Mazda Dropping FWD Option From Every SUV For 2022

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - September 14, 2021

If you're a Mazda buyer accustomed to having a choice over paying for all-wheel drive, prepare to have that option taken away. That's because Mazda is discontinuing front-wheel-drive versions of its crossover SUVs. As a result, models like the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9 could soon become more expensive to buy.

In a press release today about the refreshed 2022 CX-5, Mazda proclaimed all-wheel drive "will now be standard on all upcoming CX models." Since it didn't explicitly rule out the ability to buy a front-wheel-drive SUV with a potentially lower price point and a likely advantage in fuel economy, we decided to find out.

As we suspected, Mazda will discontinue the FWD option in all "CX" models with the incoming model year. According to an email from company spokesperson Justin Pagtalunan, "FWD will no longer be an option for Mazda CX vehicles starting with 22MY and going forward. This is specifically for the U.S. market."

Although Mazda's i-Activ AWD technology has generally positive reviews, some shoppers, particularly those in warmer climates, may not like lacking a say in the matter. It's also worth noting that, in most cases, the addition of all-wheel drive adds roughly $1,400 to $1,900 to the cost of Mazda's current lineup of SUVs.

While it's no secret that Mazda has been positioning itself as a more premium alternative to mainstream brands, the lack of a front-wheel-drive option could deter buyers concerned about the possibility of higher maintenance costs. Companies like Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai continue to offer a choice on most models.

If you're in the market to buy a front-wheel-drive Mazda, you may want to act sooner rather than later. Having said that, current Mazda incentives aren't all that good amid an inventory shortage. While the automaker is offering 0% financing on most of its models, the deal is actually limited to a term of just 36 months.

Mazda's decision is a bit puzzling and could have consequences on the brand's lineup of cars, too. A closer look at the email we received from Mazda states "Other Mazda vehicles may still offer FWD." That could leave shoppers and those looking to replace a current Mazda wondering just what the heck is going on.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

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