The long-awaited diesel-powered variant of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 was finally unveiled last fall at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show, after years of promises and backtracking.
Today Mazda Canada revealed what it will cost to acquire one of them. A healthy budget will be required to purchase a diesel-engine CX-5, because the configuration is only going to be available with the range-topping Signature edition of the SUV. This means the asking price starts at over $45,000.
Mazda says it wants to aim the new edition “towards the current crop of premium diesel SUVs that are on sale today”. Which is fine, but a big motivator for the company is undoubtedly the need to make as much of a profit as possible on the technology. Hence the restricting of it to the top-end Signature edition.
While the strategy is certainly understandable, it is also risky – and the reason is simple. The new 4-cylinder Skyactiv-D engine features two turbochargers and has a displacement of 2.2L; its official output is 168 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. But a look at the fuel-consumption numbers shows 8.9L/100 km (city and 7.9L/100 km (highway). Will those numbers make it more attractive than the more affordable CX-5 with 2.5L 4-cylinder gas engine, with its 7.9L/100 km (highway) average? Only in the city is that version less efficient, at around 10L/100 km.
The fuel economy argument might be a hard one to make for Mazda for its new Skyactiv-D. Then add to that the bruised and battered reputation of diesel engines these days.
On the plus side, those who go for this option on the Signature edition will benefit from a free scheduled maintenance plan for two years or 32,000 km. This kind of deal is a first for Mazda, which is clearly following the lead of luxury manufacturers in this respect, and it may help buyers swallow the bitter pill of higher maintenance costs once the coverage is over. Time will tell.
The diesel-powered version of the 2019 CX-5 Signature will be available at dealerships as of the month of August.