Mazda Canada is adding a top-level Signature trim to its Canadian lineup of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 and making heated front seats and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality standard on the base model GX trim.
Mark Peyman, national manager of product strategy and development for Mazda Canada, told Automotive News Canada that the company’s North American packaging strategy allows for some customization to meet the unique desires of Canadian buyers without being strictly beholden to habits of consumers in the United States.
“We certainly look at our market specifically and strategically to try and maximize our opportunities for sales success in our market,” Peyman said. “There are always some limitations that the two markets share, certain common ingredients, how cars are packaged. But the parent company certainly wants to help us in our local market to succeed, and they understand that we sometimes require some unique things or will ask for certain things. They'll go back and study the feasibility, and they support and help where they can.”
The CX-5 is the automaker’s top-selling truck in Canada with 24,919 sold through November; that’s up 5.1 per cent over last year. Only the Mazda3 car is a more popular vehicle in Canada for the automaker with 25,291 sold.
The base GX grade, priced at $29,845 — including delivery fees — comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality for the first time as well as adjustable heated front seats, a new finish for the entry-level 17-inch alloy wheels, and the suspension updates and G-vectoring control upgrades that apply to all 2019 models.
The GS grade, priced at $32,745, now incorporates all of the safety technologies that were part of the i-Activsense package as standard equipment, including adaptive cruise control, forward pre-collision warning and emergency braking, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, and high beam assist.
At the GT grade, priced at $39,445, the new 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine becomes an option, making available its maximum of 227 hp with 87 octane fuel and 250 hp with 93 octane plus 310 lb-ft of torque fully accessible at 2,000 rpm. It also receives SiriusXM Traffic Plus and Travel Link services free for five years, ventilated front seats and power folding exterior mirrors, and a new design for its 19-inch alloy wheels.
The top-level Signature grade is priced at $42,945 and adds the Nappa leather and satin chrome accents with wood inserts plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel with unique stitching, ambient LED lighting, a black headliner, and a frameless rear-view mirror.
Peyman said that as consumer trends continue to move upmarket, the Mazda brand expects the Signature grade to be a quick success in the Canadian market.
“I can tell you from experience where we do have the Signature grade in the market already, which is CX-9 and Mazda6, it's moving towards 50-50 (versus the GT grade),” he said. “It's not quite there yet, but we don't necessarily want or need it to be. We want to get customers into the car that's right for them, whether that’s a base grade or a Signature grade, and the mix will fall out where it will fall out.
“On some Signature grades there's a little bit more equipment, so the price is a little bit more. The customer may not make the leap in that case. But in the CX-5, it's $1,500. Maybe that's an easier leap. So, CX-5 could have a good chance of achieving that 50-50 balance if I had to guess. That's the forecast.”