Sitting just $500 below the top-spec 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is a new Grand Select trim.
Mazda spokesperson Jacob Brown tells CarsDirect, which spotted the addition, that the 2017 CX-5 Grand Select is an attempt by Mazda USA to examine consumer tastes.
Grand Select, Brown says, “will be offered for a limited time and will test the waters for customer options preferences in the marketplace.”
Like the CX-5 Grand Touring, the $29,835 Grand Select is a very well-equipped, premium-aping compact crossover. Unlike the CX-5 Grand Touring, the Grand Select lacks forward collision warning, adaptive cruise, auto high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. A few years down the increasingly autonomous road, those are the kinds of features that might be a real boon to resale.
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The CX-5 Grand Select sneaks in under the $30K marker but still includes some advanced safety tech: blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, for example. And because the Grand Select is essentially a CX-5 Grand Touring without a few enhanced safety features, there are still 19-inch wheels, leather seating, Bose audio, power driver’s seat, and a sunroof. Although it’s increasingly normal for auto writers to hop in and out of vehicles with steering wheels that turn by themselves, cars that periodically brake whether you want them to or not, and cruise control that slows behind dawdling traffic, consumers who haven’t driven a new car since they bought their first CX-5 in 2012 can be in for quite a shock.
With the 2017 CX-5 Grand Select, Mazda will be able to determine whether some of the consumers who want luxury content would rather not encounter any form of autonomous driving.
If Mazda is going to perform such a test, the CX-5 is the volume vehicle with which to do so.
Although Mazda’s company-wide volume remains unimpressive in the United States, the CX-5 is on track for its best year ever in 2017, continuing an unending growth streak for what is now the most popular Mazda. The current pace pegs U.S. CX-5 sales at 125,000 units in 2017, a 57-percent jump compared with 2013, the nameplate’s first full year. On a monthly basis, CX-5 sales have grown, year-over-year, in 43 of the last 52 months. 40 percent of the Mazdas sold in the United States in the first five months of 2017 were CX-5s.
As for other CX-5s, the basic 2017 CX-5 Sport starts at $24,985, including a $940 destination fee. The mid-grade Touring is $26,855. The Grand Touring is $30,335. All-wheel drive is a $1,300 option at each level. There are no manual transmissions.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.