2018 Mazda 6 TFL Expert Buyer’s Guide – Now You’re Playing with Turbo Power

2018 Mazda 6 TFL Expert Buyer's Guide
2018 Mazda 6 Signature. [Photo: Mazda]

Signature: From $35,640 (+$3,090 over Grand Touring Reserve)

Finally, there’s the fully-loaded Signature trim. This is the only model with Nappa leather seats, unlike the leather seats in the Grand Touring Reserve, leatherette seats in the Touring and Grand Touring, or cloth seats in the Sport. The only exterior change over the Grand Touring Reserve is the Gunmetal grille (other models are gloss black).

Inside you get a fashionable, frameless rearview mirror, unique stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, an overhead storage console with LED lamps and a black headliner. There are soft-touch “Ultrasuede” trim inserts which add a nice quality feel, as does the Sen wood trim inserts.

Most importantly, however, are two pieces of technology that set the Signature apart from the other trim levels. The Signature features a 7.0-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster, which replaces the analog speedometer and normal trip computer. There’s also a 360-degree camera system with front and rear parking sensors.

In addition to the 250 horsepower, 310 lb-ft torque 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, the Signature represents all the comfort, convenience, and technology features Mazda currently has to offer in its cars. It’s $3,090 more than the Grand Touring Reserve and $12,800 more than the base model Sport, but it still packs in a lot of features for a reasonable price.

2018 Mazda 6
[Photo: Mazda]

Which model should I buy?

Unlike some models which have additional packages, Mazda separated the 6 into several different trim levels. As a result, which trim level you should buy depends on how many features you want. However, there is one caveat – you can equip a Sport to nearly the same level as a Touring for just $625, while actually upgrading to the Touring would cost $2,700. If you do that, you lose the 19-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof, power driver’s seat, heated seats, and Advanced Keyless Entry.

If you don’t require all the driver assistance tech or prefer a manual transmission, we’d recommend buying the Sport. You still get the Mazda 6’s looks and a fairly gutsy – if not out-and-out fast – mid-size sedan. We’d also recommend buying the i-ActivSense package if you’d like to have some driver assistance features. Fitting the package will likely save you some money on insurance, as well.

The $30,090 Grand Touring offers the best compromise between features and cost, and its the cheapest way into that turbocharged engine. All the features in the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature are comfort features. Unless you have deep enough pockets or just have to have heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, or a 360-degree camera system, we’d recommend sticking right down the middle with the Grand Touring.

Which model would you buy? Let us know in the comments! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views, reviews, and TFL Expert Buyer’s guides just like this one.

For more impressions of the 2018 Mazda 6, read our full review here!