Mazda just changed the 2016 CX-5 crossover
Mid-year models are always weird. Usually, automakers create them if the model is close to a big change, or if a new safety-related change happens. For example, an automaker may fail an important crash test, redesign the model, and then re-take and pass the test. That’s not why Mazda created the 2016.5 CX-5 crossover. Sometimes the reason is that a “Special Edition” is needed to drive sales despite the public knowing that a newer, better model is right around the corner. Though that could be true of the CX-5, it is not what Mazda is up to this time.
The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is mostly the brand cleaning up all the diverse model codes. Things got a little out of hand on the order sheet it seems, and Mazda is consolidating it a bit and making more good stuff standard. For example, all CX-5 with automatic transmissions will now have a back-up camera. You Luddites with your manuals can just get out and look back there before you back up. One thing Mazda didn’t kill off is the base “Sport” model with the 2.0-liter 155 hp engine and manual. They are rarer than hen’s teeth, but it helps Mazda advertise a low-cost entry model to get buyer’s attention. Who then but the automatic and 2.5-liter engine.
Setting aside the Sport 2.0 with its very low entry price (we won’t play along) the front-wheel drive Mazda CX-5 for 2016 starts at about $24,500. The AWD Touring is the one you want, and it starts at $27,400. The AWD Grand Touring starts at $ 30,700. Add $2,700 to the Grand Touring if you want the i-Active sense and technology package. At about $33K that CX-5 is still a screaming bargain.