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Mazda just changed the 2016 CX-5 crossover

It’s not even 2016 yet, and Mazda already changed the 2016 CX-5. Here’s what’s up.

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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.

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Morgan (not verified)    December 23, 2015 - 6:09PM

Carmakers should make their safety packages available on all levels of a vehicle. From the top to the bottom, instead they make you pay for unnecessary stuff if you want to keep your new teenage driver safe. Not impressed!

John Goreham    December 24, 2015 - 11:27AM

In reply to by Morgan (not verified)

I agree 110%. In my reviews of family cars I always include a section on safety and I report on the car if it does or does not have FCP. My opinion is that in family cars, or cars young people might be driving that safety should not be optional, but standard. I could care less what safety features end up in a Viper or Corvette, but in any Mazda aside from the Miata this stuff should be standard.

Ed (not verified)    May 10, 2016 - 8:00PM

In reply to by Morgan (not verified)

"Available" is fine but not standard, such as in the back camera being standard on all models with an auto trans (as mentioned in article) I don't want extra to pay for gizmos I won't use or need. And they should all be optional. "Standard" means its built into the price, and its a price that wouldn't be as high if it wasn't standard. In my opinion the best safety devices are are a good brain, eyes and limbs!

Pat Byrne (not verified)    January 6, 2016 - 3:34AM

We recently rented a CX-5 with automatic transmission on a trip to Hawaii. We liked the vehicle very
much, except when deriving up and down modest hills. The transmission didn't seem to find the right
gear. I have tried to find more information on the transmission but haven't found anything that satisfies
my curiosity. The company web sites claim that the transmission is not planetary and not double clutch.

What on earth is it?? Thanks for your assistance. Pat