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Purchased a 2018 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve back in October, after my previous 2018 Kia Optima was totaled from being rear-ended.

After 7,000 miles, I still love driving the car since the day I bought it, so I definitely think I made the correct choice.

Powertrain: despite having only 6 gears, when combined with the Turbo 2.5L the powertrain feels responsive, refined, and smooth. (Premium fuel gives it that extra "ooph" of smoothness). Now that the transmission has broken-in and is used to my driving, it is even more smoother than when I bought it new.

Interior: Continuously impresses, and I don't even have the signature model. Leather feels nice and soft. All of the touch points feel quality. Obviously there is going to be compromises on a car in this price range, but even the hard-touch plastics feel high-quality. Even with the harsh roads of Texas, the interior is solid and there are no squeaks and rattles. The interior also doesn't cheap out when going to the back seats.

I took this car on two road trips between San Antonio and Dallas, and was able to drive 4+ hours straight without stopping. I was able to get out of the car with no circulation issues, pain, or stiffness. Mazda wins with these seats.

Infotainment: When I test drove this car I was expecting the worst, since every review hated it. I actually like the infotainment, especially since Mazda gives you a knob which is usually only found in more premium cars. When I purchased my car, it was fresh off the truck so it already had Apple Carplay installed from the factory.

Exterior: If I knew nothing about Mazda and saw this car on the road or in a parking lot, I'd assume it to be a $50,000 Japanese luxury sports sedan. I always liked the look of the pre-2018 6, but this new one takes up another notch especially with the full LED exterior lighting on the higher trim 2018 models.

I get plenty of looks. I have had people literally turn trying figure out what my car is.

Driving: I sometimes drive around just for the fun of it, and have no issues taking on corners. The car rides very well, handles well, and has plenty of power. I have a lead foot and it's fun taking on other cars that underestimate mine.

This car is at it's best going 60 mph down a curvy Texas back road on a sunny day with the sunroof cracked, the ventilated seats going, and blasting some Jeff Lorber or Spyro Gyra.

Gripes:

-No individual tire pressure monitor in the gauge cluster screen. This was useful in my Optima.
-The GTR trim should come with at least rear parking sensors. I know you need to give people a reason to buy the Signature, but I would've taken the sensors over heated rear seats. Although, I recently found out that parking sensors can be installed as an official dealer accessory.
-Infotainment bugs. Works fine most of the time, but sometimes I have to restart the whole car in order to get it to work. Apple CarPlay needs help. Also, I'm not a fan of the seemingly dual mode of driving vs standing still with it locking out certain functions while moving. Nothing more annoying than trying to select a song in CarPlay, start moving, then resetting itself.
-Wish the headlights were aimed just a little higher. I might have my dealer take a look at the next service. It's even worse living in San Antonio where there are hills everywhere. The headlights are definitely plenty bright enough though.

Overall, excellent car. I consider my gripes pretty minor, since there are people who buy cars only to find out that the seats feel horrible after an hour of driving.

I notice reviewers noting that this is an older platform, but I consider it a plus, since this is a fresh car but will have increased reliability since the core car has been built since 2014. I certainly don't want to be the first one dealing with inevitable kinks of Skyactiv X and the first year model of a completely new car.
 

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Excellent review! Especially when you have the exact same model/trim/color as I do! :)
 
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