Diesel Cars

2020 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain diesels will drop AWD

A very expensive Mazda will soon be the only AWD diesel crossover in its segment in the US.

Don't fret. Even though the AWD diesel combo might be dead in the water, there are still plenty of other compelling trims from which to pick.

Chevrolet

GM's been snipping and trimming its lineup of late while expanding in other areas. There's a new trim of 2020 Camaro that makes the V8 more affordable, but the 2.0-liter Cadillac CT6 is officially dead, and now, a pair of all-wheel-drive diesel crossovers will lose two driven wheels.

The diesel versions of the 2020 Chevy Equinox and 2020 GMC Terrain crossovers will no longer be all-wheel drive, CarsDirect reports, citing confirmation from a Chevrolet spokesperson. That doesn't mean the vehicles are gone entirely; rather, they'll be offered with front-wheel drive only. As for the reason, the Chevy spokesperson told CarsDirect that "relatively low demand" was to blame.

With those two AWD diesels gone, a buyer who wants that very specific combination will have but one vehicle available: Mazda's new CX-5 diesel, which finally made its US debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Mazda's introduction came at an interesting time, where a few diesel holdouts remain, but the majority of diesels have chosen to leave the US market, especially models from Europe.

There's one problem, though, as CarsDirect points out, and that's price. The CX-5 diesel is only offered in Mazda's highest trim, pushing its MSRP almost $10,000 higher than the least expensive AWD diesel Equinox. That's a big pill to swallow, and it might turn buyers off the idea of all-wheel drive -- or, more likely, off the idea of diesel.

But here's good news: there's an even better (and safer) solution. Go for the front-wheel-drive diesel, then take the $1,500 or so that you'd otherwise spend on all-wheel drive and use it to upgrade to a set of dedicated winter tires and wheels. Drivers like to think about AWD as conferring peace of mind in states with actual weather, but a set of winter tires on a front-drive car will produce even safer handling characteristics than an AWD car on all-seasons.