Los Angeles, CA – A day after the debut of the all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5 crossover in Hollywood, Mazda revealed that it had held back a nugget of information for the 2016 L.A. Auto Show press day: the announcement of a diesel powertrain as one of three engine options to offered in the CX-5 in North America.
A diesel engine has always been available in the Mazda CX-5 in different global regions, but it's a first for any Mazda product in North America. At a time when the image of diesels has taken on negative overtones and other automakers are shying away from it, Mazda is plunging in head first, showcasing plenty of confidence in its diesel product and technologies.
Mazda claims that its Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre diesel will provide a “torque-rich driving experience” with plenty of high-revving action. Along with the fun-to-drive characteristics it is said to provide, customers will also enjoy great fuel economy. While its actual fuel-consumption numbers weren't announced, Mazda says that it will be one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class, which also includes hybrids.
According to Mazda, the Japanese brand has tested its clean diesel engine thoroughly over the past few years and is excited for its prospects. A diesel powertrain has been in the works for many years, originally to be placed in the all-new 2014 Mazda6, but after dealing with stringent North American regulations, Mazda couldn't get it optimally balanced between performance and fuel economy. (Editor’s Note: We drove the Skyactiv-D diesel in its Mazda6 prototype form and were suitably impressed with both its performance and its refinement.)
Once Mazda was happy with that balance in its clean diesel, its introduction was stalled once again by the backlash from Volkswagen's “dieselgate” scandal and the simultaneous reaction and perception by consumers to that alternative powertrain.
But now the company is determined to move forward.
“We’re confident this engine offers a smart new option for North American drivers who want both performance and fuel economy,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s executive vice-president and representative director.
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 with gasoline engine options will be available for purchase in February in Japan with global markets including Canada to follow. The clean diesel will take a bit longer, arriving around fall 2017.