2018 Mazda 6 Grand Touring
Mazda says its re-engineered “6” brings unparalleled craftsmanship,
top-notch design, and impressive technologies for the driver who
savors every moment behind the wheel. It is available in Sport,
Sport i-ActiveSense Package, Touring, Grand Touring
Reserve, and Signature trim levels. Priced starting at
$21,950 the Mazda 6 tops out at $34,750, plus options.
Under the hood is a 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter
four-cylinder turbocharged engine matched to a
six-speed automatic developed specifically for the high
torque that Mazda has onboard. Fuel economy is 23 city/31
highway/26 combined. Outside is a larger grille, standard LED
headlights with integrated fog lamps, running lamps, and turn
signals, plus new attractive taillights. Soul Red Crystal is a new
exterior paint color. Inside are redesigned front seats with high-density,
vibration-absorbing urethane foam that creates a firm, supportive
seating surface; an 11-speaker BOSE Premium audio system;
SiriusXM satellite radio; Mazda Navigation; an auto-dimming rear-view
mirror with homelink; heated side mirrors and paddle shifters for
Safety features include standard Smart City Brake Support, as well
as lane departure and keeping assist, full-speed Mazda radar cruise
control with stop and go function, and High Beam Control that are also
standard on Touring models and above.
Takeaway: The abundant comfort and technology upgrades should
launch Mazda's sports-minded 5-seater keeping it a standout that will
attract attention in the mainstream, affordable sea of sedans.
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2018 Kia Forte
This 5-passenger compact sedan is available in three trims: LX
($16,800 manual, $17,900 automatic), S ($19,400), and the
nicely-equipped EX ($21,700). Cruise control is now standard on
some grades as is UVO3 with access to compatible devices and
smartphone projected-navigation via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
The LX Popular Plus Package adds a new alloy wheel design, LED
taillights, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The S trim adds new
16-inch alloy wheels and the Technology Package now includes
a sunroof. The EX sedan comes standard with advanced driver
assistance features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot
Detection with Lane Change Assist. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter
four-cylinder engine delivering 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of
torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on LX models,
while the S and EX trim levels get an automatic transmission.
Forte’s sporty look comes from a chrome-trimmed grille, low
front air dam and its snubbed nose and steep windshield angle;
side seams stretch to a rear that appears to ride high and is
capped by big, wraparound taillamps with lighting patterns that
look inspired by Tron. Inside, cabin surfaces undulate and curve,
covered in soft-touch materials.
Takeaway: This small 4-door hatch mixes affordable comfort
with some great luxury features, making it an excellent buy. Look
for an updated model to go on sale later this year.
For more information visit: https://www.kia.com/
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