Although technically unaltered, the midsize sedan did receive a mid-2018 boost – literally – with the addition of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the options list. This is the same powerplant used in the Mazda CX-9 wagon and puts out 250 horsepower using 93-octane gasoline, or 227 when regular 87-octane fuel is used. The turbo is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission. The non-turbo four-cylinder with 184-horsepower now becomes the base engine. For driving enthusiasts, it can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission that uses a MX-5-inspired short-throw shifter (the six-speed automatic is optional). Among the sedan’s technical highlights is G-Vectoring control, a system that temporarily reduces engine torque when the driver enters a turn, resulting in more g-force over the front axle for improved steering response. In the most recent round of updates, the grille was reshaped to appear more aggressive-looking, the suspension and steering rack were revised for greater precision and the interior received fancier trim and more comfortable seats.

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