It took Mazda nearly a decade to bring its diesel-powered CX-5 crossover to the US. And now that it's here, well, the . Sure, the CX-5 itself is a wonderful compact SUV -- one of the best-driving vehicles in its class, with a premium interior that punches well above what you might expect in this segment. But with a starting price north of $40,000, not to mention unimpressive fuel economy, the diesel option doesn't appear to have been worth the wait.
That's a guess based on the fact that the diesel CX-5 is already being offered at substantial discounts just a few months after going on sale. According to a CarsDirect report on Thursday, some dealers are offering as much as $10,000 off the starting MSRP, taking the original $42,045 price tag down to just $32,045. That's a full $6,000 less than a top-trim 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature with the gas-fed, 2.5-liter turbo engine.
Right now, Mazda only has information for the 2019 model year CX-5 with the diesel engine. You can't build and price a 2020 model on the company's website, and there is currently no EPA fuel economy data for a 2020 CX-5 with the diesel option. Whether or not this means the SUV's future is in jeopardy is unclear. "At this time we don't have information to share on a 2020 CX-5 Skyactiv-D," a Mazda spokesperson told Roadshow.
Furthermore, this doesn't give us much hope for this engine being offered in the Mazda6. The Japanese automaker has been talking up its diesel-powered sedan for almost as long as the CX-5, and a landing page for the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D is still live on Mazda's website.
At the time of launch, Mazda expected the diesel engine to account for only about 10% of all CX-5 sales. We don't have an official sales breakdown, but it stands to reason that even this number may have been optimistic -- especially in light of these recent discounts.
The 2019 Mazda CX-5's 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D engine is rated to produce 168 horsepower and a healthy 290 pound-feet of torque. With front-wheel drive, the EPA estimates fuel economy numbers of 28 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. For comparison, a Mazda CX-5 with the 2.5-liter turbo engine is estimated to return 23 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with front-wheel drive.
In our, we found it to be as enjoyable to drive as any other version of the crossover. We had no troubles hitting the EPA fuel economy estimates, and appreciated the added low-end torque of the diesel engine. Unfortunately, we ultimately deemed the CX-5 Skyactiv-D to not exactly be a worthwhile upgrade, especially given its hefty price tag.
Originally published Jan. 17, 11:00 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:32 p.m.: Adds comment from Mazda representative.