It's a Sign: TTAC Finds Official NHTSA 2018 Mazda CX-5 Diesel Filing
Mazda announced 11 months ago that the company “will introduce a diesel engine option to the North American market,” with the revamped CX-5, launched in the 2017 model year.
We’d heard such claims before. Three years ago, we were still waiting on the launch of the diesel-powered Mazda 6, at least until Mazda gave up on that idea. But Mazda’s insistence this time around produced less doubt. Mazda even revealed that the automaker felt it could generate 10 percent of CX-5 sales with the diesel model.
But last month, we began to wonder about Mazda’s claims of delivering a 2017 Mazda CX-5 Diesel in the second-half of 2017. The second-half, as you may have noticed, is quickly drawing to a close. Moreover, Mazda wouldn’t offer up any timing, saying only that, “We are working with the EPA and CARB and will have more information in the future.”
Mazda still won’t offer up any timing details. But TTAC’s resident government filing investigator, Bozi Tatarevic, came across some very interesting details at NHTSA.gov that reaffirm the forthcoming 2018 Mazda CX-5 Diesel.
In response to the TTAC discovery, Mazda spokesperson Jacob Brown doubled down on Mazda’s commitment. “We promised the Skyactiv-D 2.2 engine would come to North America and have been working with the EPA and CARB to bring it to market.”
But what exactly did TTAC’s Tatarevic find? It all comes down to VINs: vehicle identification numbers. In July, when Mazda first filed VIN code information for the 2018 CX-5, Mazda only referenced one engine: the 187-horsepower, gas-powered 2.5-liter four-cylinder that serves under the hood of all but the current base CX-5.
Mazda then updated the NHTSA VIN code filing from July 25, 2017, with more information on October 18, 2017, two days ago.
The VIN begins with JM3. That means it’s a multipurpose passenger vehicle manufactured by Mazda in Japan. KF indicates a CX-5. If the sixth designation is an A, the CX-5 is a front-wheel-drive model; if it’s a B, the CX-5 is an all-wheel-drive model. The seventh moniker signifies trim level: Mazda shows SV, Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and SE as A, B, C, D, and E, respectively.
But with this October filing update, the eighth designation in the 2018 CX-5’s VIN could refer to a wider variety of engines.
M and L equal the aforementioned 187-horsepower, gas-powered 2.5-liter four-cylinder. If the eighth descriptor is a 7, that means the CX-5 has a 156-horsepower, gas-powered 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood. And if that M, L, or 7 turns into a 2?
Bada bing, bada boom. Voila.
That’s a 2.2-liter diesel producing 174 horsepower. In other markets, the CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D produces 310 lb-ft of torque, but the NHTSA filing doesn’t reveal torque figures.
Surely this is a sign. A sign of what, we’re not quite sure. We’ve yet to see any certification with the California Air Resources Board; there are no apparent EPA figures. But it seems like progress.
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 and Instagram.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
- MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
- Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
- Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
- Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...
I'll just add that ignoring all my feelings on diesel initial cost, maintenance headaches, reliability, pollution, DPF, urea, fuel cost, and whatever else I'm sure I'm forgetting.... In Mazda's case especially, with their HCCI Skyactiv-X coming in just a year or two, why on earth would they bother with a diesel at this point??? Just suck it up with Skyactiv-G for now, avoid the regulatory headaches, costs, mechanic training, parts inventory, etc etc, and wait for HCCI in the CX-5. If it actually does what Mazda has talked about, a diesel will be pointless anyway.
For all you doubters, here is a little information I received from our Mazda dealership district manager. It was firmly confirmed that we should start seeing the first CX-5 diesel's towards the end of Nov. 2017. This is in the southeast region. Yes, Mazda has been trying to get a diesel into the US since 2010 but they didn't want to give up power and fuel economy to meet EPA standards in the US. Well they finally got to where they wanted to be and you will be seeing it soon. Some areas may see it before others.