has taken a huge hit in less than 12 months time, and even Volkswagen themselves has stated that diesels will not be in their future business plan. No one can tell if this is a brilliant move to capture a market that no one wants to support, or if this will be a terrible strategic move, but all we know is Mazda doesn’t like the follow trends and it has worked for them in the past.

The struggle Mazda currently faces is producing a diesel engine that meets all emission regulator standards. Similar to what other automakers faced, the challenge is to produce an engine that has clean emissions, good fuel economy, has good performance levels, and still manage to do all that without the use of an exhaust after treatment system.

Mazda Unveils The MX-5RF Retractable Fastback


Many people including myself thought the Miata lineup was going to get a new powered retractable hardtop here in New York but instead Mazda showed off the MX-5RF which stands for Retractable Fastback. Lowering the top takes about 5-6 seconds after flipping a switch and involves the rear supports lifting up out of the way while the roof and rear window fold backwards into the void above the trunk. It’s important to note that top up or down, the trunk space is unaffected. The RF doesn’t provide as much of the open air experience that a full on convertible would but this design was probably chosen due to weight savings for this generation Miata.

One thing is for sure and it’s the fact the MX-5RF looks fantastic. Under the hood nothing has changed. The North American market will continue to get the 2.0L and 1.5L SKYACTIV-G engines paired with a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. Miata hasn’t provided any detailed specifications including the official open and closing times of the roof, or the weight gain of the MX5-RF over the soft top model. At the press conference this morning, Mazda announced this morning that they also picked up the 2016 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards for the MX-5. For the latter, it is the first time a Japanese model has won the award.

“What a wonderful honor, to have the Mazda MX-5 named World Car of the Year,” said Masahiro Moro, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations, and Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation. “As our iconic MX-5 roadster approaches one-million units of production, this award is proof that it is as young, vibrant, fun and relevant as ever. While I accept this award on behalf of the company, I do so representing every Mazda employee, retail partner and customer around the world who has ever felt the joy of driving a pure roadster. We say ‘Driving Matters’ in our advertising,* and we prove it in our cars.”

Take a look at our gallery for more pictures of the Mazda MX-5RF.

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Hardtop Miata Could Debut in New York


Word is buzzing around what Mazda plans to unveil this year at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Some are speculating that the automaker will be dropping the news on a new power drop top version of the Miata. But nothing official has been yet released as Mazda wants to make the unveil at the upcoming auto show.

The current generation of Mazda’s MX5 Miata has been in production since 2015 and debuted as a a conventional soft top 2 seater sport car. The word on the street is that Mazda is developing a power retractable hard top. For those of us who have always loved the look of a Miata with a hard top, this is going to be a great compromise giving us the best of both worlds.

The key to making this successful is if Mazda can keep the light weight and agile nature of the Miata alive with the added weight of a retractable hardtop. The engine option for the Miata will likely stay the same with a 2.0L four cylinder engine producing 155hp. Not the most powerful engine to begin with, but when it’s put inside a light weight Miata it does make for a lot of fun.

We can’t wait for this new model to drop at the New York Auto Show.

Mazda CX-5 Recall and Stop Sale


A recall and stop sale has been issued by Mazda on all of their 2014-2016 CX-5 vehicles. Mazda identified a defect with the fuel filler pipe on the CX-5 which could rupture in a rear end collision causing a fuel leak and leading to a fire.

This is a major recall for Mazda affecting over 404 000 vehicles across the US and Canada. As of now, Mazda has reported this defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Further information detailing the recall and repairs needed on these vehicles will be released by Mazda shortly.

Customers with questions are encouraged to contact their local dealership immediately.

Mazda Refreshes CX-5


The current Mazda CX-5 is a little gem of a car that delivers a great bang for the buck. It’s a great driver’s car packed together with wonderful finishes and features. So when Mazda decides to do a small refresh and give customers even more goodies, well that just the icing on top.

For the half year refresh, Mazda will give the CX-5 LED lighting which is become standard features among its competition in the same class. Also, look for enhancements to the in car infotainment system, navigation on the higher trim levels, and cushy heated front seating.

It is expected that the CX-5 will move upwards slightly with the base model starting at $22,695 and tops out at $30,770 for the fully loaded Grand Touring.

New Mazda CX-9 Lighter, Roomier, Less Thirsty


Last year at the LA Auto Show, Mazda unveiled their new baby-ute, the CX-3 and also gave the larger CX-5 and Mazda6 design refreshes and now for the 2015 edition of the LA Auto Show they complete their crossover makeover by giving the CX-9 the overdue refresh with their KODO design. When I saw the CX-9 with the updated KODO design language for the first time, all I see is skeptical dog (google it if you don’t know). I guess the design doesn’t translate well into a full sized, three-row crossover. The CX-3 and CX-5 both look great, but I’m undecided on the CX-9.

This update wasn’t limited to just bringing over the new design language to the CX-9, Mazda made quite a few changes. For starters, the new CX-9 is just over an inch shorter than the outgoing model, but the wheelbase has been extended by over 2 inches resulting in much more room in the rear. The tapered fenders and shorter overhangs both in the front (2.3 inches) and in the back (1 inch) give the appearance of a wider more aggressively looking vehicle. The paintjob you see in our pictures, Machine Grey, is the newest color choice available for the CX-9.

Under the hood, Mazda has done what every manufacturer has done in recent memory and have chosen to go with a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder instead of a V6. What’s new however is what Mazda calls a “Dynamic Pressure Turbo”, the world’s first turbocharger with the ability to vary the degree of exhaust pulsation depending on engine RPM. At low RPMs exhaust gases are routed through a smaller outlet allowing the turbo to spool quicker creating instant boost up to 17.4 psi. At higher RPMs, exhaust gases are routed through larger valves allowing more exhaust gas to pass through the turbo. Just think of a garden hose when you put your finger over the end. The end result? 310 lb-ft of torque at just 2000 RPM and 227 horsepower at 5000 RPM on 87 octane fuel. Fill up with 93 octane premium and that figure jumps to 250 horsepower.

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Mazda Shows Off Two Lightweight Miata Concepts At SEMA


It’s not like the standard MX-5 roadster was a heavyweight, but Mazda designers wanted to see what could be achieved if weight savings were pushed to the limits. They were given free reign to craft a couple examples of lightweight prototypes based on the MX-5 and the result are the two concepts below: The 2016 MX-5 Spyder Concept and 2016 MX-5 Speedster Concept.

The MX-5 Spyder takes the unique characteristics of a vintage roadster and modernizes it to include a bespoke leather interior and a fresh new Mercury Silver prototype paint color.

For the MX-5 Speedster, Miata designers took it to extremes while paying homage to the minimalist roadsters of the ’50s. Painted in a Blue Ether paint, the MX-5 Speedster even ditches the windshield in favor of a carbon fiber deflector providing that true wind in the hair driving experience.

Both of these vehicles weigh significantly less than the already light 2,332 pound MX-5 roadster. Take a look through our gallery and let us know what you think!

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2016 Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5 Given Refreshes


While all the attention may have been on the new baby-ute Mazda CX-3 that is joining the Mazda family, a couple of vehicles were given some mid-cycle refreshes by Mazda. The Mazda 6, which in my opinion still had a pretty fresh design was given a quick nip and tuck for the 2016 model year. The most obvious change is the revised grill which we saw Mazda CX-3. The newer grill really works with the larger profile of the Mazda6 mid-sized body. The new grill almost blends right into the LED portion of the redesigned headlights giving the front end more seamless look. The interior was not left alone as Mazda replaced the smaller built in infotainment screen with a larger free-standing screen that many automakers seem to be going with despite how ugly it looks. Under the hood, nothing is changed. This update just brings the Mazda6 in line with all the newer models that have come out since giving the lineup a more cohesive look.

The CX-5 received similar interior updates as the Mazda6 with the addition of the updated infotainment system first launched in the
2015 Mazda3. Mechanically, the updated CX-5 sees the addition of an electric parking brake and newly designed wheels. Of course as with all facelifts the headlights and taillights have been updated with some trims getting LED lighting. Exclusive to Mazda6 is the addition of a unique addition to the car’s nighttime lighting signature, as the distinctive five-point grille is edge-lit on certain trim levels.

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