Mazda Makes a Bet on Popularity of Upcoming CX-5 Diesel

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mazda makes a bet on popularity of upcoming cx 5 diesel

Diesel power has traditionally proved a tough sell in the United States, at least among light-vehicle buyers. If it doesn’t belong on a worksite, chances are a vehicle’s engine choices have remained gasoline-only since the model’s debut.

While the high-mileage technology suffered a black, sooty eye from the Volkswagen affair, several automakers are gambling on Americans want of higher torque figures and improved fuel economy — the rosy promises of diesel motivation. Mazda, the only automaker without a hybrid or electric vehicle in its stable, plans to add a diesel CX-5 to its gas-only U.S. fleet later this year.

The automaker knows exactly how many it wants Americans to buy. If this litmus test on wheels reaches the pre-determined mark, expect to see more zoom-zoom diesels appearing in local showrooms.

Speaking in Chicago yesterday, Mazda North American Operations President and CEO Masahiro Moro said the diesel bar is set at 10 percent of all U.S. CX-5 sales. Going by 2016 sales figures, that means just over 11,000 units.

While not yet approved for sale by the Environmental Protection Agency, the automaker expects to receive the green light “in the coming months,” Automotive News reports. The 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D engine is already offered in overseas models. We haven’t heard exact figures for the North American unit but, based on foreign specifications, it could boast 173 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

Mazda will initially only offer the diesel CX-5 in high-spec Grand Touring trim when its appears this fall, but Moro claimed that could change over time.

“Starting from high and expanding, I think, is the right way,” he said. If the diesel proves popular in the brand’s best-selling vehicle, Mazda will take it as a hint to offer the engine in other models.

“CX-5 will be a very good indicator for us to understand where we have the opportunity and what kind of people come to buy those new technologies,” said Moro.

While General Motors is following a similar path with the introduction of a diesel Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain for 2018, those models will see the engine become available on a range of trim levels. Already, GM has added diesel power to its midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. In those models, the technology boats a 9-percent take rate.

[Image: Mazda]

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3 of 23 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 11, 2017

    For torque and fuel economy, make it electric - and beat Tesla's mythical Model Y to market by a couple years.

    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on May 11, 2017

      @SCE to AUX Mazda is steering clear of Electric, Diesel should be interesting

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on May 11, 2017

    Mazda management does not seem to care about what the their buyers want much. The management thinks their answer to the federal government mileage mandate is the diesel power engine to boost the company's mpg rating game. Mazda management is focus on boosting it mpg! It seems like that their current near term goal! Sales does not seem to be the prime directive.

  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.