Basically, what Mazda did with its CX-5 is a huge slap in the face to the vast amount of almost identical vehicles that are used by growing families. Japanese car maker managed to set itself apart by introducing their new CX-5 with meaningful steering feel and impressive road manners. But you probably are asking yourself why does this matter?
Well, the truth is that Mazda is aiming to become a segment leader, especially when a fuel economy is considered. Since the emission scandal that hit the German automakers, Mazda has tried to bring a diesel powerplant stateside, but they hit a few problems. As we found out from the company representative they had to make a tough decision – “It could be made to drive the way we wanted or it could meet U.S. emissions, but not both.”
He also added that “We wouldn’t accept that” but fortunately engineers and design team managed to solve the problem they had with the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Diesel. Thanks to the emission scandal the VW group is out of the diesel game with their TDI units, and now if you are looking a diesel powered vehicle that can offer you some fun, the odds are that you will choose this one.
To achieve this Mazda had to modify the CX-5’s platform from 2017 slightly and now it offers a somewhat lower center of gravity and additional 0.4 inches of track width for that increased stability. As far as the powertrain is considered, Mazda offers its Europe-market sequentially turbocharged 2.2 L diesel four-cylinder that is exclusively tied to the company’s existing six-speed automatic transmission. They also did some changes to the engine’s injection design and strategy and thanks to that the engine can offer well over 173 HP and 310 pound-feet of torque which is the most it brings to the rest of the world. Japanese carmaker also addressed the other two very important things and those are driveability and noise, vibration, and harshness of the powerplant.
It is obvious that the company is giving all they’ve got just to win over the American market, but why is that so? Well, if it turns out that the VW gets the permanent diesel stop-sale, Mazda definitely gets all the buyers who prefer the modern diesel vehicle, and that alone is a huge deal. The only competitor to Mazda is the Kia Niro hybrid which offers the same or slightly better efficiency but at the cost of less cargo space and a lot less driver involvement. All other crossovers that can compete with CX-5 have a lot of downsides like efficiency, driving character, or worst case scenario – both.
Mazda will definitely try to see this one out because there is practically nothing that can go wrong here with this plan. What might slightly mess up their plans and cause delays is the fact that EPA’s scrutiny has increased even more since the Dieselgate when these engines are in question. But that is all in the future, and none of us actually knows what it holds. We can expect the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Diesel not a day sooner than fall, but they didn’t say anything regarding the price. We, on the other hand, took a liberty to calculate for ourselves that if there is a diesel option for lower trim levels, it would be pretty fair to expect a below $30,000 version.