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2018 Mazda6, 2018 Mazda CX-5, Mazda Vision Concept: LA Auto Show

What Is It?

The 2018 Mazda6 represents a substantial refreshment for this excellent midsize sedan. You might have to take our word for it, because it’s less than obvious, but the car has seen some styling tweaks. Those strips of chrome on the front corners are new. The cabin has also been upgraded to exude a more premium feel. For example, the wood trim comes from Japanese Sen wood, often used to make traditional furniture and musical instruments.

Mazda adds that it has refined the suspension and steering — not that there was much to gripe about before.

Advanced driver aids are among the other updates, featuring an adaptive cruise control with a stop/start function and a 360-degree camera system. It’s the engines, though, that might have the biggest changes. The regular 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit gets cylinder deactivation to help save fuel. And there’s now the option of a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit making 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque (as found in the CX-9 crossover).

The same 2.5-liter engine with cylinder deactivation is in the revised 2018 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover, which makes its North American debut at the Los Angeles show. Its level of standard equipment also expands.

Another vehicle gracing the Mazda stand is the stunning Vision Concept, with styling to make Aston Martin or Jaguar sit up and take notice. Mazda says this car points to the design approach the company is adopting.

How Much?

For the Mazda6, it’s still to be announced. The 2017 range starts at around $22,000.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at around $25,000 for the Sport trim.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 Mazda6 is available from spring 2018.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is expected to go on sale December 2017.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

The Mazda6 is one of the more interesting, involving, enjoyable and engaging cars in this segment. Also, the world and its sister drive an Accord or a Camry — the Mazda6 offers the chance to be a bit different without having to sacrifice anything in terms of style, performance, economy, equipment, build quality or reliability.

We could say the same for the CX-5 in relation to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Honda Accord — All new for 2018. Consistently impressive and capable.

2018 Ford Fusion — Another fun-driving midsize sedan with smart looks and plenty of tech on offer.

2018 Toyota Camry — Also all new for 2018 and the best Camry ever. So it deserves to be a top choice.

2018 Honda CR-V — As an alternative to the CX-5, this is the perennial best seller. Too good to ignore.

2018 Ford Escape — Kind of fun and undoubtedly well equipped.

2018 Toyota RAV4 — The usual rival to the CR-V. Another good all-rounder, although driving thrills are low on the list.

See all 2017 LA Auto Show articles

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Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top Gear magazine for several years.

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