Is the Signature the best all-around car for under $33,000?

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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
Just a random rave.

My cars have always been my fun toys - 2005 WRX, 2013 WRX, 2016 QX50, Miatas of all 3 generations. Each of them was tops at something, but none of them good at everything. My opinion is that the 2020 Signature is the best all around car at a reasonable price. Not "the best" in any one category, but being towards the top of all categories makes it a winner. Turbo really transforms it into a fun mild mannered performer, small SUV, cargo hauler, AWD, decent handling, sporty/rugged/classy looking all at the same time. Other than something used I don't know what else checks all the boxes for under $33,000.

Whatever the trim level, I think this is what drew us to the CX-5.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
Just a random rave.

... I don't know what else checks all the boxes for under $33,000.
While we bought our 2019 for the same reasons you point out, the MSRP is actually slightly over $38k. That's the number you need to use when comparing value.
 
If one could get a brand new Signature in this area for under $33K that would indeed be a pretty good car for the price. My 2020 AWD GT w’ PP cost me just under that three weeks ago, before tax, tag, and title.

Are there a lot of brand new Sigs selling under $33,000?
 
I think hal2 got a great deal and one that would be hard to duplicate right now. Best price I've seen in my area this month for a Signature was 7.7% off MSRP = ~$35300, and decided to pass on that and put off my CX-5 purchase until a deal is too good to pass up. Even if the reported 10% off MSRP could be had, that is down to ~$34400. with inventory drying up more and 2021s being a few months out, I'd be very surprised to see an under $33k deal.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
I looked at all of the competitors and sat in and drove a number of them. Nothing else can compete with the CX-5's styling, handling, ride, and interior at the ~26K price point that the Sport/Touring AWD offers, IMO. The GT-R/Signature offer some excellent upgrades for the price along with the turbo. I didn't get the Soul Red paint (went with silver) but it also looks very upscale for the price.

Every manufacturer cuts costs, but it's easy to see where Mazda spends a little more in certain important areas: projector headlights standard, leather steering wheel standard, real leather upholstery on top trims, as opposed to the cheap reflector headlights, plastic leather seats, and plastic steering wheels offered by many competitors.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 GT Reserve
I looked at all of the competitors and sat in and drove a number of them. Nothing else can compete with the CX-5's styling, handling, ride, and interior at the ~26K price point that the Sport/Touring AWD offers, IMO. The GT-R/Signature offer some excellent upgrades for the price along with the turbo. I didn't get the Soul Red paint (went with silver) but it also looks very upscale for the price.
Likewise I compared & drove all the competitors. I dragged my feet until the turbo CX-5 was available. I bought a 2019 GTR which was rear ended & totaled at 4 months. I had about a month to kill while the insurance was settled. Some of the competitors had changed/ modified since I bought my initial 2019. So basically I used my month of waiting to re-drive/compare everything once again.

I came to the same conclusion as I had initially & replaced my 2019 GTR with it's clone.
 
That is a great deal. Incentives apparently were a good bit higher at that time though. I'd be very surprised if anyone got close to that price since June.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
It's still the same scenario and numbers if I said "under $36,000", you'd still have to find a car that sells at $33,000 before TTL. Or to have it your way, if I say "under $36,000 after TTL", the question is the same - "Is the Signature the best all-around car for under $36,000 after TTL"
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
I'd be very surprised if anyone got close to that price since June.
Yes, I got lucky. This same dealer has 8 used 2019 Sig's on his website listed for $33,000+. But admittedly that his listed price
 
maybe I'm seeing this wrong, but hal2, it does very much appear you are thrilled with your price and happy to brag/humble brag about it. For that deal, I can understand the feeling there.

But, since your price is not at all common nor one that most people could/would get, the question of if its the best all around under $33k is somewhat incorrect/false. If you wanted to ask that question you'd be better off asking if its the best under $35k as that is likely much closer to the average selling price (roughly 10% off MSRP).
 

Antoine

Administrator
It's still the same scenario and numbers if I said "under $36,000", you'd still have to find a car that sells at $33,000 before TTL. Or to have it your way, if I say "under $36,000 after TTL", the question is the same - "Is the Signature the best all-around car for under $36,000 after TTL"
Post edited...Let's refrain from insulting people when responding, thanks.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
It's still the same scenario and numbers if I said "under $36,000", you'd still have to find a car that sells at $33,000 before TTL. Or to have it your way, if I say "under $36,000 after TTL", the question is the same - "Is the Signature the best all-around car for under $36,000 after TTL"
I agree with you that for any car purchasing price comparison, we should always compare the price before TTL, not after, even if we don’t mention the “TTL” explicitly. OTD price sometimes is confusing as each state has different sales tax rate, title、license、and doc fees.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
But, since your price is not at all common nor one that most people could/would get, the question of if its the best all around under $33k is somewhat incorrect/false. If you wanted to ask that question you'd be better off asking if its the best under $35k as that is likely much closer to the average selling price (roughly 10% off MSRP).
Fair and valid, thank you.
 
I agree with you that for any car purchasing price comparison, we should always compare the price before TTL, not after, even if we don’t mention the “TTL” explicitly. OTD price sometimes is confusing as each state has different sales tax rate, title、license、and doc fees.
Personally, I’d find these conversations much more useful if everyone quoted their deals and “% off MSRP” figures as everything paid to the dealer with the sole exception of statutory fees and taxes collected on behalf of the customers’ state and local governments ... meaning, all cost prior to the addition of sales tax, title transfer fees, registration fees, safety and emissions certifications, and any other required environmental impact fees — such as New Jersey’s $7 ($1.50 per tire) ‘new tire tax’.

The prices shared here should INCLUDE the dealer’s doc fees (and any other fees they might tack on). Doc fees aren’t passed through to revenue agencies — they are direct payments to the dealer. Any ‘fixed-price’ fees that stay at the dealership (including doc fees, destination or delivery charges, VIN etching, etc.) should be included.

So you’ve got your bottom-line sticker MSRP (including all upgrade option and delivery/destination charges) and your dealer-discounted price. Then you get into games with rebates and incentives.

If your (pre-tax) OTD price is $1500 lower than it otherwise would be because you took advantage of a manufacturer’s brand loyalty / active military / first responder incentive discount or credit, than it would be helpful to have that information. If that money comes out of MAZDA’s pocket, and not the dealer’s, than I can’t really expect to get the same price from that same dealer if I don’t qualify for the same offer.

If you get quoted one price if you use Mazda’s 0% financing offer but an even lower one if only you pay cash, that’s super-helpful to know, too.

This exercise is pretty pointless without apples to apples comparisons. There’s enough apparent discontinuities in regional supply (and thus regional pricing) already.

*****

FWIW, it was my intention to agree to a cash price with my dealer before determining how I would pay ... as I was seeking quotes for an outright sale concurrent with a separate set of quotes based on the available leasing options ... but it occurs to me, that as a time saving measure, I had them go ahead and see if I qualified for Mazda’s 0% financing offer (which was allegedly restricted to ‘well-qualified buyers’) while still just in the “getting offers” part of the process.

My plan called for returning home, researching (by the methods explained in a previous post) what a fair cash price in my area actually was, and coming up with a counter-offer (and the hard ceiling lying somewhere between their initial offer and mine which I wouldn’t go over).

Getting approved for the 0% made me abandon my plans to get quotes from my banks (and elsewhere) ... why bother, I thought? How could anyone beat 0%? Wouldn’t that just be a waste of time?

[ You see, I haven’t been in a car dealership in 21 years. I’ve bought my previous cars (and most of the rest of my major purchase with cash). I move around too much to have ever wanted to invest in a house. I’ve got good consumer credit, but I had no history (since paying off my first car loan and student debt over 16 years ago) of installment loans.

When the dealership told me Mazda uses Chase Bank to back their car loans, I laughed ... because I got turned down for a lousy Amazon Prime card last year by JPMC because of their long memory of my hosing them 20+ years ago when I got myself in a world of hurt sophomore year after spending all my college savings and tuition money on skydiving lessons and then bought my first ‘high-performance’ parachute from a private seller with a very ill-advised cash advance with something like a 5% fee and 29.99% APR on my first go-around with their bank ... I certainly wasn’t expecting that to be an option for me 😬🤦🏻‍♂️😂 *

* Turns our Mazda only just recently finalized a deal to switch their sales financing to a private-label branding administered by Toyota.
Leases might still go though Chase, though.]

So, I got my numbers (but I assumed those numbers I found online excluded things like the doc fee. I actually still haven’t figured that out 🤷🏻‍♂️. In any case, I should have assumed that they did. Or assumed the dealer could eat almost all of their doc fee by reducing the asking price commensurately. At least, I probably should have brought it up.

I also didn’t think to ask if I decided to pay cash after all, if they could give me an even better price than the one we agreed to that next day (on the assumption I was taking the financing).

I haven’t shopped for a car in 20 years, but I HAVE seen the lat 20 years of car commercials. I knew from the ads 0% financing offers weren’t an always-there option. And I also remember seeing that 0% (or other significantly low finance rate offers) were frequently advertised alongside “dealer cash” rebates or “zero down” offers in an either/or fashion. Buy this car, get $2000 back on signing ... OR ... buy this car, and get 0% interest for 60 months ....

My understanding of this was, you can save $2000 now, and pay it back over time, or you can pay it now, but save on the financing over time. Your choice. We’ll get our money in the end, anyway.

So, when I (confirmed online that night) that Mazda was offering the 0%, but was advertising no paired cash incentive as an either/or, I simply assumed that wasn’t an option. It didn’t occur to me to figure out if I could have negotiated lower on the premise of paying cash after all. Maybe I could have? But I didn’t think to ask, so it doesn’t matter. I’d not slept more than 3 hours in any 24 in over a week. I’d probably still come out ahead at 0% ... but I might have learned enough to help me reevaluate my understanding of what a mutually fair price really was.

Too late for me, but maybe this addition to the discussion can help the next person?
 
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That's a very good point that Doc fees should be included. In my search,one dealer seemed to have a $500 lower price but then they added on a $600 doc fee. The other dealer that was supposedly $500 higher - no doc fee at all + free oil changes for 3 years. So the seemingly higher price was lower OTD. Sure, only by $100, but it's also worth it to me to not patronize business with backhanded tactics of showing a very low selling price only to them take it all back in 'fees'.


And, speaking of backhanded, don't ever deal with Mark Mazda. They advertise a price on their web site but then they won't even honor it. Their sales rep would only offer a price nearly $1k higher then the online listing and then, though their online description had no mention of the 'options', he would only quote an all-up price that included $1500+ in dealer profit (ceramic tint, some private label protection plan) options that he refused to remove. Talk about sketchy.
 
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2016 CX-5 (white), 2019 CX-5(red), 2019 Miata (white)
I think out the door price makes the best sense for new vehicle pricing discussions.
I understand that USA States, Counties, Cities etc... have different tax rates, but including those factors, other fees etc... just makes pricing comparison discussions confusing. OTD pricing may not be a perfect way to compare pricing, but I think it is the most sensible number to use.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
I think out the door price makes the best sense for new vehicle pricing discussions.
I understand that USA States, Counties, Cities etc... have different tax rates, but including those factors, other fees etc... just makes pricing comparison discussions confusing. OTD pricing may not be a perfect way to compare pricing, but I think it is the most sensible number to use.
Everything you said is the exact reason that OTD makes the least sense. If you and I pay the same sales price for a car, and your state has 10% sales tax and mine has none, then your OTD price on a $30,000 car is $3,000 more than mine. How in the world is comparing OTD prices even close to being "the most sensible number to use"?

You're logic is truly baffling. You even said "have different tax rates, but including those factors, other fees etc... just makes pricing comparison discussions confusing." - So why would you use OTD rather than before TTL to compare prices?
 
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