Exclusive: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Gains Grand Select Limited Production Trim

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - June 16, 2017

The 2017 CX-5 has undeniably made a splash, offering a capable, fun-to-drive option among a crowded field of competitors. However, order guides show the popular model will gain a new limited production variant called the Grand Select that will go on sale this month.

Positioned beneath the Grand Touring, the trim will offer the same level of comfort and convenience but without the full range of driver assistance features. It represents an interesting strategy amidst a rapidly changing segment that aims to offer more value than ever before.

So what does the Grand Select come with? What are the differences with the Touring and Grand Touring? And how much will it cost?

Here's what you need to know.

Editor's Note: We've updated this article to more clearly explain the differences in equipment.

Lux Without The Nanny Tech

Based on recent order guides, the CX-5 Grand Select will start at $29,835 including destination, exactly $500 less than the $30,335 Grand Touring. Like the other trims, all-wheel drive can be added for an additional cost of $1,300. The only difference will be in terms of safety tech.

Unlike the Grand Touring, it won't include a more complete range of driver assistance features, like forward collision warning with emergency braking (Smart Brake Support), adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist.

That's not to say the Grand Select won't be well-equipped. Like the Grand Touring, it gets 19-inch wheels, a moonroof, power driver's seat, leather, 10-speaker Bose audio with navigation, auto headlights, LED lights and more. It also comes with low-speed automatic braking (Smart City Brake Support) and a blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert.

However, unlike the Grand Touring, there won't be an option to upgrade to the Premium Package which adds a windshield-based display with traffic-sign recognition, heated rear seats & steering wheel, power passenger seat and more. If you're interested in those features, you'll have to step up to the Grand Touring.

According to Mazda spokesperson Jacob Brown, the Grand Select will go on sale this month as part of a limited production run, at least for now. As for the rationale, he stated "Mazda is offering some of its higher-level features from the CX-5 Grand Touring in a more accessible trim level called Grand Select. The trim level will be offered for a limited time and will test the waters for customer options preferences in the marketplace."

Our Analysis

One could argue that the Grand Select is a puzzling choice. On one hand, a price of $29,835 will allow the CX-5 to undercut the Honda CR-V EX-L's $30,235 MSRP by $400. On the other hand, a difference of only $500 from the Grand Touring makes upgrading to the next level up quite reasonable given how much you're already spending.

We suspect the Grand Select may appeal to shoppers who want the comfort of a Grand Touring but who have little interest in the latest driver assistance features. The CX-5 is already a hit, so the addition could prove successful. Mazda says it sold 11,819 CX-5 models in May, which equates to an 18.9% increase over the previous year.

That said, safety tech is rapidly changing in this segment. Last month, Nissan quietly added automatic braking to the 2017.5 Rogue as part of a mid-year change at a premium of only $400. Around the same time, Toyota gave the RAV4 a price cut worth up to $1,330 and added Extra Value Packages to boost appeal.

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website