By Asian Journal Auto Editor

One of my favorite sedans in recent years, the sleek Mazda6 comes off a refresh from 2018 with uprated power, chassis improvement, interior changes and mild exterior refresh. Fresh off a number of segments AJAC awards, Mazda is aiming to push the Mazda6 into the higher premium and luxury segment with higher quality and performance. Mazda’s distinctive Kodo design ethos offers a subtle redesign. The long, low, coupe-like body remain the dame, but there is now a larger grille with sculpted mesh insert, chrome trim and a new aggressive fascia and standard adaptive LED headlights. There is also a reshaped rear fascia with new LED taillights and larger exhaust outlets. New 17- or 19- inch wheels finish off the sleek, upmarket premium look to the Mazda6. Note a six-speed auto is the only transmission with no manual transmission option. The Mazda6 interior is also updated with a new dash, and larger infotainment screen.  There is a high end look to the cabin with wonderful detailing in chrome, metal and high quality finishing. There are new seats and a richer, heavier look to the upholstery and all textiles. It just looks wonderful inside and out!

For 2019, the Mazda6 range now starts at a base $27,000 for the GS with: cloth seats, 187-hp 2.5L, (The 2.5L turbo engine is a $2,000 option), 17-inch alloys, heated seats both front and rear, auto dual-zone climate, LED headlights, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, Smart City Brake Support and more. The mid-model GS-L at $31,600 adds sunroof, leather trim, heated steering wheel, paddle shifters, wiper de-icer, and iActivsense safety suite (adaptive cruise with stop and go, collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front obstruction warning distance warning and auto high beam). The $35,800 GT features the 2.5L Turbo engine, 19-inch wheels, navigation, auto dimming mirrors, ventilated front seats, Bose audio, signature lighting, and head up display, SiruisXM and more.

We tested the top of the line $39,150 Signature Package  that nudges the Mazda6 into BMW, and  Audi turf with such features as standard as: the SKYACTIV 2.5L Dynamic pressure Turbo engine, Nappa leather  seats, satin wood trim, Ultrasuede lower dash and door panels, 360-degree monitor, and special interior and exterior trim,  there  is front and rear parking sensors, projection head up display, G-Vectoring Control, intelligent key system w/push button start, power moonroof, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, LED headlights with signature lighting, Adaptive Front Lighting System with automatic headlight leveling, rain-sensing wipers, 19″ alloy wheels, BOSE premium audio with 11 speakers, navigation system, heated front and rear (outboard) seats, ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera Traffic sign recognition, frameless rearview mirror, meter-set with 7-inch LCD display and every creature comfort you can think of. The only option on our tester was a sublime Machine grey metallic paint option at $450.

On the road, the turbo 2.5L engine can give any V6 a run for its money with powerful, fast performance, but now with an inherently smoother operation. It’s a responsive, free revving engine that is great match to the six-speed auto transmission. The paddle shifters also allow for customized driving if needed with quick reflexes. Acceleration is fast, drama free, and exhilarating. New chassis upgrade in the damping, bushings, steering, subframe and suspension geometry department also improve the handling dynamics. Mazda’s e G-Vectoring Control also aids in fast cornering by lightly reducing engine torque in turns, providing better grip and control. Fuel economy for the 2.5L turbo engine is rated at L/100km City: 10.0 Highway: 7.5.

There are few if any downsides to the Mazda6. Interior room is very good in this spacious sedan and there is the utmost comfort and luxury. To sum up Mazda makes cars for people who like to drive, and the Mazda6 Signature does not disappoint in this regards.

2019 Mazda6 Signature sedan Priced from $39,450 Price as tested with plus options, freight and PDE – $41,245.