Mazda’s long-anticipated diesel engine is finally coming Stateside

Mazda has been promising to bring its 2.2-liter diesel engine to the U.S. ever since it introduced the new family of SkyActiv engines in 2011, but that has yet to happen as of 2016. Fortunately, this will change in 2017, when the Japanese automaker plans to launch the oil burner Stateside in the redesigned CX-5 crossover.

According to Mazda, the 2.2-liter four-cylinder will arrive in North America after four years of delays as part of a diversification drive that will also include an electric car and a plug-in hybrid over the next few years. However, the diesel won’t cross the pond in the same specification available in Europe, as the SkyActiv-D powerplant has to be tweaked to meet the more stringent U.S. regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions. Given the fact that Volkswagen’s "Dieselgate" scandal has damaged the diesel’s already not-so-encouraging reputation in North America, this is far from surprising.

The new CX-5 debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show with three engines: the 2.0- and 2.5-liter gasoline units and the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. Although output figures are not yet available, we do know that the oil burner pumps 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque in other models. Given that the recently announced Chevrolet Equinox diesel will come with 136 horses and 236 pound-feet, the CX-5’s rating is nothing to sneeze at. Sure, the output may differ depending on tweaks, but not by much.

Mazda went on to add that the diesel mill will make the CX-5 one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. The engine will also use the Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control, two technologies that reduce diesel knock for a quieter and more pleasing sound.

Look for the diesel-powered Mazda CX-5 to hit U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 695587

Needless to say, it took Mazda some four years to finally announce a diesel for U.S. consumption, but the delay isn’t exactly surprising given that North America is a rather difficult market when it comes to oil burners. The "Dieselgate" scandal probably added at least 12 months to the delay, but Mazda finally feels confident that it can deliver a clean and efficient diesel. It feels a bit strange with most carmakers moving toward hybrid and electric drivetrains, but maybe Mazda has a few tricks up its sleeve with this oil burner. We’ll just have to wait and see...

Chevrolet Equinox Mazda CX-5
Engine 1.6-liter turbodiesel 2.2-liter turbodiesel
Horsepower 136 HP 173 HP
Torque 236 LB-FT 310 HP
Fuel economy 40 mpg (highway) -

Press Release

Mazda Motor Corporation announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show* today it will offer the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 clean diesel engine in the all-new Mazda CX-5 for North America from the second half of 2017. It will be Mazda’s first diesel engine model in the North American market.

The SKYACTIV-D 2.2 to be fitted in the all-new CX-5 for North America provides a torque-rich driving experience and revs freely to high RPMs. It will meet the region’s strict emission standards and make the all-new CX-5 one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. The engine also adopts Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control, proprietary technologies that reduce diesel knock for a quieter and more pleasing sound.

“We’re confident this engine offers a smart new option for North American drivers who want both performance and fuel economy,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Executive Vice President and Representative Director.

By providing driving pleasure and outstanding environmental performance to all customers, Mazda aims to enrich people’s lives and become a brand with which customers feel an emotional connection.

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