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The Mazda Diesel Engine is Finally Coming to the U.S.

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2018 Mazda CX-5
Photo: Mazda

Starting in July, you’ll be able to get a Mazda CX-5 with the long-awaited 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D four-cylinder engine.

Specs and availability

This snazzy new engine will deliver 168 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. At first glance, it seems outclassed by the CX-5 Signature’s gasoline engine, which offers a maximum of 310 lb-ft of torque. Consider it a tradeoff — while the conventional engine has a bit more kick, the diesel engine earns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway with all-wheel drive, making it the most efficient top-level CX-5 available.

While the Mazda SKYACTIV-D will net big savings at the pump, you’ll pay a little extra up front — the diesel engine costs about $4,000 more than its conventional counterpart.

You’ll only be able to get the diesel engine on the range-topping Signature trim Mazda CX-5, which also boasts Nappa leather, Abachi wood trim, a frameless rearview mirror, a Bose audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, a head steering wheel, leather trim, and the i-ACTIVSENSE suite of safety technology.

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The wait is over

It’s been nine long years since the Mazda diesel engine first debuted — and over that time period, Mazda has launched 1.5-liter, 1.8-liter, and 2.2-liter diesel engines in Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Over that nearly decade-long period, Mazda has repeatedly tweaked and refined the diesel engine before releasing it to the U.S. market.

For instance, after several years on the market, Mazda made the engine more environmentally friendly by incorporating AdBlue urea dosing, which cuts the engine’s nitrogen oxide emissions. Mazda also optimized the engine’s fuel-injection technology and tweaked it to be lighter.

Despite these innovations, some skeptics question the demand for a diesel-fueled Mazda. However, according to the automaker, 20,000 drivers have expressed interest in a CX-5 with a SKYACTIV-D engine — and customers are already placing orders.

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Sources: Motor Illustrated, Wards Auto