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Mazda CX-5 Diesel already seeing discounts as high as $10,000

Is this a bellwether for the future of Mazda's diesel engine in the US?

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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
2 min read
2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel
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2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel

With or without the diesel engine, the Mazda CX-5 offers sharp styling and great driving dynamics.

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It took nearly a decade to bring its diesel-powered crossover to the US. And now that it's here, well, the CX-5 Diesel is kind of a let-down. 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.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel
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2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel

Will Mazda continue to sell diesels in the US much longer?

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Furthermore, this doesn't give us much hope for this engine being offered in the . 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 in-depth review of the diesel-fed Mazda CX-5, 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.

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

Originally published Jan. 17, 11:00 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:32 p.m.: Adds comment from Mazda representative.