By on April 24, 2018

mazda cx-5

We’ve been talking about the Mazda CX-5 diesel for a long time, and with good reason. It’s been a long time coming. Originally promised for a U.S. introduction in the second half of 2017, a quick scan of of Mazda’s consumer website reveals no mention of a popular compact crossover with a 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D four-cylinder under the hood.

This could soon change. The California Air Resources Board has certified the engine for sale in that ecologically sensitive state, making a similar thumbs up from the Environmental Protection Agency a near certainty.

The news, which should provide much-needed hope and reassurance for lovers of Kodo-bodied diesels, comes by way of Green Car Reports. A reader provided a copy of the engine’s April 13th certification document, which gives Mazda the ability to start selling it in the Golden State.

More likely, though, the automaker wants a nationwide launch, in which case it first needs to get the green light from the EPA. That certification process has reportedly not yet begun, and Mazda isn’t able to provide an educated guess on when we’ll finally get our hands on what promises to be a very fuel efficient crossover. As an automaker with no hybrid or electric vehicles, the diesel’s promised “hybrid-like” fuel economy would go a long way towards satisfying environmental regulators.

So far, there’s no EPA fuel economy rating for the CX-5 diesel.

Mazda, as you know, loves the internal combustion engine. The brand’s next step in meeting corporate average fuel economy targets involves the variable compression Skyactiv-X engine, appears next year in the new Mazda 3.

Mazda seemed pretty bullish on the diesel’s U.S. future (at least, they did a year ago), speculating that 10 percent of CX-5 sales could come from the Skyactiv-D model. A tall order, for sure. The CX-5 is by far the brand’s best-selling U.S. model, moving some 16,138 units in March. That tally represents a 90.5 percent year-over-year sales increase, and volume over the first three months of 2018 show a 75.7 percent uptick over the same period last year.

Suffice it to say, the CX-5 is Mazda’s meal ticket. It remains to be seen whether the addition of an oil burner makes the model even more appetizing to buyers.

[Image: Mazda]

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29 Comments on “Can It Be? Mazda’s Long-awaited CX-5 Diesel Gets California Green Light...”

  • avatar

    I don’t know, Scott Pruitt’s EPA is probably going to block this car for not polluting enough!

    • 0 avatar

      I know.
      I secretly think he would get off on spraying fly ash into the sky at a rate of 10,000 tons /minute.
      And tanker loads of mercury into the water every day.
      And shooting a ton of plastic per second into the ocean.

      • 0 avatar

        Nah. He just gets off on under-the-table payments. Like the $100,000 that a financial services company lobbying him paid toward his house in Oklahoma City when he was a legislator. Or the below-market rent he paid to a lobbyist who was lobbying the EPA in DC.

        There are a lot of grifters in the current administration. He is one of the least subtle. Somehow, he’s lived like a king for years on rather low public-official salaries.

        • 0 avatar

          I love it when the holdovers jump into the fray. Like Trump’s cabinet hasn’t been a revolving door, I think most folks can see that. I didn’t vote for either one of them, so you can’t call me a “big oil paid troll” (which is a badge of honor on the website).

          So a circuit court stops the EPA, we’ll see where it lands. That debate is far from over, and lobbyists on each side are busy wining and dining as I type this. No comments section will change that reality.

          So the knives come out (except in London) for a coal-roller Mazda. Get over yourselves. I hardly doubt that the vehicle will leave a death trail while taking the kids to school. Perhaps I’m wrong.

          Maybe retreat to your corner and figure out how much Mr. Musk should charge for a deposit on the Model Y. All bets seem to be over $2k, which should be an effective no-interest loan. Get this man a bed so he’s not sleeping on the floor, and for goodness sakes, keep up the “ignore China/ India” mindset that lays all blame to climate change at the feet of the US.

        • 0 avatar

          Please socialists, stop hitting people with bike locks It makes you look like a cowardly pu$$y.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh and aluminum, strontium, and barium to the sky. Lots of barium!

        • 0 avatar

          My chemtrails true believer friend tells me to “question everything like he does”.
          I spent an hour online looking into the toxicity of those three elements, and only one compound with, as I recall, barium was toxic, and in concentrations that might actually fall from an aircraft, well someone would be wasting a lot of money spraying that stuff in the sky. I guess my friend means question everything but the conspiracy (hypothesis) he believes with his heart and soul.

  • avatar

    I’m not understanding the blossoming interest the automakers automakers seem to have for diesels in the US, just as Europe is turning against the fuel. Diesel has never been very popular in the US..

    • 0 avatar

      diesels is the ticket to comply with CAFE 2025 without investing heavily in electrification. For small players like Mazda without a big stake in battery supply chain, it makes perfect sense.

    • 0 avatar

      If 95 octane becomes the minimum nationwide as all manufacturers want, gas will become more expensive than diesel probably or at the minimum, the same cost. Also, if Europe weans themselves off diesel just 10% let’s say, we will have extra diesel on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      One of the problem in the EU (generalised) is the stepping up of the Euro emission standards rapidly, especially diesel emissions. Here in Australia we even had a quicker uptake in better emission standards.

      EuroV and EuroVI standards are generally allowed to enter into the more congested EU cities that have placed restrictions on diesel vehicles.

      There are still quite a few EuroIV diesels left in the EU. These are the culprits. Simply put EuroV reduced particulate emissions by regulating the use of a DPF (diesel particulate filter) on all vehicles. EuroVI up the ante by regulating NOx with the use of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid).

      Not all diesels are regulated, only those older EuroIV and older. The US didn’t have this event occur. The reason the issue in the EU are as they are now was the banning of EuroIV and lower diesel was poorly rolled out.

      Then add the Dieselgate issues and diesel has had some poor publicity of late in the EU, not all poor news was warranted. Diesel will regain some of it’s lost ground in the EU, but when and how much, who knows?

      The EU turned to diesel more so than gasoline because of the Kyoto Protocol. The EU took the Kyoto Protocol more seriously than did the US, Canada and even Australia as we are more reliant on fossil fuels.

      The EU should of initially placed more consideration on how it rolled out it’s emissions regulations with the onset of becoming a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and we would not be where we are now.

    • 0 avatar

      Easy ticket to raising mpg with your overseas diesel.

  • avatar

    If Mazda is serious about this (and if the EPA gives the approval), they are very,very late to a party that’s pretty much over.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX


      However, CUV/SUV fuel economy is appallingly low – especially for city driving – and perhaps people will jump on the torquey driving and the fuel savings (provided the savings is 30%+ over a gasoline-powered CX-5 to make up for the fuel cost and engine complexity).

      • 0 avatar

        if the EPA MPG penalty scheme is not rolled back the gas versions will get more and more expensive anyway. Affordable privately owned cars were most definitely not a part of the Five Year Plan put in place in 2016..

    • 0 avatar

      I think the diesel party is just warming up in USA. I am not saying it is timely, but it is happening.

  • avatar

    They can bring a diesel. To CARB-land, Kalifornistan.

    And I can’t get a 6 wagon in gas.

  • avatar

    Announced for 2017? Hah! That was the fourth time. Read this from TTAC November 2012. It’s a hoot, especially the comments

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s an interesting article where Mazda is heading with it’s Skyactiv diesels.

    One of the issues that confronted Mazda with the use of it’s Skyactiv diesel in the US is the “lower” quality of US diesel fuel. Most of the OECD uses a diesel fuel with a higher cetane value.

    The average value for US diesel cetane rating is 44, EU 51, Japan/Korea/Australia 48. These value are similar in the way which we use octane value for use regarding compression ratio in gasoline engines.

    In diesel the higher the cetane value the lower the diesel engine compression can be. The Mazda Skyactiv runs a 14:1 compression ratio which is lower than most modern low compression diesel at 15:1.

    If you read the cut and paste below (from Wikipedia), it illustrates the advantages of the Mazda Skyactiv diesel where no DEF is required due to it’s low “enough” NOx emissions.

    —- To eliminate the need of NOx and particulate treatment in contemporary diesel engines, the cylinder compression ratio is reduced to 14.0:1. Cold engine start is achieved via multi-hole piezo injectors with 3 programmable injection patterns, and adoption of ceramic glow plugs. Engine misfiring is prevented via variable valve lift at exhaust, which opens exhaust valves during the intake stroke, which increases engine air temperature. The SKYACTIV-D also uses a two-stage turbocharger, in which one small and one large turbo are selectively operated, according to driving conditions.
    SKYACTIV-D 2.2 —-

    Now, back to my comment. The US needs to produce diesel fuel with a higher cetane value to best gain advantage of no requirements for DPF and DEF treatment. This would make the use of diesel far more palatable and cheaper.

    The lower cetane diesel value in US fuel (EU quality diesel is needed) has been a problem with the Mazda Skyactiv diesel, it just can’t operate as well with such a low compression diesel.

    Read my first link regarding the next Mazda Skyactive which is twin turbo and supercharged.

    • 0 avatar

      Ah, but higher quality diesel would require government regulation, and among certain political circles in the US, that is tantamount to communism and Nazism. Equivalencies get quite outlandishly beyond any logic lately.
      Bemusing times to be a political junkie here in the USA.

      Thanks for your informative post!

      It is sad to see Mazda sales stay where they are. Thirty years ago Honda was very much where Mazda is today. A minor player in market share with fun to drive vehicles that had uniquely engineered groundbreaking powertrains. Honda became a victim of its own success and vacated that niche. Mazda moved right in.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thanks ttacgreg,
        I do like Mazda for their pioneering work with internal combustion engines. Kudos should also be given to Nissan with their variable displacement engine.

        I’m hoping the next BT50 pickup comes out with a 2.2 litre twin turbo, electrically supercharged diesel. That would be great.

    • 0 avatar

      Cetane level has nothing to do with diesel quality. Just as octane has nothing to do with the quality of gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        You can term quality as you wish.

        The fact remain US diesel is of a lower rating than its major competitors.

        US diesel also has less lubricity.

        US diesel also contains 50% more sulphur.

        This to me indicates US diesel could be viewd as lower quality.

        You may consider it “equal”. But you might be alone with that view.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Another interesting Mazda engine link;

  • avatar

    Why on earth do Americans want diesels?

    In the UK they were foisted on drivers by a non-driving Chancellor of the Exchequer for political reasons. Although they get slightly better gas mileage they are no use for lots of short runs from cold which tends to clog up the super complicated emissions equipment, which has a nasty habit of failing completely after a few years. They have been a disaster.

    Now the UK is moving away from them – many cities will ban all but the very latest models – so as a final kick in the teeth to consumers, used values are now plunging.

    • 0 avatar

      “Why on earth do Americans want diesels?”

      Maybe because such a large percentage of Americans’ beliefs are based on ignorance of what’s happening around the rest of the planet.

  • avatar

    Thank goodness. I’m sure the 43 people who were waiting to buy a diesel powered compact CUV from a niche manufacturer will be so relieved.

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