By on November 16, 2016

2017 Mazda CX-5 Soul Red Crystal - Image: MazdaChevrolet won’t be the only automaker attempting to woo former Volkswagen TDI owners with a diesel-powered compact crossover. Mazda North America confirmed this afternoon the soon-coming availability of a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder in the thoroughly refreshed 2017 Mazda CX-5.

Thought to be a sure bet before major setbacks seemed to become insurmountable impediments, we reported earlier this week that the reveal of a new CX-5 would include a diesel engine. Then, in press releases from both Mazda USA and Mazda Canada last night, the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D was included in the list of otherwise carryover powertrains offered.

Today, at a press conference not 24 hours after a design-oriented reveal of the 2017 CX-5, Mazda made it clear. Consider it confirmed, validated, and verified. Mazda’s best-selling model is about to gain 68 percent more torque. 

Mazda’s executive vice president, Akira Marumoto, touting 24-percent global sales growth over the last four years and the CX-5 as a vehicle responsible for one-quarter of the brand’s global volume, eventually homed in a very market-specific message.

“As part of the full model change for the CX-5, I’m also delighted to say Mazda will introduce a diesel engine option to the North American market,” Marumoto announced, who surely did not accidentally call the 2.2 Skyactiv-D a “clean diesel.”

Calling this a tough time to launch a diesel, Mazda nevertheless believes there is enough demand to support a diesel-powered CX-5 beginning in the second-half of 2017.

The outgoing CX-5’s 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel offered in many global markets produces 173 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Compared with the 2.5-liter gas-powered inline-four currently topping the North American range, that’s a 12-horsepower drop and a 125 lb-ft increase in torque. Consumption, based on comparisons between the 2.5 Skyactiv-G and 2.2 Skyactiv-D, should decrease by more than 20 percent, suggesting combined EPA fuel economy of 34-36 miles per gallon.Mazda 2.2 skyactiv-d - Image: MazdaWhile Volkswagen’s TDI-powered diesel cars formed a small slice of the overall automotive industry pie in the U.S., the market for such affordable diesel-powered cars was long since secured by Volkswagen. Because of Volkswagen’s now 14-month-old diesel emissions scandal and the consequent removal of TDIs from Volkswagen lots, rival automakers are stepping into the small, abandoned diesel space in search of a unique consumer subset.

Except now, without Volkswagen’s dominating presence, these automakers don’t have to fight an uphill battle against the one automaker that had a loyal following.

Whether Mazda will take diesel a step further by offering the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D in the Mazda 6 midsize sedan (or any other North American-market Mazda) is currently on the list of TTAC’s known unknowns. The Mazda CX-5 generates more than double the volume achieved by the Mazda 6 in the United States.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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68 Comments on “2017 Mazda CX-5 Diesel Confirmed – 310 Lb-ft of Torque in an Equinox Fighter Not Named TDI...”


  • avatar
    James2

    I still want the 2.5 turbo from the CX-9. 310 lb-ft of torque AND 227 hp. Put it in the Mazda 6 and they have a sale.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    Criminy, clown shoe-in for Most Wasted Cab Space in a Transverse Engined Vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      Where do you propose putting the front passengers’ legs? They could push the windshield forward, but what does that accomplish?

      Look at the structure and you’ll see that there’s little-to-no space wasted between the driver’s feet and the front wheel wells.

      • 0 avatar
        Old Man Pants

        “They could push the windshield forward, but what does that accomplish?”

        Easier ingress/egress, better visibility and increased airiness. Previous gens Honda Fit, for example.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          The long hoods in anything skyactiv has to do with the crazy manifold, which has to do with the high(er) compression ratios, if i remember correctly. it was covered rather thoroughly on TTAC when the technology debuted. Have you sat in a CX-5? It does not feel cramped.

          I drove over 200 miles again today, Toronto to Niagara then another 150 miles on two-lane i-90. I no longer mind the trucks at all, but god do I hate Rav4s and CrVs. They are the worst. I get it, and never try to upset any driver with aggressive tactics. But i just hate the way most of those drivers connect to the road and others on the road. Mostly a world of their own, interrupted by panicky interactions with other cars trying to pass them. I really dread them. Or maybe I just need to chill.

          • 0 avatar
            Old Man Pants

            Well, Christ, don’t be startling us when local public radio’s playing classical music!

            Jeez……

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Few public radio stations play classical anymore, actually. At most, they relegate it to a second channel while the main one is reserved for news and other, more profitable programs. Public radio ain’t just for “grannies and granolas” anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Our local public radio stopped playing classical a long time ago.

            We do have a dedicated FM classical station, but it’s getting harder and harder for it to stay on the air. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and depends heavily on listener contributions.

          • 0 avatar
            Old Man Pants

            “Few public radio stations play classical anymore”

            Shi..yeah. Exactly my point. Lucky to get a couple evening hours and maybe the overnight.

            So don’t be giving us driving scaries when we’re trying to focus on it.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “We do have a dedicated FM classical station, but it’s getting harder and harder for it to stay on the air. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and depends heavily on listener contributions.”

            That sounds a little like WRR in Dallas, except WRR is actually owned by the City of Dallas. They keep wanting to sell the property off but there is some resistance to the idea.

  • avatar
    blaster668

    Yes! This will almost certainly be my next vehicle. Was there any mention of manual transmission availability?

  • avatar
    mason

    5 years from now diesel variants will be more common place than they ever have.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Mason,
      Agree on that. Seems to be newer diesel variants coming out all the time. You would be not aware of those in NA

    • 0 avatar
      Old Man Pants

      “diesel variants will be more common place than they ever have”

      For regular family vehicles? Why? Around me diesel is an average 50 cents/gal more expensive than regular gas and the vehicles are more expensive to begin with.

      What’s the incentive for the vast majority of American drivers, more of whom know what “toque” means than “torque”?

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        @old man pants,

        Think 54mpg CAFE requirements.

        Problem solved.

        It’s no coincidence we are seeing a handful of new diesel models each year.

        • 0 avatar
          Old Man Pants

          Then it will have nothing to do with buyer preference, solely a diktat passed from gummint to OEMs to us.

          OK, I’m fine with that.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          “Think 54mpg CAFE requirements.”

          I don’t think the incoming administration is quite so keen on that benchmark. I could see a deal where the 54mpg mandate is rolled back in exchange for some token PR of a couple models moving back for US production.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            While I’m certainly hopeful and optimistic of the many promises our new millionaire-extraordinaire-in-chief has made, I’m not holding my breath.

            At best this is way down on the honey-do-list. Baby steps.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            I don’t know. He is pragmatic and bringing a plant back to the US would be a big PR win even if it was a token thing.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          In economies that limit CO2 emissions, the 45MPG diesel is equal to what MPG gasoline? Diesel is mostly more efficient if you measure gallons of tank space. a 45mpg diesel uses as much carbon as a 39.5mpg gas engine. That’s about what efficient cars of both fuel rate on the Monroney. I refuse to try to convert CAFE to other MPG ratings.

    • 0 avatar
      Ol Shel

      5 years from now, the big 3 will be showing coal-powered vehicles.

      Luxury cars will be fueled by elephant tusks and baby polar bear livers.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What’s the powertrain warranty on a Mazda diesel? Same as the gas or extended?

    That torque figure is making me drool.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @PrincipalDan
      Just to make you ponder a bit more, Mazda are climbing into bed with Isuzu to produce their next Global Pickup. It will be all Diesel

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Well, the 6.6 liter “Duramax” diesel in the Chevy/GMC 3/4 and 1 ton pickups (sold in the U.S.) was a joint venture between GM and Isuzu. Unlike the other big diesels in U.S. pickups, it’s “clean” transition has been fairly trouble-free and there’s certainly been no mention of trickery regarding emission tests. I believe they used SCR from the beginning. Now the horsepower and torque wars in pickup truck land are getting hot (thanks mostly to Ford), the Duramax is a little behind the pace but with more boost this year (always more boost with diesels!), it’s catching up.

        We’ll see how that works out.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          “Unlike the other big diesels in U.S. pickups, it’s “clean” transition has been fairly trouble-free”

          Here’s 103 pages to get you warmed up. Let me know when you get through it. There’s plenty more where that came from.

          http://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/11-16-lml-duramax-powertrain/193378-calling-out-all-who-had-problems-def-emissions.html#/topics/193378?page=2&_k=sx4hxf

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      that torque figure makes me fear of transmission issues unless it is fortified tranny

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      And what’s the tow rating….

      Not much use for big torque, if the unibody is what’s limiting trailer weight.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Well, there you go. Good on them for that.

    PLEASE bring it to the Mazda6 next.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wow. Remember kids, it’s about average horsepower, not peak horsepower. In reality this thing is gonna be way faster than the 2.5. With that kind of peak torque I would not be surprised if it weren’t off the pace of a theoretical 2.5G. The want is definitely strong for this one.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Mazda’s executive vice president, Akira Marumoto, touting 24-percent global sales growth over the last four years…”

    Mazda US sales:
    2011 = 250k
    2012 = 277k
    2013 = 284k
    2014 = 306k
    2015 = 319k… a 28% increase over 2011.
    2016 = 296k likely… an 8% reduction from 2015, but an 18% increase over 2011.

    Mazda US market share:
    2011 = 2.0%
    2012 = 1.9%
    2013 = 1.8%
    2014 = 1.8%
    2015 = 1.8%
    2016 = 1.7%

    Given its checkered history, I’ll believe the diesel when I see it – but congratulations to Mazda if they can finally pull it off. On the other hand, I still doubt the CX-5 demographic has much interest in a diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      A small niche-brand grabbing a tiny niche.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        And sharing it with the Equinox.

        A roomy CUV that gets compact car MPG with big torque sounds like a do-all family vehicle. Excellent MPG for parent(s) commuting duties, without squeezing the family into a Corolla sedan after school/work.

        A Hybrid Rav4 would also do, I guess, but some like to be different. or if they are like me, they’re put off by its terrible styling. Both the Mazda and the new Equinox look far better.

        I’d like to see sales of both CX-5 and Equinox/Cruze diesels take off, so others will follow with passenger car/CUV diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      there’s no secret to “pulling off” a diesel here. Mazda’s “Real Soon Now” diesel 6 was delayed because they were desperately trying to do it without SCR. and VW showed that wasn’t possible.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I just put calc to work – 12K miles, national avg price of fuel:

    Gas FWD 2.5: $892
    Diesel 2.2, projected 34mpg: 846.

    So, more fun and $50 gift card. But, it will cost more upfront. So, this is questionable that one will gain much.

    And, will there be need to replace some filter or something?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      And maybe DEF juice, I would think. That would wipe out your gift card.

      So, basically, you’re buying more torque for a premium price. Not terrible, but unlikely to be any operating savings.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        if you shop for cars by poring over spreadsheets and a $50 difference in TCO is part of the decision, you aren’t really into cars at all.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          But neither are you, if you buy a diesel for any other reason than megamiles on freeways, towing or rolling coal. Or because it’s the only way to get a proper gearbox in a full size pickup, I guess…..

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          @JimZ

          First of all, this car is not for sale yet. Second – yes. I do many analytical things. For example, when I was buying my current car, a thought went through my mind – may be I should be like those fancy people over there, get myself a shiny Prius and save on gas. Gas was $4/g back then. I put pen to the sheet and calculated that there is no way I will save anything and I will loos a lot of driving fun. I bought Mazda3 iTouring 5M and enjoying it ever since. Gas meanwhile became cheap and operating my 30mpg avg car is not expensive at all. It would take me 12 years of Priusing to just break even. And I would have to drive a dog.

          I love analyzing things with pencil and a sheet of paper. And often it can pop your eyes open.

          So, I am not into cars… – what does it mean to be into cars? Heil diesel Mazda as soon as it appears in the news?

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Overall, I don’t understand what diesel brings to the table in this market. You can throw around an MPG number all you want, but it comes down to fuel cost per mile. The MPG number is meaningless by itself.

    And Joe Sixpack is suspicious of diesel–it’s not normal to him. Let’s face it, he’s suspicious of the minivan he should be buying himself; after all, everyone else in his circle has a CUV, so that’s why he’s looking at a CX-5. But nobody in his circle has a diesel.

    And then you throw a purchase price premium at him. To haul his family around? That’s insane. And on the way to the dealer he saw that gas was a buck eighty five, but diesel was $2.50–that’s a big difference.

    In fact, that’s what Joe Sixpack sees and knows. Math is hard, so even if the numbers come out even, he can’t see past “this thing costs more, plus filling up the tank is more expensive and I don’t have spare cash lying around”.

    What problem does diesel solve for middle America again?

    • 0 avatar
      Old Man Pants

      How many Joes even know about Mazda? Most are still focused on D-3 product. I live in the Land of Joe, I know!

      Mazda would have to massively expand its footprint in the US to even be rejected by Joe in the way you suggest.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Joe Sixpack probably isn’t shopping at the Mazda dealer anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      jalop, as others have responded, you are mostly correct. This does not solve any problems for middle America. It will be a desirable vehicle for sub/urbanites in the coasts and the midwest, who have access to Mazda dealers. Most will buy it for the torque and desirability factor, not really to save on gas money on the commute.

      Congratulations to Mazda for managing to pull this off.

      The CX-5 is a strange Mazda, kind of the only one to be mainstream. Everything else – well, the 3 and the 6 – are seen as “oh you didn’t want to get a Toyota” purchases, but the CX-5 has its own identity on the market. I base this opinion on the way I saw a few of my friends approach their decision to buy a CX-5. i drove one with the 2.5 and liked it quite a bit.

      Two couples I know in Minnesota: one couple has a tdi golf and tdi sportswagen, and another has a CX-5 and, for the second car, got rid of their craptastic Outback and got a v6 Touareg (children, dogs, etc). I can’t wait to see how both will react to these developments. It may be a small market, but there’s money there for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      as if you have any idea who “Joe Sixpack” even is, nevermind what he thinks.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Does anyone know how reliable these engines have been in other markets?

    This is interesting. Not sure about diesel, never owned one, but it makes sense in this application. Living in Minnesota, the cold starts make me nervous.

    Wondering if it will be available in all trim levels, and it’s probably too much to hope for, but manual?

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      Owned a 5-speed diesel in Norway for many years. Never did not start even after days of abandonment while on backcountry hikes. Don’t be nervous. Be original.

    • 0 avatar
      xcalibur255

      Word is this particular diesel has serious issues with cold starting because of the low (for a diesel) compression ratio. If we’re not getting the 2.5T I would give this a serious look (no torque = no sale for me), but I’m right next door to you so cold weather is a factor in my potential future purchase as well.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I wish they had gotten the torque from an electric motor, not a fuel that requires Rube Goldberg devices to run even somewhat cleanly.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I wish they would make a “performance” Skyactiv engine, just for fun.

      Right now they’ve got some naturally-aspirated 4-cylinders that are efficient but otherwise generally uninspiring, a turbo-4 that wishes it was a diesel, and an *actual* diesel.

      I mean, I like having torque, but I also like revving my engine over 3000.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Sorry Mazda, but your timing is all wrong. Diesel is no longer cool. Even WAG is jumping this ship now.

    • 0 avatar
      blaster668

      Jacob, I think statistics would say you are wrong! Hybridcars.com puts out a monthly dashboard showing sales of alternative fuel light duty passenger vehicles, including diesels. The take rate of diesels has just about doubled this year alone. The take rate in January was .43% in October it was .84%. And these sales are without a single low cost entry like VW had, or what Mazda and Chevy will soon have. These take rates are up in the same territory that they were prior to dieselgate breaking.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      My biggest turnoff to diesel in the past was they were either in vehicles I didn’t need (trucks), couldn’t afford, or didn’t want (VW).

  • avatar
    Carrera

    This is a nice proposition coming from Mazda. I will definitely take a look in diesel form. Diesel where I live is 35 cents more than 87 and on par with mid grade. I just love it when everyone freaks out how much diesel is over 87 but no one does it when premium is pricier than diesel. 2,00 for 87, 2,35 for diesel and 89, 2,55 for premium

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      But premium is mostly used in premium cars. In cheap car market even turbos these days are designed for use with 87. AAA just reported something like in US $2B is overpaid for premium gas in the cars that don’t need it. they say, better buy 87 Top Tier gas than premium gas. Only if your car required premium, only then you need to use that

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Mazda’s engine experiments don’t always work out so well.

    The obligatory rotary version surely must be under development.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Intriguing. I’m glad that it’s finally coming. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up with a used CX-5 diesel in 2018 when I turn in my TDI. This engine option promises more horsepower and more torque than the Equinox diesel, so that’s something.

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