LOS ANGELES — Mazda picked a tough time to try to make some headway against some bigger Japanese rivals in the struggling midsize sedan segment.
When the redesigned 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale next spring, it will face off against two heavyweights freshly redesigned for the 2018 model year: Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord. Another big foe, Nissan’s Altima, is due for an update soon.
Citing strong demand for a pair of high-end trim lines on the CX-9 crossover, Mazda is adding a top-level Signature trim to the Mazda6.
The new package adds nappa leather trim, suede and wood accents, and the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s currently standard on the CX-9. In the Mazda6, the engine will make 250 hp (on 93 octane fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque, and features cylinder deactivation. It will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The turbo engine will also be available on other higher-grade trim levels. But at the car’s debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week, Mazda did not specify which models those would be. The base model’s naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder also receives cylinder deactivation.