Is the Mazda CX-5 Diesel already dead?

The 2020 model-year CX-5 Diesel is still MIA.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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Skyactiv-D, we hardly knew ye.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Things aren't looking too good for the Mazda CX-5 Diesel. In January, dealers were discounting the new Skyactiv-D model by as much as $10,000, and a report from CarsDirect last week states the 2020 model-year CX-5 Diesel is still nowhere to be found. Could the CX-5 Skyactiv-D have quietly been discontinued?

A Mazda spokesperson simply told Roadshow there is "no update on CX-5 Diesel." It sure has been awhile because when we last inquired in January, a representative said, "At this time we don't have information to share on a 2020 CX-5 Skyactiv-D." Still, a number of things back up our belief that the CX-5 Diesel is probably a goner.

For starters, CarsDirect says there are no 2020 model-year CX-5 Diesel models available anywhere in the US, and production of the 2021 model-year CX-5 is expected to kick off in August. On top of that, while the rest of the 2020 CX-5 range has official EPA fuel economy ratings, numbers for the Skyactiv-D are still unavailable. Even Mazda's own consumer site still lists the CX-5 Diesel as a 2019 model. It certainly sounds like the Skyactiv-D might've been a one-and-done, 2019-only affair.

A number of factors contributed to the CX-5 Diesel's unfortunate launch. At $42,045, it was the most expensive version of the CX-5 by a long shot, and its fuel economy ratings of 28 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined barely beat those of the less expensive CX-5 with the 2.5-liter turbo gas engine (23 city, 28 highway, 25 combined mpg). Then consider the higher cost of diesel in the US, not to mention the fuel type's somewhat poor reception amongst Americans, and the whole thing was a recipe for failure.

That's a shame. In our testing of the 2019 CX-5 Diesel, we found it to be really nice to drive and had no trouble hitting the EPA fuel economy estimates. Every CX-5 is an engaging steer, and the added low-end torque from the diesel engine made this CX-5 even more fun.

Considering it took Mazda almost a decade to launch its diesel engine in the US, it's a shame to see things pan out this way. Mazda also planned to launch a Skyactiv-D version of the sedan; that car still lives under the "future vehicles" heading on the company's website. Given the might-be-dead status of the CX-5 Diesel, we won't be holding our breath for the Mazda6.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel: Smooth, torquey and pricey

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Watch this: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel is armed with torque and a high price tag