Mazda is pushing hard to increase its fuel economy and create its own little niche. It’s been successful to date, but the industry is catching up, so Mazda is pushing forward with more technology. One example is the introduction of a diesel-fueled CX-5 in the U.S. for the first time after years of delays.
The new-generation CX-5 Diesel will look identical to the recently unveiled new-generation compact Mazda crossover. It’ll feature the newest take on Mazda’s KODO design, which includes clear cues from the new CX-9 and CX-3. These cues include new, thinner headlights, a longer nose, a more rounded rear hatch, a new grille, more flowing body lines, and more.
Inside, the staple Mazda features will remain, including the three-spoke steering wheel, the dash-top display, and rounded gauges. New for this generation are the more angular air vents, a higher shift knob, enhanced visibility through repositioned A-pillars, reclining rear seats, and more.
What will set the CX-5 Diesel apart will be the 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D engine. This diesel four-cylinder will meet the new, stricter regulations put forward following the VW diesel scandal while also delivering smooth performance and that notorious low-end diesel torque.
What’s more, it’ll also be among the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. Official U.S.-spec numbers are not available yet, but in the U.K., this engine cranks out 148 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 2,600 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission will be standard. Sadly, Mazda has confirmed that it will discontinue its manual transmission CX-5.
Safety is no issue with the current CX-5, which is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. With the new-generation CX-5 Diesel having all the latest and greatest technology, we expect this rating to carry over unchanged.
On the gas-powered 2017 CX-5, even entry-level models will feature standard Smart City Brake Support for collision detection and emergency braking at low speeds. Higher trims get more comprehensive available equipment like lane departure warning, higher-speed collision mitigation and more.
Expect a full review closer to launch.
Pricing & Release Date
Mazda plans to have the 2017 CX-5 Diesel in stores in the second half of 2017. The regular gas CX-5 will begin arriving in March of 2017.
Official pricing for the diesel has not yet been announced. However, the gas version will start at $24,985 with destination and top out at $26,855 before options. Will Mazda be able to offer the diesel at a price under $30,000? That remains to be seen.
Although there are no direct competitors at the moment, GM plans to offer a diesel variant of its 2018 Equinox crossover later this year. Notable gas-powered competitors offering impressive fuel economy include the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V.
Pictured: 2017 CX-5