Mazda CX-5 Getting Mid-Year Updates for 2016

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis 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 in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - December 8, 2015

In an unusual move, Mazda is preparing to update the popular CX-5 crossover midway through the current model year. The new version, dubbed the 2016.5 CX-5, will feature more standard equipment than the one currently on dealer lots. But how different will it be? And is it worth waiting for? Here's what you need to know.

More equipment

The latest order guides reveal Mazda will be making changes on all versions of the CX-5. New 2016.5 Sport models with an automatic transmission will be getting a rear camera package previously valued at $400. It comes with a 7-inch color touchscreen and adds the automaker's Mazda Connect infotainment system.

Touring and Grand Touring versions will soon add navigation as standard equipment. Previously, shoppers needed to add the optional Tech Package for as much as $1,625 including extra features like LED lights and rain-sensing wipers. In the case of the CX-5 Touring, drivers will also get heated seats.

Mazda is set to begin building the 2016.5 CX-5 this month. Dealers expect to start receiving the updated inventory by March of next year, possibly sooner.

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Is it a good value?

While you'd think Mazda would hike prices, that isn't exactly the case. For example, the CX-5 Sport will get $400 in equipment with almost no impact on base price.

On Touring and Grand Touring versions, Mazda is removing nav from the Tech Package, lowering the price of that option by $350. If you liked the idea of built-in nav but not the idea of paying up to $1,625 to get it, the new model will be appealing.

Here's an overview of the new prices factoring destination charges.

Trim Name Old MSRP New MSRP Price Change
Sport Front-wheel Drive $22,675 $22,675 $0
Sport All-wheel Drive $25,325 $25,775 $450
Touring Front-wheel Drive $26,095 $26,095 $0
Touring All-wheel Drive $27,345 $27,395 $50
Grand Touring Front-wheel Drive $29,100 $29,450 $350
Grand Touring All-wheel Drive $30,350 $30,750 $400

Should you wait?

If you aren't in a hurry, the new version might be worth waiting for. That being said, year-end deals on the 2016 model have been good and there's no guarantee the new one will get the same offers. However, the best deals aren't being advertised.

That's because Mazda has been using unadvertised incentives called dealer cash to help improve prices. Dealers are being given $1,000 in so-called "dealer engagement" money to use at their discretion to help improve prices.

But what shoppers may not know is that this effort has focused entirely on mid-level Touring models. As a result, current offers can reduce the $2,020 premium of the 2016 Touring over the Sport version almost in half.

It seems likely that this is in anticipation that shoppers may otherwise gravitate toward the 2016.5 model that adds nav with no real price increase. If having a nav system isn't a priority, the 2016 Touring model is a great choice right now.

Learn more about dealer cash incentives>>

Our take

If the idea of having the extra equipment with no major increase in price appeals to you, the new CX-5 is shaping up to be the better value. However, it's extremely likely that Mazda will offer different deals on both versions. The special offers meant to clear the Touring model are early evidence of this.

Shoppers who don't need the extra equipment will want to take a good look at this month's deals on the CX-5. There's also a good chance that new incentives set to be announced on January 5 may favor the outgoing version even more.

Shoppers will want to prepare for the possibility of seeing two different versions of the same vehicle on dealer lots. This could be complicated when the 2017 model is released, resulting in the possibility of three different prices and sets of incentives.

Photo Gallery: 2016 Mazda CX-5>>

, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis 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 in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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