It’s a holiday miracle! Or, more realistically, it’s merely Mazda reacting to what customers want. Mazda is introducing the rare mid-model-year update to its CX-5 crossover, which was just refreshed for 2016, dubbing the result a “2016.5” model and adding a few key features as standard equipment.
These days, if a car doesn’t come with navigation or a backup camera, it might as well be a horse cart. Mazda knows this, and thus has made a backup camera standard on every CX-5 with an automatic transmission—which is pretty much every CX-5, save for the base Sport, which still offers an honest-to-shiftness six-speed manual but continues to not offer a backup camera. (Automatic-equipped Sports gain the backup camera.) The camera’s standard fitment saves Sport buyers the $400 previously required for the Rear View Camera package, which also brought a 7-inch touch-screen audio system that also is now standard. Mazda has raised the CX-5 Sport’s price accordingly, but an $80 increase in the destination charge brings the total increase to $480, meaning an automatic-equipped Sport now starts at $24,495. The all-wheel drive model’s price jumps $470 to $25,795. The base, manual-transmission Sport’s price increase of $80 directly correlates to the destination charge increase of $80 over 2016 model-year CX-5s.
2016 Mazda CX-5
As for the upper-level CX-5 models, which already had a standard backup camera, Mazda has given them all navigation as standard. The Touring model also adds standard heated front seats. The front-wheel-drive Touring’s MSRP is exactly the same—before destination, that is. With that $80 increase, the new total is $26,115. The all-wheel-drive model is $70 dearer than before, and with the new destination charge its price now sits at $27,415. Finally, the Grand Touring’s all-in price increases by $430 to $29,470; the all-wheel-drive version’s bottom line rises by $480 to $30,770. These increases make the Touring’s 2016.5 heated-seat upgrade a steal—nearly a giveaway, even—and render the addition of navigation to both it and the Grand Touring equally as juicy, since previously the feature was anchored to a $1625 Technology package in the Touring, and a $1505 Technology package in the Grand Touring. Prices for those packages, newly shorn of navigation, have dropped to $1275 and $1155, although in the Touring it requires the $1130 Bose audio/moonroof option. Overall, the changes are welcome, and they only serve to enhance the compact crossover we already dub our favorite.