The more practical version of the Zoom-Zoom brand’s refreshed flagship

Mazda introduced the 6 nameplate in 2002 as a replacement for the highly successful Mazda 626. Offered as a near-premium mid-size four-door model, the 6 is now considered Mazda’s flagship model. Three generations have arrived since the 6 first hit the scene, the latest of which showed in 2012. Back in November, Mazda brought out a refreshed iteration at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS), dropping cover on a tweaked exterior style, a newly updated interior, fresh technology and equipment, and even a new turbocharged engine package. Suffice to say, we thought the whole thing looked great, so much so that we gave it a spot on our Best In Show list for the 2017 LAAS. Given the extensive updates seen for the 2018 model year, you could consider this latest iteration as the 3.5-gen vehicle. Now, the 6’s more practical Tourer wagon body style looks set to receive the same good stuff when it arrives in Switzerland with a debut at the 88th Annual Geneva International Motor Show.

All told, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer should look and feel more premium than before, just like the latest sedan version that appeared in Southern California. Full details are still forthcoming, but for now, read on for the lowdown on what we know, plus a splash of speculation along the way.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer.

Mazda6 Tourer Exterior

  • Latest Kodo design language
  • Mazda Kai and Mazda Coupe concepts used for inspiration
  • LED lighting
  • Larger grille with metal mesh insert
  • Massively flared front fenders
  • Should offer standard 17-inch wheels, optional 19’s
  • More aerodynamic than before
2018 Mazda6 Tourer Exterior
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The Tourer once again employs Mazda's Kodo design language to great effect, refining the old model's styling bits without overdoing it.

When it comes to the aesthetics, the Mazda6 is one good-looking car. Based on concepts like the Mazda Coupe and Mazda Kai, both of which will head to Geneva alongside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, this wagon once again employs Mazda’s Kodo design language to great effect. The 2018 model year refines the old model’s styling bits, and although the overall look doesn’t change a whole lot, we aren’t complaining – we think it looks great, and we think there’s a definite upscale vibe to it. Thankfully, it’s also not nearly as stuffy as the numerous European sedans found elsewhere on the Geneva show floor. Rather, its got its own curvaceous Japanese styling to it, and that’s a big plus in our book.

Let’s check out the details, starting in front where we once again find impressively flared wheel arches that add a ton of visual beefiness to the front end. The new model also comes with a larger front grille, which is set in an elliptical shape and fitted with a metal mesh insert. Despite its size, we think the grille looks quite good, and its definitely an improvement on the old model’s horizontal slats. The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape. LEDs are used for the lighting element, while chrome detailing adds icing on the cake.

2018 Mazda6 Exterior
- image 749686
LED headlights as standard
The headlights also look longer and leaner than before, pulled back into fenders in a taut, slim shape

The long, flared fenders in front lead into a profile that’s punctuated by a variety of angles and character lines, both above and below. The window line dives down towards the front end, adding a bit of visual rake and enhancing the visual weight of the plus-sized rear end. In terms of wheel sizing, we expect Mazda to offer 19-inch wheels like on the U.S.-spec sedan, while standard sizing will be set at 17 inches. A few new paint options would also be nice.

In back, expect slimmer taillights and further shiny trim detailing. Dual exhaust tips would also be a nice complement to the elegant, yet sporty aesthetic.

Further more, Mazda says the new look is now more aero-efficient than before, although the automaker declines to go into detail. Look for official specs next month.

Mazda6 Tourer Interior

  • New interior layout focuses on horizontal lines
  • Lots of premium touches throughout
  • Fresh safety and driver assist tech
  • Nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear bench folded
  • Fingers crossed for optional Japanese Sen wood trim
2018 Mazda6 Tourer Interior
- image 773449
The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, and there's an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash.

Step inside the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, and you’ll find a cabin look and layout that’s identical to the sedan (plus a good deal more cargo room in the rear, of course). Mazda says that the sedan gets an “all-new” interior where “only the steering wheel and small trim pieces [are] carried over from its predecessor,” and that looks to be the case in the Tourer model as well.

The look is characterized by broad horizontal surfaces and long unbroken shapes. New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you’ll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash. An optional 7.0-inch TFT screen can be had for the gauge cluster. The soft touch materials look great, and continue from the dash into the door panels. We’re expecting Nappa leather for the upholstery and optional Japanese Sen wood for the dash. There’s also new seats in front, which Mazda says are more supportive and more comfortable this time around.

2018 Mazda6 Tourer Interior
- image 773481
New switch gear was added to the center console, with a slick, simplified button layout for the climate control system, above which you'll find an 8.0-inch touchscreen sitting high on the dash

As a complement to the upscale layout and top-shelf materials, Mazda says the new 6 gets reduced levels of NVH (or noise, vibration, and harshness) inside the cabin, which is obviously critical to attaining that upscale vibe Mazda is shooting for. Further complements include a broader range of i-Activsense safety features, such as 360-degree monitor with a top-down view, and intelligent speed assist.

Finally, the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer looks to keep its decent rear cargo room, which is currently rated at 522 liters (18.4 cubic feet) with the rear bench up, and expands out to 1,664 liters (58.8 cubic feet) with the bench folded down.

Mazda6 Tourer Drivetrain

Engine lineup likely to include 2.2-liter diesel and 2.0-liter gas
Six-speed automatic and six-speed manual on the table
FWD as standard, AWD optional

2018 Mazda6 Drivetrain
- image 748257
New turbo 2.5-liter engine plucked from the CX-9
Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options

Mazda has yet to divulge a whole lot in terms of the powertrain spec for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer, but we expect the brand to offer a slight refresh on the 2.2-liter diesel and a 2.0-liter gas options. Current output levels vary between the trim levels, with the diesel making either 150 horsepower or 175 horsepower. Meanwhile, the gas engine makes 165 horsepower. A few extra ponies and mpg at the pump should do well to keep it sprightly for 2018.

It’s possible Mazda will also include the new 2.5-liter turbo ’four that we just got in the 6 sedan here in the States, which offers up 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. However, if we’re honest, it’s not likely. Sorry, speed lovers. But here’s to hoping.

Unfortunately, the 6 definitely won’t get Mazda’s next-generation Skyactiv-X compression ignition petrol engine technology either, but the Zoom-Zoom brand will bring it to display in Geneva all the same. Mazda calls it Spark Controlled Compression Ignition, or SCCI, and it’s a world-first for a passenger car. Basically, the compression ignition design works similarly to a diesel, but it burns gasoline. It also manages to combine the benefits of both gas and diesel powerplants, with features like solid high-end power, a sharp throttle response, cleaner emissions, and high fuel efficiency. It’s innovative and pretty cool too, especially when you consider most of the industry is heading towards smaller engine sizing and forced induction to find the extra efficiency. Look for the Skyactiv-X compression ignition tech on the forthcoming 2019 Mazda3.

Moving on, we expect the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer to once again offer customers either a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed automatic, depending on the trim level and engine picked. Once again, we have to applaud Mazda for sticking to its guns, as rather than adopting a rubber-banding continuously variable transmission like most other makes, it’s going with a more traditional gearbox. Front-wheel drive will come as standard, while AWD will be an available option.

Mazda6 Tourer Chassis And Handling

  • More refined and more responsive too
  • Tweaked suspension geometry
  • Definitely one of the most fun-to-drive in segment
2018 Mazda6 Tourer Exterior
- image 773474

Heading into the 2018 model year, the Mazda6 Tourer looks to receive “enhanced driving dynamics,” with fresh suspension tuning that simultaneously finds greater handling benefits when attacking a corner, and more comfort when cruising.

To that end, we expect the Tourer to once again get the same updates as the U.S.-spec sedan. For example, the reduced noise, vibration, and harshness will no doubt come courtesy of the 6’s stiffer chassis and body, while the handling and ride refinements will be partly thanks to a new steering rack mounting and tweaked suspension geometry. Finally, G-Vectoring Control will once again be used for greater grip levels coming off a corner.

Mazda6 Tourer Pricing

2018 Mazda6 Tourer Exterior
- image 773468

While exact pricing for the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer has yet to be released, we fully expect the bottom line to stay close to current figures. For reference, the 2017 Mazda6 Tourer starts at £23,795 in the U.K.

Look for more updated details right here in this review when the 2018 Mazda6 Tourer makes its appearance at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show in March, where it’ll strut its stuff alongside the Euro-spec Mazda6 Saloon, the Mazda Coupe concept, and the Mazda Kai concept.

Mazda6 Tourer Competition

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2015 Volkswagen Passat High Resolution Exterior
- image 558767

If you like the idea of a sleek, spacious, and well-appointed wagon model, but care less about the performance side of things, then the Volkswagen Passat Estate might be just the right fit. Outside, you get the eternally refined styling VW is known for across its lineup, while the interior comes equipped with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a digital screen in the gauge pod (full digital gauges are optional), and a 6.5-inch screen in the dash. Materials include some top-tier picks in the higher trims, while rear cargo room is rated at a Mazda-beating 650 liters (23 cubic feet) with the rear bench up. Engine options include a range of diesel and gas options. Although we expect the Mazda to be far more interesting to drive, the VW makes a sensible case for itself all the same.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

Ford Mondeo Estate

2013 Ford Mondeo High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 471732

Another solid choice in this segment comes from the Blue Oval with the Ford Mondeo Estate. Although it appears to be a bit more brutish, the styling works well all the same, and it’s very much in line with the rest of Ford’s lineup and styling cues. Inside, there’s a decent amount of cargo room, rated at 500 liters (17.7 cubic feet) with the seats up, while optional AWD helps it grip in less than ideal conditions. Engine options include a 1.5-liter diesel, a 2.0-liter diesel, and a 2.0-liter gas engine as well. It’s a nice middle-of-the-road choice, if that’s what you’re after.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Mondeo.

Conclusion

2018 Mazda6 Tourer Exterior
- image 772787

Given the fact you’re reading these words on TopSpeed, it should come as no surprise that we like this quick-and-fun little wagon. While some competitors offer a less expensive proposition, and still others offer a more luxurious interior, the Mazda6 also manages to mix in a good deal of driver engagement and fun, and to us, that matters a lot.

We’re still waiting for all the details to drop, so make sure to check back here next month when they do. Until then, all we gotta say is – we sure do wish Mazda sold the Tourer here in the U.S.!

  • Leave it
    • * More comfortable and more luxurious alternatives out there
    • * New engine tech still a year or more away
    • * No wagons for the U.S.!

References

Mazda 6

2018 Mazda6 Exterior
- image 748259
Turbo engine makes 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.

2017 Mazda Kai Exterior
- image 740971

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Kai.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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Read more Mazda news.

Press release

World debut of the new Mazda6 Tourer and European debut of the new Mazda6 Saloon.
Mazda VISION COUPE and Mazda KAI CONCEPT make their European debuts.
SKYACTIV-X next-generation compression ignition petrol engine technology showcased.
The Mazda stand will be one of the busiest at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show next month. It will feature the world debut of the new Mazda6 Tourer, the European debut of the new Mazda6 Saloon, and two stunning concept vehicles -the Mazda VISION COUPE and Mazda KAI CONCEPT, as well as showcasing Mazda’s revolutionary SKYACTIV-X next-generation petrol engine.

The latest update of the Mazda6 is the most comprehensive yet, offering enhanced quality in almost every detail of Mazda’s flagship model. It features a more mature, elegant and refined exterior design, extensive interior revisions including completely new seating, boosted SKYACTIV powertrain performance, enhanced driving dynamics, greater aerodynamic efficiency, reduced NVH and an even broader range of i-ACTIVSENSE safety features, such as a 360° view monitor and an intelligent speed assist system.

The Mazda VISION COUPE, recently crowned ’Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year’, adopts the basic form of a flowing four-door coupe. It forgoes the rhythmical motion that prior iterations of KODO design emphasised in body styling, opting instead for a simple form that strips away all non-essential elements to follow the principle of ’Less is More’. Tremendous time and care have been invested on the bodywork, especially the play of light across its surfaces.

Its name Kai meaning ’Pioneer’, the Mazda KAI CONCEPT compact hatchback sets the stage for the future of the Mazda brand, showcasing the company’s breakthrough technologies and the latest evolution of its KODO design. Within next-generation SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE which maximises the human body’s inherent abilities to effect the ultimate connection between driver and car, it adopts Mazda’s revolutionary SKYACTIV-X powertrain.

Exclusive to Mazda, SKYACTIV-X is a ground-breaking engine which introduces an innovative combustion method called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI). Set to become the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition*, SKYACTIV-X combines the benefits of a spark-ignition petrol engine -expansiveness at high rpm and cleaner emissions- with those of a compression diesel engine -superior initial response and fuel economy- to produce a crossover engine that delivers the best of both worlds.

Mazda will hold a press conference at 8.15 - 8.30am CET on Tuesday 6th March, the first of two press days, at its stand (no. 5150 in hall 5) in the Palexpo convention centre. The 2018 Geneva Motor Show opens to the public from 8-18th March.

* As of February 2018, according to in-house investigation

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