Mazda6 pushes further upmarket with 2018 update

The facelifted 2018 Mazda6 sedan has been officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, bringing fresh new updates and a new powerplant to the company’s flagship sedan.

Up front is where most of the exterior changes take place. The 6’s new grille now accentuates a look of depth, with a strong framework and wide stance. Its standard LED headlights have also been revised with integrate fog lamps and carry a wide lighting signature.

Changes to the rear are more subtle and include redesigned taillight clusters and horizontal chrome garnish above the number plate.

Elsewhere, painted surfaces extend lower on the body, and new 17- and 19-inch wheel designs complement the upgraded appearance. Wrapping up the exterior update, new Soul Red Crystal paint makes its debut on Mazda’s sedan, joining Machine Grey Metallic and a full palette of available paint colours.

Inside, the interior is all-new, with only the steering wheel and small trim pieces carried over from its predecessor. Most noticeable is its horizontally stretched dashboard that accentuates the car’s width and belies a sense of subtle sophistication.

On range-topping Mazda6 Atenza models, Sen wood, Nappa leather and UltraSuede NU adorn the doors, seats and dashboard, providing the already premium cabin a further boost in luxury.

For improved comfort, the front seats have been fully redesigned. They are wider, with high-density, vibration-absorbing urethane foam that provides better support yet supple enough to keep the occupants comfortable for long trips.

Ventilated front seats in the Mazda6 Atenza are a first for the brand, and wick away warm air from the front passenger and driver’s backs to keep them cool. Rear seats have also been redesigned with high-density urethane foam, enabling greater comfort.

In addition to the seats, new technology included in the 2018 update includes 360o View Monitor, a reconfigurable 7.0-inch LCD gauge display in Atenza models and a new 8.0-inch infotainment display with sharper colour contrast.

Full-speed Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go is now standard across the range along with Lane-keep Assist System (LAS), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA). There is also the Active Driving Display head-up unit.

Under the bonnet, the existing SKYACTIV-G 2.5-litre petrol will adopt a cylinder deactivation system that promises better fuel efficiency and performance, while the 170kW / 420Nm SKYACTIVE-G 2.5-litre turbocharged direct injected petrol that debuted in the CX-9 has been added to the engine lineup.

The 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D turbo diesel engine will continue to be available as an option on Touring grade and up. All engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

In this latest round of improvements, engineers have also revisited the Mazda6’s chassis, with its suspension offering a smoother, more linear ride quality and greater NVH refinement. Its steering rack is now rigid-mounted to the chassis, offering greater steering response and feel, and its chassis has been stiffened in complement with the revised suspension to offer both a smoother ride and sharper dynamics.

Additionally, body reinforcements, thicker sheet metal in the rear wheel-wells, reinforced chassis bracing and thicker suspension trailing link mounts help improve interior quietness and refinement further.

The updated Mazda6 will go on sale in Austalia in early 2018 with local pricing and specification to be announced closer to launch.

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